Influence of baobab (Adansonia digitata) fruit pulp meal on semen characteristics and morphology of rabbit buck during hot season in Nigeria
The objective of the study was to evaluate the effect of baobab fruit pulp meal on semen characteristics and morphology of rabbit bucks during hot season in Nigeria. A total of 25 bucks of 10-12 months old were used. There were five (5) rabbits per group grouped as follows; T (control) and T -T (Diets with graded levels of baobab fruit pulp meal BFPM at 1 2 5 2.5, 3.5, 4.5 and 5.5% inclusion levels). The experiment lasted for nine weeks. All managerial practices were duly observed. Semen was collected with the help of artificial vagina, and the semen samples were evaluated for ejaculate volume (ml), semen pH, semen colour, sperm motility (%) and sperm concentration (x 106 /ml). Sperm morphological parameters evaluated were live cells, dead cells, normal sperm, free tail and coil tail. It was observed from this study that 4.5% inclusion of baobab fruit pulp meal significantly (P<0.05) influenced semen volume, colour, motility, pH and concentration compared to 5.5% inclusion level and was similar to 2.5% and 3.5% inclusion levels, respectively. The treatment with 4.5% BFPM also significantly (P<0.05) improved the number of live cells (74.38%), reduced
dead cells (25.62%) and increased number of normal cells (77.71%) compared to 65.67, 34.33, and 60.67% recorded by the control for live cells, dead cells and normal cells, respectively. This study revealed that 4.5% inclusion of BFPM improved semen quality during hot season.
Keywords: Baobab fruit pulp; heat stress; semen quality