SEMEN QUALITY AND FERTILIZING ABILITY OF INDIGENOUS NIGERIAN TURKEY TOMS (Meleagris gallopavo) FED VARYING LEVELS OF PROTEIN DIETS

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SEMEN QUALITY AND FERTILIZING ABILITY OF INDIGENOUS NIGERIAN TURKEY TOMS (Meleagris gallopavo) FED VARYING LEVELS OF PROTEIN DIETS

Abstract:

Nutrition, particularly crude protein level, has been shown to enhance reproduction in both the male and female. The aim of the present study was to investigate the influence of dietary protein level on the fertility of indigenous turkey toms. Fifteen toms allotted to three groups of five and nine hens allotted to three groups of three were used in the study. The females were fed commercial layer mash containing 16% crude protein (CP), while the males were fed varying levels of protein, 12% CP, 16% CP and 20% CP for groups 1, 2 and 3, respectively. Semen samples were collected from the toms twice weekly for thirteen weeks. The samples were pooled by groups and evaluated. Ejaculate volume, semen concentration, semen pH, gross and individual motilities, live and dead sperm and sperm morphology were investigated and recorded. Data were summarized as mean ± SEM (Standard Error of the Mean). The semen samples were used to inseminate hens, whose eggs were collected to test for the fertilizing ability of the sperm cells in vivo on group basis. The semen was further used to perform an in vitro assay to test the fertilizing ability of spermatozoa on individual basis. At the end of the experiment, three toms from each group were sacrificed and the testicles, epididymis and vas deferens were used for analysis of sperm reserves. The mean (± SEM) body weights of all the three groups did not differ significantly (P > 0.05). Groups 2 and 3 had significantly (P < 0.05) higher values of ejaculate volume (0.246 ± 0.015 ml and 0.250 ± 0.018 ml respectively.), semen concentration (6.992 ± 0.560 x109 and 7.766 ± 0.612 x109 respectively), gross motility (79.09 ± 1.36 % and 80.00 ± 1.19 % respectively), individual motility (85.58 ± 1.26 % and 85.39 ± 1.12 % respectively), live sperm count (81.14 ± 1.32 % and 82.802 ± 1.12 % respectively) and lower values of total sperm defects (17.31 ± 0.996 % and 16.89 ± 0.804 % respectively), than Group 1 which had (0.165 ± 0.008 mLs), (5.326 ± 0.428 x109) , (73.01 ± 1.34 %), (76.81 ± 1.36 %) and (18.425 ± 1.07 %) for ejaculate volume, semen concentration, gross motility, individual motility, live sperm count ix and total sperm defects, respectively. There was positive correlation between body weights and semen parameters (P < 0.05) in all the groups. The sperm penetration assays revealed significantly (P < 0.05) higher number of sperm penetration holes in Groups 2 and 3, for both in vivo (160.97 ± 8.084 and 172.83 ± 7.647) and in vitro (187.96 ± 8.121 and 189.16 ± 6.446) assays, than in Group 1, (136.80 ± 9.283) and (148.88 ± 9.159) respectively. The gonadal sperm reserve was significantly higher (P < 0.05) in Groups 2 (0.206 ± 0.003 x109) and 3 (0.211 ± 0.003 x109) than in Group 1 (0.185 ± 0.003 x109). The epididymal and vas deferens sperm reserves, 0.175 ± 0.002 x109 and 3.750 ± 0.274 x109, were higher (P < 0.05) in Group 3 than in Group 2 (0.115 ± 0.009 x109 and 2.817 ± 0.221 x109) and Group 1 (0.079 ± 0.003 x109 and 2.000 ± 0.058 x109). It is concluded that 20% CP had the most positive influence on the semen quality and fertilizing ability of indigenous Nigerian turkey toms; followed by 16% CP, with 12% CP exerting the least positive influence. Further work is recommended to determine optimal level of crude protein, energy and other essential feed components for the indigenous Nigerian turkey tom. Farmers should adopt a dietary protein level of 16-20% CP for the local turkey toms pending the determination of the optimal level

SEMEN QUALITY AND FERTILIZING ABILITY OF INDIGENOUS NIGERIAN TURKEY TOMS (Meleagris gallopavo) FED VARYING LEVELS OF PROTEIN DIETS

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