Freezability of Tushin Ram Semen Extended with Goat or Cow Milk Based Extenders

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Cow milk is used as an extender for ram semen cryopreservation. Caseins, the major proteins of milk, appear to provide some protective effect to sperm during cryopreservation. Goat milk has unique casein structure. The aim of this study was to investigate effect of goat milk, as a main semen extender, on freezability of Tushin Ram semen. For this aim, ejaculates from four Tushin rams were collected with artificial vagina and pooled. Pooled semen was separately extended with four different extenders: TRIS based (TRIS), cow skim milk based (CSM) (10 g/100 ml), cow semi-skim milk based (CSSM) and goat semi-skim milk based (GSSM) extenders, containing egg yolk and glycerol. The semen was cryopreserved and stored in liquid nitrogen until examination date. After thawing (at 37°C for 1 min), sperm motility, viability, morphology, acrosome and membrane integrity (HOST) were evaluated. Although, there was not any significant differences between extenders in post-thaw percentage of viable spermatozoa (p > 0.05), Tushin ram semen extended with GSSM or CSM extenders had significantly higher post-thaw percentage of progressive motility (25.0% and 30.8% respectively), compared with CSSM and TRIS (7.5% and 14.1% respectively, p < 0.001). Moreover, lowest abnormality percentage of post-thaw spermatozoa were detected in ram semen extended with GSSM (49.5%) and CSM (51.5%), compared with CSSM (65.7%) and TRIS (60.7%) (p < 0.05). Whilst the results were considered, it was concluded that goat milk based extenders may be effectively and trustfully used in cryopreservation of Tushin ram semen, instead of cow milk and Tris based extenders, as a main extender.

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