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Effect of dietary supplementation of vitamins C and E on the semen quality of local turkeys

I.E. Uzochukwu
B.C. Amaefule
S.O.C. Ugwu


A 56-day study was conducted to evaluate the effect of dietary supplementation of vitamins C and E on semen quality of local toms. Twenty-four toms were procured and randomly divided into four groups (T1, T2, T3 and T4) of six birds each and replicated thrice. Birds in T1(control) were fed diets without vitamin supplementation. Birds in T2, T3 and T4 were fed diets supplemented with Vitamin C (400 mg), Vitamin E (125 mg), and vitamin E (125 mg) + Vitamin C (400 mg) in a kg diet, respectively. Semen collections and evaluations were done through to the 8th week. The samples were evaluated for ejaculate volume, progressive sperm motility (mot.), sperm concentration (SC), percentage live (LSP) and dead spermatozoa, and total sperm per ejaculate. Results showed that all semen quality traits considered differed (P < 0.01) among the treatment groups. Toms in T4 had the highest (P < 0.01) values of mot. (88.08%) and LSP (85.23%). The T2 and T3 groups had similar mot. (75.39 and 77.15%, respectively) and LSP (71.81 and 76.80%, respectively) values while the control group had the least values (54.13 and 54.69%, respectively). The SC (x109/ml) was highest in T4 (17.42). Toms in T3 had a higher SC level (14.03) than those of the T2 (11.58) and the control (8.92). It was concluded therefore, that combined supplementation of vitamins E (125 mg/kg diet) and C (400 mg/kg diet) in toms’ diet enhanced semen quality the most and thus, recommended for turkey breeding operations.

Keywords: Toms, semen quality, vitamin C and vitamin E