Impact of varying temperature-humidity index on the thermo-physiological, libidinal and seminal characteristics of male rabbits raised in the wet humid tropics

  • B.H. Ajao
  • S.I. Ola
Keywords: Heat stress; Libido; Temperature - Humidity Index; Thermophysiology


The study was conducted to investigate the effect of the wet seasonal Temperature - Humidity Index (THI) at period of high ambient temperature (11am - 2pm) on the thermophysiology, libido and seminal parameters of a composite population of male rabbits. Thirty- three rabbit bucks housed separately in cages were monitored for 8 weeks in the wet season under varying THI. Weekly average of THI (27.61 - 30.36) observed was significantly different (p<0.05) and showed that the animals were either severely stressed or very severely stressed. Respiratory rate (142.07 - 328.42 cpm) and rectal temperature (38.58 - 39.73°C) of the bucks were progressively on the rise all through the experiment. Mount and ejaculatory latencies of the animals were significantly shorter (p<0.05) at period of high THI compared to lower THI contrary to the number of mounts which was higher at period of high THI. Semen parameters of the bucks were not negatively affected by the prevalent THI during the study. However, percentage semen morphological abnormality (15.82% - 17.71%) was significantly higher (p<0.05) at relatively high THI. The results of the study showed that rabbit bucks maintained their normal libidinal and seminal characteristics despite being raised under heat stress of varying intensity.


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eISSN: 1119-4308