Effects of Dietary Fish Oil on Semen Quality of Goats

  • Dolatpanah, M.B. (Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agricultural, University of Kurdistan) ;
  • Towhidi, A. (Department of Animal Science, University of Tehran) ;
  • Farshad, A. (Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agricultural, University of Kurdistan) ;
  • Rashidi, A. (Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agricultural, University of Kurdistan) ;
  • Rezayazdi, A. (Department of Animal Science, University of Tehran)
  • Received : 2007.01.15
  • Accepted : 2007.07.12
  • Published : 2008.01.01


The aim of the study was to investigate the effect of dietary fish oil supplementation on the semen characteristics of the Markhoz buck. Sixteen bucks were randomly allocated into 4 groups and received four different diets: unsupplemented control diet, supplemented with fish oil at 2.50% dry matter (DM), supplemented with fish oil (2.50% DM) and vitamin E (0.30 g/kg DM), and supplemented with vitamin E (0.30 g/kg DM). All experimental diets were formulated according to AFRC (1998). Semen was collected at 14 d intervals from June 17, 2006 to September 2, 2006. Semen characteristics were evaluated. Significant effects (p<0.05) of the week (sampling time) were observed for all parameters except semen volume. Also a significant effect (p<0.05) of dietary treatment was observed for all parameters except for percent sperm with normal morphologies and semen volume. Fish oil supplementation with excess vitamin E had a significant effect (p<0.05) on total number and sperm density, motility and progressive motility, percentage viability and dead sperm. The interaction between fish oil feeding and sampling time was significant (p<0.05) for all of the parameters. The bucks that received fish oil in association with vitamin E, effect fish oil showed the greatest improvement in semen characteristics compared with the other groups (p<0.05). This study showed that fish oil supplementation with vitamin E may have a beneficial effect on the semen quality and fertility of Markhoz bucks.


