Mating behaviour and semen parameters in dromedary camel bulls (Camelus dromedarius): a comparison between two types of artificial vagina
Semen collection in the dromedary camel (Camelus dromedarius) is performed using different types of artificial vagina (AV) (long, short, with cervix imitation, with plastic or silicone inner liner) either held by an operator or fitted inside a camel dummy. However, systematic studies about the acceptance of such modifications by bulls, and their effects on sperm parameters, have yet to be investigated. This study was conducted to test the hypothesis that a silicone inner liner inserted into a standard cow AV could cause discomfort to camel bulls during mating, but at the same time could improve the quality of the ejaculates collected. Five bulls underwent semen collection sessions, with (n=3) and without (n=3) the silicone liner fitted in the AV, for a total of 30 semen collection sessions. A standard methodology and data-recording system were used for evaluating mating behavior, in addition to evaluation of semen parameters. There was no difference between an AV with or without silicone inner liner used during our standardized semen collection procedure. The use of such an AV modification hence still remains debatable, until further studies are able to identify any potential benefits of using this or other AV types or modifications. Such studies, however, should be performed by applying a standardized semen collection methodology and a proper evaluation of mating behaviour and semen parameters.