AbstractThe reproductive system of malepoultry is comprised of a paired testes, epididymis, vasa deferentia and phallus.The testis is pale yellow in colour andelliptical in shape. The left testis may be larger than the right depending onthe species but both are functional. In contrast, there are no disparities inthe weight of the right and left testis in broiler breeder cocks. In seasonalbreeding birds, the testes attain 500 folds increase during the breeding seasonwhen compared to those on the nonbreeding season. The paired testes unlike in some mammalian species are locatedinside the body cavity, and in poultry sperm remain active at the internal bodytemperature which is detrimental to the survival of sperm in mammalian species.
In poultry, the testes are located anterior to the cranial lobe of the kidneys.They are suspended to the body wall via the mesorchium and are covered by thetunica albuginea and tunica vaginalis.Each testis is a collection of anastomosing seminiferous tubules, withassociated interstitial tissue covered by a connective tissue capsule.
Eachtestis is linked to an epididymal duct via vasa deferentia that enters into thecloaca and the rudimentary copulatory organ.Keywords: Poultry, cock, genital system, anatomy, physiology 1.1 IntroductionPoultry include all domesticated birds that are kept by manwith the aim producing meat and eggs. These bird species include chicken,followed by turkey and quails. Other domesticated birds include ducks, guineafowl, geese, emu and ostrich 1.However, apart from the domesticated avian species, studies have also beencarried out in many non-domesticated avian species, of which many exhibits reproductive patterns similar to thoseof domesticated species.The commercialimportance of poultry products has resulted in numerous studies on poultry withthe major aim of enhancing product output.
Genetic and reproductive physiologyhas attracted enormous attention in poultry production 2. Unequivocally, anunderstanding of the genetic potential, anatomy,and physiology of poultry reproduction is of paramount importance to enhancedproduct output (eggs and meat). Therefore, this chapter focuses on the male reproductive system of poultry and otherrelated bird species.
The male genital system of poultry is comprised of a pairof testes (elliptical shaped and light yellow in colour) located close to the cephalic side of the kidneys. Eachtestis is joined to epididymal duct through a deferent duct that enters thecloaca. In the bird, spermatozoa remainviable within the body temperature unlike in the mammal where sperm is notviable at body temperature. This is the main reason the testes in man and othermammalian species are located outside the scrotal sac. There is also acopulatory organ called phallus which existsin some poultry species and helps in the introduction of sperm to the femalereproductive tract of the hen. Accessory sex glands found in poultry includethe para cloacal vascular bodies, dorsalproctodeal and lymphatic folds 3. The prostate, vesicular and Cowper’s glandsare absent in birds 1.