Effects of Dietary Menhaden Oil on Fertility and Sperm Quality of Broiler Breeder Males

Source: BP Hudson and JL Wilson
To assess the effects of dietary fat source on semen quality and fertility, either poultry fat or menhaden oil (MO) was included in broiler breeder male diets. Males received diets containing either poultry fat or MO from 0 to 65 wk of age. When males were 47 wk of age, hens were inseminated every third week through 65 wk with 7.5 x 107 sperm. Fertility and hatch data were collected by incubating eggs laid during each 2-wk post-insemination (WPI) period. The approximate number of sperm that penetrated the perivitelline membrane of the ovum was determined from eggs laid on the eighth day post-insemination. Sperm mobility index was measured at 60 and 63 wk of age from all males producing semen.

When males were provided MO, fertility and hatchability of eggs set from the second WPI were greater by 6.4 and 6.9%, respectively. Testis weight, sperm mobility index, sperm holes in the ovum, and the number of males producing semen were similar between treatments. Although most reproductive characteristics were similar, fertility during the second WPI was significantly enhanced by providing dietary MO. This suggests that sperm from males consuming MO may have persisted in sperm storage tubules for longer periods.