Animal Reproduction (AR)
Animal Reproduction (AR)

Influence of exogenous corticosterone on testicular function and mating behavior of Nigerian indigenous cocks

Oluwaseun Serah Iyasere; Temitope Ayisat Ajadi; Richard Abayomi Sobayo; Mariam Opeyemi Logunleko; Adenrele Olalekan Adebayo; Samuel Olutunde Durosaro; Lawrence Tokunbo Egbeyale; Oluwabukunmi Oluwayemisi Famosaya; Oluwatosin Olawanle Ajiboye; Sakiru Oladele Akinbode; James Olamitibo Daramola

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In bridging the knowledge gap on stress physiology of Nigerian indigenous chickens, this study investigated the effect of exogenous corticosterone (eCORT) as stress inducing agent on the testicular function and mating behavior of Nigerian indigenous cocks. Twenty-four (24) cocks and one hundred and forty four (144) hens (mating ratio of 1 cock: 6 hens) were grouped into four and assigned to each of the four eCORT treatments (0, 2, 4 and 6 mgeCORT/KgBW) daily for 14 days. Semen samples were collected on days 0, 7 and 14 and analyzed for semen volume (SV), progressive sperm motility (PSM), membrane integrity (MI) and sperm abnormality (SA). Mating behaviors were monitored on days 3, 5 and 8. Blood samples, for hormonal (Luteinizing Hormone (LH), Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) Testosterone (TEST) and stress analysis (heterophil/lymphocyte ratio, H/L) were collected from brachial vein on days 7 and 14. On day 15, cocks were euthanized and testes harvested for histomorphometry. Data were analyzed using multivariate analysis, one–way ANOVA and Kruskal-Wallis tests all in SPSS 23. Administration of 4 mgeCORT/KgBW declined (P<0.05) PSM while 4 mgeCORT/KgBW and 6 mgeCORT/KgBW cocks had reduced (P<0.05) SV and MI with increased SA. Compared to baseline values, progressive sperm motility of cocks administered 6 mgeCORT for 7 and 14 days decreased (P<0.05) by 57.5% and 52.4%, respectively. Exogenous CORT had no significant (P>0.05) influence on the mating behaviors, H/L ratio, FSH and TEST. However, 2 mgeCORT/KgBW enhanced LH levels. Administration of eCORT did not affect the testicular epithelial height and seminiferous tubular diameter. In conclusion, optimal stress induced by eCORT impaired semen quality but with less impact on reproductive hormones, H/L and mating behaviors of intensively raised Nigerian indigenous cocks.


chickens, hormones, mating behavior, semen quality, testes


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