Assessment of mango and carrot juices as West African Dwarf ram semen extender at room temperature
Quality and affordable semen extenders are essential for successful artificial insemination. Extenders from natural sources have been found to be effective and affordable. Using two matured West African Dwarf rams (18.67±1.45kg), the effectiveness of graded mixtures of mango and carrot juices (100% Mango (M), 100% Carrot (C) 90%M10%C, 70%M30%C, 50%M50%C, 30%M70%C and 10%M90%C), and conventional egg yolk citrate (EYC) as ram semen extender was studied. Each diluent was constituted in five aliquots using standard methods and pH determined electronically. Semen collection in three trials using electro-ejaculator method was followed by evaluation for colour, volume, pre-extended sperm motility, concentration, percentage liveability and morphological normality. Thereafter, semen were extended with different diluents by adding 0.2ml of semen to 7.5ml of diluents. Immediately, hourly evaluation for sperm motility from zero to eight hours then twenty-four hours post-extension was done. Diluents revealed in the study as the most effective semen extender were subjected to proximate analyses. The pH of the diluents ranged from 4.56±0.11 (70%M30%C) to 6.40± 0.14 (90%C10%M). The mean ejaculate volume was 0.8±0.00ml while colour observed was creamy. The pre-extended mean spermatozoa motility, morphological abnormality, percentage liveability and concentration were 94.5±4.5%, 7.0±2.83%, 88.75±2.5% and 0.3×109 sperm cell/ml respectively. Spermatozoa motility declined progressively in all the diluents from 0-24hours post-extension. The decline was observed to be significantly rapid (p≤0.05) in 100%Carrot diluent from 94±2.4% at zero hour to 0% at three hours post extension. Only diluents 90%M10%C, 100%M and Egg Yolk Citrate provided sperm motility score of 30% and above at eight hours post extension. Proximate analyses of 90%M10%C and 100%M revealed presence of essential minerals which are found to be naturally occurring in ram ejaculate. The work established that mixture of mango and carrot (90%M10%C) and 100% mango juices could be used as a suitable semen extender in preserving West African Ram semen at room temperature.