Influence of Post-Mortem Sperm Recovery Method and Extender on Unstored and Refrigerated Rooster Sperm Variables

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Many post-mortem sperm collection techniques have been described for mammalian species, but their use in birds is scarce. This paper compares the efficacy of two post-mortem sperm retrieval techniques - the flushing and float-out methods - in the collection of rooster sperm, in conjunction with the use of two extenders, i.e., L&R-84 medium and Lake 7.1 medium. To determine whether the protective effects of these extenders against refrigeration are different for post-mortem and ejaculated sperm, pooled ejaculated samples (procured via the massage technique) were also diluted in the above extenders. Post-mortem and ejaculated sperm variables were assessed immediately at room temperature (0 h), and after refrigeration at 5°C for 24 and 48 h. The flushing method retrieved more sperm than the float-out method (596.5 ± 75.4 million sperm vs 341.0 ± 87.6 million sperm; p < 0.05); indeed, the number retrieved by the former method was similar to that obtained by massage-induced ejaculation (630.3 ± 78.2 million sperm). For sperm collected by all methods, the L&R-84 medium provided an advantage in terms of sperm motility variables at 0 h. In the refrigerated sperm samples, however, the Lake 7.1 medium was associated with higher percentages of viable sperm, and had a greater protective effect (p < 0.05) with respect to most motility variables. In conclusion, the flushing method is recommended for collecting sperm from dead birds. If this sperm needs to be refrigerated at 5°C until analysis, Lake 7.1 medium is recommended as an extender.

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