Hazim J. Al–Daraji*
Department of Animal Production, College of Agriculture, University of Baghdad, Baghdad, Iraq
In an attempt to find a suitable in vitro storage method for roosters’ semen, an experiment was conducted to study the influence of inclusion pomegranate juice (PJ) into semen diluent on semen quality during liquid storage for up to 72 h. A total of 60 White Leghorn roosters, 40 weeks of age, randomly divided into 6 treatment groups (10 males each) were used in this study. Treatment groups were as follows: T1 = fresh semen, T2 = semen diluted 1:2 with Al–Daraji 2 diluent (AD2D) alone, T3–T6 = semen diluted 1:2 with AD2D supplemented with 1 ml, 3 ml, 5 ml or 7 ml of PJ / 100 ml of diluent, respectively. Semen samples were assessed after in vitro storage at 4 – 6 ˚C for 12 h, 24 h or 36 h as regards mass activity, individual motility and percentages of dead spermatozoa, abnormal spermatozoa and acrosomal abnormalities. Results revealed that supplementing the diluent of roosters semen with PJ (T3, T4, T5 and T6) and then store it for different storage periods (12 h, 24 h or 36 h) resulted in significant (p < 0.05) improvement in spermatozoa motility, viability, morphology and acrosomal integrity in comparison with control group (T1). Moreover, T5 and T6 surpasses other treatments with respect to these semen characteristics, while there were no significant differences between T2, T3 and T4 concerning all semen traits included in this study. In conclusion, the substitution of AD2D diluent composition with PJ significantly improves quality of roosters semen that in vitro stored for up to 36 h. Furthermore, the positive effect of PJ observed in this study may be due to enhanced sperm resistance to lipid peroxidation that naturally occurred during in vitro storage of avian semen.
Key words: Pomegranate juice, semen quality, liquid storage, chicken semen