Relationship between phenotypic and sperm traits of South African indigenous cockerels

M Makhafola, Nedambale, Africa
The aim of the present study was to investigate the relationship between body measurements such as body weight, shank, comb and wattle length and semen traits. A total of 33 Indigenous cockerels (Naked Neck, Ovambo and Potchefstroom Koekoek) were used in this experiment. Semen was collected by abdominal massage technique from each individual cockerel. Semen was analysed macroscopically (colour, volume, and pH) and microscopically (sperm concentration and sperm motility) by Computer Aided Sperm
more » ... mputer Aided Sperm Analysis. There were no significant differences on the shank length (SL), comb length (CL) and wattle length (WL) of Naked Neck, Ovambo and Potchefstroom Koekoek cockerels. However, the body weight of Ovambo was significantly (P < 0.05) higher compared to the Naked Neck and Potchefstroom Koekoek cockerels. Semen volume of the Naked Neck was significantly higher (P < 0.05) compared to Ovambo but similar to Potchefstroom Koekoek cockerels. Shank and wattle length were positively correlated with semen volume, sperm concentration and semen pH but negatively correlated with total motility. Furthermore, comb length was positively correlated with semen volume, sperm concentration, semen pH and total motility. In conclusion, South African indigenous cockerel's body weight and comb length of all three indigenous breeds were positively correlated with total sperm motility, sperm concentration, semen pH and percentage of live normal sperm. However, shank and wattle length were negatively correlated with total sperm motility.