Assessment of Semen Characteristics Among Three Phenotypes of Chicken Raised in Akko, Gombe State of Nigeria
In poultry breeding program the success of artificial insemination (AI) is highly influenced by the quality of semen. The aim of the present research was to evaluate the variations in semen characteristics of three phenotypes of chicken of the same specie raised in Akko, Nigeria. A total of 9 cocks from threedifferent phenotypes; Red feathered (n = 3), White feathered (n = 3) and Black feathered (n =3). The semen was evaluated for macroscopic (i.e. semen volume and colour) and microscopic (i.e. sperm concentration, motility and morphology) criteria after being collected by abdominal massage method. There were phenotypes variation (P > 0.05)effects on semen motility, number of live/dead sperm and sperm abnormalities. No differences(P>0.05) were observed on volume, colour, concentration, mass motility and pH of semen. The observed sperm progressive motility was ranged from 90.5 ±1.21% to 95.09±0.82%. The White feathered strain had the highest sperm progressive motility (P<0.05)and highest value for live and normal sperm (93.5±0.63% and 87.90±0.25%), while the black feathered had the least and (92.4±0.73% and 85.5±0.50%) respectively. The Red feathered strain had the highest value for both dead and sperm head defect (9.2±0.33%and 7.0±0.52%). Whilst, the Black feathered strain scored the highest percentage of both sperm tail and neck defects with values ranged from 11.4±0.43%to 14.2±1.08% and 19.4±0.53% to 23.6±0.69%, respectively. This study suggests that there are large variations present in semen characteristics of different phenotypes of cocks; White feathered strain is likely have better semen characteristics compared to Red and Black feathered strains. Therefore, White feathered strain can potentially be used in artificial insemination (AI) for chicken production and improvement.