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Asian Journal of Animal Sciences
Year: 2011  |  Volume: 5  |  Issue: 1  |  Page No.: 71 - 79

The Effects of Partial Replacement of Dietary Maize with Seeds of the African Pear (Dacryode edulis G. Don, H.J. Lam) on Semen Characteristics of Broiler Breeder Cocks

L. Bratte, I.A. Amata, S.I. Omeje and G.N. Egbunike    

Abstract: In an investigation conducted to determine the effect of utilizing seeds of the African Pear (Dacryodes edulis G. Don, H.J. Lam) as a feed ingredient in the diets of broiler breeders on semen characteristics, 25 adult Anak Titan breeder cocks aged 20 weeks were randomly allotted to five dietary treatments of 5 cocks per treatment and fed diets in which Dacryodes edulis seed meal (DESM) replaced maize at 0% (control), 15, 30, 45 and 60% for 8 weeks. After 2 weeks of feeding the experimental diets, semen was collected twice weekly from the cocks by the lumbar massage technique. Semen colour or consistency scores were significantly lower for cocks which received the control and 15% DESM diets than for cocks on the 45 and 60% DESM diets. Mean semen volume was significantly (p<0.01) higher in cocks fed with 15, 30 and 45% DESM (0.33, 0.37 and 0.35 mL, respectively) than in those which received the control diet (0.21 mL) and in those fed 60% DESM (0.19 mL). Sperm concentration (x106 mL-1) generally increased significantly (p<0.01) as the level of DESM in the diet was increased. Negative but non-significant (p>0.05) correlations existed between body weight and sperm motility, semen pH, ejaculate volume, sperm concentration and percent live sperm while body weight bore a positive (but non-significant) correlation with percent abnormal sperm and a highly significant (p<0.01) positive correlation with semen consistency (0.99). It was concluded that DESM had no adverse effect on semen quality of broiler breeders even if it replaced as much 45-60% of dietary maize in broiler breeder diets.

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