Combined Effect of DHA and a-tocopherol Enrichment on Sperm Quality and Fertility in the Turkey

Source: Luisa Zaniboni, Rita Rizzi, and Silvia Cerolini
The aim of the present study was to characterize the dietary effects of n-3 LC-PUFA and a-tocopheryl acetate (vE) on the quality, phospholipid fatty acid composition, a-tocopherol content (a-T) and in vitro susceptibility to lipid peroxidation in turkey semen. Fertility of fresh semen was also evaluated. Male turkeys were randomly divided and fed either a control diet or a fish oil and vE rich diet (FO diet) from 40 to 60 weeks of age. The FO diet increased the proportion of n-3 fatty acids in spermatozoa and as a consequence the (n-3)/(n-6) ratio also increased. These changes did not affect the proportion of n-9 PUFAs, particularly of C22:3n-9, in semen. The sperm content of a-T was dependent by the dietary supplementation of the vitamin and the sperm content was more than doubled supplying 120 mg kg-1 of feed to the males compared to the 60 mg kg-1 of feed in the control diet. In agreement with the major content of a-T in spermatozoa collected from the FO group were significantly less susceptible to in vitro induced oxidation. The reproductive capacity of the male breeders was not affected by the diet; however the result is considered of some relevance for field conditions where even very small changes have economic interest being applied to large bird population.