Although still in the experimental phase, the technique of freezing domestic fowl semen may prove of interest and value to the industry. Various stages of the application of this method of preservation still need to be improved. One of the most critical aspects is the choice of cryoprotectant and its use during the process of freezing and thawing. While glycerol has a better cryopreservative action than other cryoprotectants in domestic fowl semen, it exerts a widely demonstrated contraceptive action, the mechanism of which has not yet been clarified. Thus the use of glycerol as a cryoprotectant must be accompanied by its complete removal before insemination.
The fertilizing capacity of semen preserved by freezing is notably less than that of fresh (non-preserved) material and has been evaluated as 1.6% and 19.7%. Genetic influences appear to affect spermatozoan response and tolerance to thermal treatments resulting in differences in subsequent fertility. Most studies using fowl semen report final freezing temperatures between –79°C and –196°C, a cooling rate of 1–10°C/minute and a thawing rate of 50–70°C/minute.
Straws have been found to be more satisfactory containers than glass vials or ampoules for preserving semen from domestic fowl.