  1. Chelikani, P. K., D. R. Glimm, D. H. Keisler and J. J. Kennelly. 2004. Effects of feeding or abdominal infusion of canola oil in Holstein cows. 2. Gene expression and plasma concentrations of cholecystokinin and leptin. J. Dairy Res. 71:288-296.
  2. Culver, J. N. and D. M. Denbow. 2001. Evaluation of tom fertility as affected by dietary fatty acid composition. Thesis of physiology and reproduction for the degree of Master of Science in Animal and Poultry Sciences.
  3. Choct, M., A. J. Naylor and V. H. Oddy. 2005. Dietary manipulation of lean tissue deposition in broiler chickens. Asian-Aust. J. Anim. Sci. 18:692-698.
  4. Culver, J. N. and D. M. Denbow. 2001. Evaluation of tom fertility as affected by dietary fatty acid composition. Thesis of physiology and reproduction for the degree of master of science in Animal and Poultry Sciences.
  5. Castllini, C., A. Dalbosco and R. Cardinali. 2003. Effect of dietary ${\alpha}$-linolenic acid on the semen characteristics of rabbit bocks. Dipartimento di scienze zootecniche, 06123, Perugia, Italy. 245-250.
  6. Carroll, D. J., R. R. Grummer and M. K. Clayton. 1992. Stimulation of luteal cell progesterone production by lipoproteins from cows fed control or fat-supplemented diets. J. Dairy Sci. 75:2205-2214.
  7. Brian, K. Davis. 1981. Timing of fertilization in mammals: Sperm cholesterol/phospholipids ration as a determinant of the capacitation interal. Cell Biol. 78:7560-7564.
  8. Bottger, J. D., B. W. Hess, B. M. Alexander, D. L. Hixon, L. F. Woodard, R. N. Funston, D. M. Hallford and G. E. Moss. 2002. Effects of supplementation with high linoleic or oleic cracked safflower seeds on postpartum reproduction and calf performance of primiparous beef heifers. J. Anim. Sci. 80:2023-2030.
  9. Blesbois, E., M. Lessire, I. Grasseau, J. M. Hallouis and D. Hermier. 1997. Effect of dietary fat on the fatty acid composition and fertilization ability of fowl semen. Biol. Reprod. 56:1216-1220.
  10. Petit, H. V. 2002. Effects of fatty acids on reproduction in the dairy cow: The Good and the Bad. Proc. Pacific North West Anim. Nutr. Con.
  11. Rooke, J. A., C. C. Shao and B. K. Speake. 2001. Effects of feeding tuna oil on composition of pig spermatozoa and in vitro characteristics of semen. J. Reprod. 121:315-322.
  12. Mattos, R., C. R. Staples and W. W. Thatcher. 2000. Effects of dietary fatty acids on reproduction in ruminants. J. Reprod. Fertility 5:38-45.
  13. Lenzi, A., L. Gandini, V. Maresca, R. Rago, P. Sgro, F. Dondero and M. Picardo. 2000. Fatty acid composition of spermatozoa and immature germ cells. Molec. Human Reprod. 6(3):226- 231.
  14. Moreno, C. S., S. E. Dorfman, A. H. Lichtenstein and A. Martin. 2004. Dietary fat type affects Vit. C, E, nutritional. NeuroSciences. 655-660.
  15. Lenzi, A., M. Picardo, L. Gandini and F. Dodero. 1996. Lipids of the sperm plasma membrane: From polyunsaturated fatty acids considered as markers of sperm function to possible scavenger thrapy. J. Human Reprod. 2:246-256.
  16. John, E. P. and D. V. Lynch. 1992. Lipid composition and thermotropic phase behavior of boar, bull, stallion, and rooster sperm membranes. J. Cryonol. 29:225-266.
  17. Lenzi, A., L. Gandini, M. Picardo, F. Tramer, G. Sandri and E. Panfili. 2000. Lipoperoxidation damage of spermatozoa polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA): Scavenger mechanisms and possible scavenger therapies. J. Frontiers in bioscience. 5: 1-15.
  18. Hightshoe, R. B., R. C. Cochran, L. R. Corah, G. H. Kiracofe, D. L. Harmon and R. C. Perry. 1991. Effects of calcium soaps of fatty acids on Post- Partum reproductive function in beef cows. J. Anim. Sci. 69:4096-4103.
  19. Huang, J. F., C. C. Huang, M. K. Lai, J. H. Lin, C. H. Lee and T. Y. Wang. 2006. Effects of dietary fish oil on the contents of eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid and sensory evaluation of the breast meat in mule ducks. Asian-Aust. J. Anim. Sci. 19:231-235.
  20. EVERGREEN OMEGA-3 OIL. Benefits for breeding:
  21. Evans, G. and W. M. S. Maxwell. 1989. Salmon's artificial insemination of sheep and goats. University Press, Sydney, NSW, Australia. p. 208.
  22. Funston, R. N. 2004. Fat supplementation and reproduction in beef females. J. Anim. Sci. 82:E154-E161.
  23. Zeron, Y., D. Sklan and A. Arav. 2002. Effect of polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation on biophysical parameters andchilling sensitivity of ewe oocytes. Mol. Reprod. Dev. 61: 271-278.
  24. Thomas, M. G., B. Bao and G. L. Williams. 1997. Dietary fats varying in their fatty acid composition differentially influence follicular growth in cow fed isoenergetic diets. J. Anim. Sci. 75:2512-2519.
  25. Surai, P. F., R. C. Noble, N. H. C. Sparks and B. K. Sseake. 2000. Effects of long-term supplementation with arachidonic or docosahexaenoic acids on sperm production in the broiler chicken. J. Reprod. Fertility 120:257-264.
  26. Zalata, A. A., B. Armand, C. E. Depuydt, F. Schoonjans and F. H. Comhaire. 1998. The fatty acid composition of phospholipids of spermatozoa from infertile patients. Molecular Human Reproduction 4(2):111-118.
  27. Staples, C. R., R. Mattos, S. Boken, L. Sollenberger, W. W. Thatcher and T. C. Jenkins. 2004. Feeding fatty acids for fertility. Oroc. 13th Annual Florida Rum. Nutr. Symp. pp. 71- 85.
  28. Strzezek, J. 2004. Effect of dietary supplementation polyunsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants on biochemical characteristics of boar semen. Reproductive Biol. 4:271-287.
  29. Ambrose, D. J. and J. P. Kastelic. 2003. Dietary fatty acids and dairy cow fertility. Advances in Dairy Technology 15:35-47.
  30. Andrew, S. M., H. F. Tyrrell, C. K. Reynolds and R. A. Erdman. 1991. Net energy for lactation of calcium salts of long-chain fatty acids for cows fed silage-based diets. J. Dairy Sci. 74:2588-2600.
  31. Abayasekara, D. R. E. and D. C. Wathes. 1999. Effects of altering dietary fatty acid composition on prostaglandin synthesis and fertility. Prostaglandins, leukotienes and essential fatty acids. 61:275-287.
  32. AFRC. 1998. The nutrition of goats. Technical Committee on responses to nutrients. Report no. 10. CAB International, UK.
  33. Saples, C. R., M. C. Wiltbank, R. R. Grummer, J. Guentnher, R. Sartori, F. J. Diaz, S. Bertics, R. Mattes and W. W. Thatcher. 2000. Influence of supplemental fats on reproductive and performance of lactating cows. J. Dairy Sci. 81:856-871.
  34. Skuladottir, G. V., S. Thorsteinsdottir, A. L. Petursdottir, B. Gisladottir, A. Hauksson and H. Bjorgvinsson. 2006. Effects of supplemented DHA on phospholipid DHA levels in infertile male seminal plasma and sperm. Department of Physiology, Reykjavik Health Care Center, University of Iceland.
  35. SAS. 1999. SAS/STAT1 User's Gude International. Version 8.02 TS Level 02MO Cary NC: SAS Institute, USA.
  36. Divakar, J. A. and J. P. Kastelic. 2003. Dietary fatty acids and dairy cow fertility. Advances in dairy technology 15:35-47.
  37. Saples, C. R., M. C. wiltbank, R. R. Grummer, J. Guentnher, R. Sartori, F. J. Diaz, S. Bertics, R. Mattes and W. W. Thatcher. 2000. Influence of supplemental fats on reproductive and performance of lactating cows. J. Dairy Sci. 81:856-871.

