Mating activity and sperm penetration assay in prediction of the reproduction potential of domestic goose ganders in a harem system

Małgorzata Gumułka*, Israel Rozenboim

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


In a natural mating system, the sexual behavior of birds has an important role in fertility success. Non-competitive mating system provides special conditions to study gander-goose interactions. Behavioral and physiological data from a domestic geese breeding flock was used to determine interrelationships between mating activity (MA) parameters, sperm penetration assay (SPA), plasma testosterone (T) concentration, and fertility (F). Moreover, variation in the frequency of gander-goose interactions during the intensive breeding period and the diurnal rhythm (short day - 10L:14D) were evaluated. The 2-/3-year-old ganders (n = 15) and 1-/3-year-old geese (1♂:4♀) were observed. On the basis of successful copulation (SCop), groups of ganders with low (33.3%), intermediate (40%), and high (26.7%) frequency were categorized. Frequency of SCop was greater in the morning than in the afternoon. For the entire breeding period, SPA results obtained for the low frequency group were less than for the intermediate group. Fertility success for ganders from both low and intermediate groups was similar. There was a lack of association between MA, plasma T concentration, and SPA results. However, SCop was positively correlated with fertility. It is recommended that SCop be considered as a prognostic parameter for monitoring of ganders' reproductive potential. It is recommended that the sexual behavior of ganders be evaluated before the 1200 h of the day. The SCop with an average frequency of 0.4-0.8 times during the day light hours appears to be associated with fertility results that are satisfactory for geese husbandry. Additionally, the SPA may be considered for identification of ganders with poor reproductive potential to facilitate the decision of changes in harem social structure during the first half of the breeding season.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)138-145
Number of pages8
JournalAnimal Reproduction Science
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier B.V.


  • Domestic geese
  • Reproduction
  • Sexual behavior
  • Sperm penetration


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