Semen Quality Characteristics and Effect of Mating Ratio on Reproductive Performance of Hubbard Broiler Breeders

  •  Modupe Orunmuyi    
  •  Chidiebere Livinus Akanwa    
  •  Nwagu Bartholomew Ifeanyi    


A study was conducted at the National Animal Production Research Institute (NAPRI) Shika, Zaria, Nigeria to access some semen quality characteristics and to determine the effect of mating ratio on fertility and hatchability of Hubbard broiler breeders. 20 cocks were examined for semen quality characteristics. Parameters evaluated were: ejaculate volume, semen pH, sperm concentration and sperm motility. Sequel to semen quality evaluation, hens were divided into three groups according to mating ratio (cock to hen) which included ratios 1:6, 1:7 and 1:8 with each group replicated 3 times. Each replicate was housed separately in pens. Hatchable eggs were collected after ten days grace period of mating and were set in the incubator. There were six hatches and fertility and hatchability parameters were calculated. Results obtained for semen quality characteristics showed that mean values for volume (ml) was 0.55±0.04, motility (%) was 83.50, concentration was 3.91x109/ml, pH was 7.40 and average body weight was 4.73 kg. Correlations between the semen quality characteristics and body weight showed that pH was negatively but not significantly correlated with volume, concentration and body weight. The correlation between volume and concentration was high (0.92) and highly significant (p<0.001). Other correlations though positive were not significant (p>0.05). Mating ratio significantly (p<0.05) affected number of eggs fertile, number hatched and percent fertile. Birds mated in the ratio of 1:6 had the highest values for number fertile, number hatch and percent fertile but not significantly different from ratio 1:8. However the birds in the ratio of 1:7 had similar performance with those in the ratio 1:8 for percent fertile. High and significant correlation between ejaculate volume and concentration indicated that large ejaculate volume resulted in high concentration. Mating ratio of 1:6 was recommended to enhance fertility and hatchability especially in pedigree hatching.

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