Sperm Morphology

Morphology of the sperm has been shown to be one of the most important indicators of bull fertility and a very useful selection tool for improving herd fertility.

Sperm morphology refers to the shape, size and structure of the sperm.  Morphology results can predict the sperm’s ability to get a calf from the egg, and importantly, can pick up defects which may initially start to fertilise the egg but then fail to result in an ongoing pregnancy. Normal morphology has been demonstrated to be heritable, repeatable, can be used to predict the number of calves the bull can produce and can predict the fertility of his male and female offspring. The heifer’s age at puberty and her time between calving and cycling again reflect the morphology of her sire.

Bulls which do not qualify by morphology standards may still result in a large number of calves on the ground, but these calves may have come at a high cost. There may be an unacceptable high rate of empty or dry cows, and the cows may have lost one or two embryos during the mating season prior to maintaining pregnancy.  The delays in achieving pregnancy result in smaller calves at weaning, and increased pressure on the cow to achieve pregnancy the following year as she has a shorter recovery time post calving.

Semen is sensitive to extreme temperatures, stress and diet, so morphology results can also reflect recent illnesses, transport stress, lameness and high grain diets, all of which may have temporary or permanent effects on fertility.  As a result, repeat tests may be required on bulls with defects on the initial exam.  Some bulls are more sensitive to these stressors than others and their morphology and fertility can be affected more easily than others in the same mob exposed to the same stressors.  Overall, the majority of bulls will have similar results on repeat exam.

AVetSM uses Differential Interference Contract (DIC) micrsocope under 1000x magnification. A Nikon Ni and a Nikon Optiphot 2 provide superior image quality and ensure rapid turn around.

AVetSM performs an advanced count of morphological defects as per ACV BULLCHECK Bull Reporter.

AVetSM charges for morphology on preserved samples are highly competitive.

$18.18 ($20 inc gst) for first sample 

$13.64 ($15 inc gst) for subsequent samples

For research pricing please contact AVetSM.

Receipt of samples is acknowledged via email.

Results are provided within 1 to 5 business days,

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