Cited by

  1. Combined effect of DHA and α-tocopherol supplementation during bull semen cryopreservation on sperm characteristics and fatty acid composition vol.44, pp.03034569, 2011,
  2. Effect of n-3 fatty acids and α-tocopherol on post-thaw parameters and fatty acid composition of bovine sperm vol.29, pp.10, 2012,
  3. Saturated, omega-6 and omega-3 dietary fatty acid effects on the characteristics of fresh, frozen-thawed semen and blood parameters in rams vol.46, pp.1, 2012,
  4. Combined n-3 Fatty Acids and α-Tocopherol Supplementation Improved the Ovine Sperm Cryosurvival vol.11, pp.4, 2013,
  5. Alpha-Linolenic Acid Supplementation in Tris Extender Can Improve Frozen-Thawed Bull Semen Quality vol.50, pp.1, 2014,
  6. Adição de óleo de palma na dieta sobre a lipidemia e a qualidade do sêmen de bubalinos (Bubalus bubalis) vol.66, pp.1, 2014,
  7. The Expression of Pre- and Postcopulatory Sexually Selected Traits Reflects Levels of Dietary Stress in Guppies vol.9, pp.8, 2014,
  8. Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in Male Ruminant Reproduction — A Review vol.30, pp.5, 2016,
  9. Effect of supplementation of feed with Flaxseed (Linumusitatisimum) oil on libido and semen quality of Nilli-Ravi buffalo bulls vol.58, pp.1, 2016,
  10. Effects of supplemental conjugated linoleic acids (CLA) on fresh and post-thaw sperm quality of Holstein bulls vol.52, pp.3, 2017,
  11. Effect of dietary fish oil with or without vitamin E supplementation on fresh and cryopreserved ovine sperm vol.57, pp.3, 2017,
  12. Influence of omega-3 incorporation in sperm preservation medium on physical and kinematic properties of chilled and cryopreserved ram spermatozoa pp.09366768, 2018,
  13. Óleo de peixe associado ao ácido ascórbico no diluidor para criopreservação de sêmen caprino vol.70, pp.1, 2018,
  14. (Maca) on stallion sperm production and on preservation of sperm quality during storage at 5 °C vol.6, pp.2, 2018,