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  • Author or Editor: Éva Váradi x
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Since early fertility decline is a permanent problem of broiler breeders, the aim of this study was to test the effects of various sex ratios, spiking strategies and additional artificial inseminations (AI) on their breeding efficiency. Six breeder flocks were analysed during the whole reproduction cycle. In Flock A the sex ratio was maintained at 10% during the whole cycle (control), while in Flock B the number of males was increased to a final ratio of 16%. In Flocks C (technological control), D, E and F the ratio of males was gradually decreased from 10% to 6.5% until the end of the cycle. Moreover, at the age of 44 weeks in Flocks D and E 50 and 100% of cockerels were replaced by young ones, respectively, while in Flock F additional artificial inseminations were applied in the second half of the reproduction cycle. The increase of sperm transport was successful only in Groups B (increase in male numbers) and D (50% replacement of old cockerels with young ones); however, it was not sufficient for increasing the fertility rates in either group. Nor did additional artificial inseminations (Flock F) have an effect on fertility. As a conclusion, it can be established that increasing the sperm count in the hens’ oviducts in any way could not improve fertility in the last third of the production cycle. The results also suggest that the expensive and labour-intensive spiking technique used in broiler breeder management is useless. The prime factor responsible for the shortened persistence of fertility may be the reduced ability of the female oviduct to accept and store sperm.

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Intestinal passage time of coloured fodder and testosterone turnover were examined by faecal steroid analysis in mallards in the reproductive and postrefractory period. In the latter, the discharge of coloured fodder began 36 minutes after ingestion in males, and 56 minutes in females. During reproduction the discharge began 93 minutes and 112 minutes after ingestion in males and females, respectively. Total passage time was similar in the reproductive and postrefractory period in both sexes. After intraperitoneal testosterone injection, faecal samples were collected for 8 hours and testosterone levels were measured using RIA. In the postrefractory period, 1-2 hours after testosterone loading a strong increase of faecal testosterone content developed in males, meanwhile a slighter testosterone peak appeared in females. During reproduction testosterone excretion began 1.5-2 hours after injection in both sexes but in females its increase was smaller. The duration of response to testosterone loading was 5 hours in both periods and both sexes. Intensive excretion after T loading appeared earlier in males than in females, but total passage time finished at the same time: 5 hours after loading. The character of testosterone excretion was corresponding to the passage of fodder-chimus-faeces in the reproductive and postrefractory period in both sexes.

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Acta Veterinaria Hungarica
Authors: Eszter Patakiné Várkonyi, Gabriella Horváth, Nikoletta Sztán, Éva VÁradi, and Judit Barna

Although cryopreservation of avian semen is only applicable for singlegene traits, cryopreservation of avian blastodermal cells could facilitate preservation of the entire genome of endangered or rare-breed poultry. Slow freezing methods result in acceptable survival rates; however, there are apparently no reports regarding the use of vitrification. The aim of the study was to establish methods for chicken embryonic cell vitrification, including development of a container which supported cryopreservation of large numbers of cells (to increase the probability of chimera production). Based on a preliminary study, vitrification seemed to be practical for avian blastodermal cell preservation. Pieces of mosquito net as carrier increased live cell rates compared to pellet form in media containing two macromolecules. Furthermore, we concluded that fetal calf serum in the vitrification medium could be replaced by polyvinylpyrrolidone, a chemically defined substance free of unwanted growth factors and potential pathogens.

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Acta Veterinaria Hungarica
Authors: Éva Váradi, Árpád Drobnyák, Barbara Végi, Krisztina Liptói, Csaba Kiss, and Judit Barna

The aim of the study was to find a practical and inexpensive method for freezing goose semen for use in routine inseminations under farm conditions. Two basic freezing protocols [(1) dynamic, programmable freezing and (2) static, nitrogen vapour method] were evaluated with varying concentrations of dimethylformamide (DMF) plus additional osmoprotectants such as betaine, trehalose, and sucrose, using cryovials as containers. Altogether eight different treatments were compared. sperm viability before freezing and after thawing was examined by in vitro tests and, in the case of the simplest effective method, also by in vivo fertility test. There were no significant differences in sperm survival either in the dynamic (48–50%) or in the static protocol (43–46%), except for the treatment where the lowest DMF concentration was used without any osmoprotectant in the dynamic protocol (42.6%). The addition of osmoprotectants did not improve thawed sperm viability in any case. Fertility with frozen/thawed sperm using the simplest method was 58.5%, while that obtained with fresh, diluted semen was 66.9%. The study proved that the simple freezing of gander semen in nitrogen vapour with 9% DMF in cryovials could produce acceptable fertility. The newly elaborated method can be successfully used for routine inseminations by small- and large-scale goose breeders.

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