Dietary fish and evening primrose oil with vitamin E effects on semen variables in cockerels

S Cerolini, PF Surai, BK Speake, NHC Sparks

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32 Citations (Scopus)


1. Our aim was to determine the effect of n-3 (2%, wt/wt, fish oil rich diet) and n-6 (2%, wt/wt, evening primrose oil rich diet) fatty acid dietary supplementation and their combination with two concentrations of vitamin E (40 vs 200 mg/kg) on semen variables and on fatty acid and vitamin E profiles of spermatozoa in broiler breeders at 32, 42 and 52 weeks of age.
2. The inclusion of fish oil in the cockerel diets increased the docosahexaenoic acid proportion in the sperm phospholipid fraction, which was almost threefold higher compared to the other two groups irrespective of vitamin E supplementation.
3. In contrast, an increase in the proportion of total n-6 polyunsaturates, mainly 22:4n-6, was observed in the evening primrose oil group compared to the control only when the dietary content of vitamin E was increased to 200 mg/kg.
4. Sperm concentration was decreased in the fish and evening primrose oil groups if vitamin E was 40 mg/kg, but such an effect was prevented in the fish, not the evening primrose oil group, by increasing the vitamin E to 200 mg.
5. The proportion of motile spermatozoa was improved by the increased supplementation of vitamin E in all oil treatments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)214 - 222
Number of pages9
JournalBritish Poultry Science
Issue number2
Publication statusFirst published - 2005


  • Cockerel
  • Diet
  • Evening primrose oil
  • Fish oil
  • Semen
  • Vitamin E


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