Cryopreservation of houbara semen: A pilot study

Authors: Hartley, P.S., Dawson, B., Lindsay, C., McCormick, P. and Wishart, G.

Journal: Zoo Biology

Volume: 18

Pages: 147-152

ISSN: 0733-3188

The potential of producing viable houbara bustard Chlamydotis undulata undulata progeny with cryopreserved semen was investigated during the 1998 breeding season. Houbara semen was diluted and rapidly frozen into pellet form in LN2 using dimethylacetamide (DMA) as a cryoprotectant. Thawed semen exhibited 24.86 +/- 10.61% recovery of fresh sperm motility levels and 36.44 +/- 16.17% of fresh viability counts. Two second-year females were inseminated on two and three occasions, respectively, with thawed semen. One female laid four eggs between two clutches and the second female laid two eggs in a single clutch. All eggs were fertile; two developed to 18-21 days but failed to pip; one chick died at pip and three chicks hatched. This is the first documented occasion that houbara bustard chicks were conceived with cryopreserved semen and it demonstrates the feasibility of using a rapid, simple, and relatively inexpensive methodology to achieve this result. (C) 1999 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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