Effect of baobab fruit pulp meal on testosterone concentration and gonadal and epididymal morphometry of rabbit bucks in a hot environment
The aim of the study was to evaluate the effect of baobab fruit pulp meal on testosterone concentration and gonadal and epididymal morphometry 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 BFPM at 2.5%, 1 2 5 3.5%, 4.5% and 5.5% inclusion levels, respectively). The experiment lasted for nine weeks. All management practices were duly observed. Three bucks were selected from each treatment group and slaughtered. The two testes of each of the rabbits were carefully removed and evaluated for their morphometric. The weight, length and volume of each testis were determined. It was found that the treatments with 3.5 – 5.5% BFPM significantly (P<0.05) increased testosterone concentration, weight and size of the gonad and the epididymis. It was concluded that BFPM is more effective in ameliorating heat stress in rabbit production and reproduction and can be used up to 5.5% inclusion level.
Keywords: Heat stress, rabbit bucks, gonads