Effects of Taurine and Season on Semen Characteristics and Sperm Morphology of West African Dwarf Rams
The study was conducted to determine the effect of taurine and season on semen characteristics and morphology of thirty-two West Africa Dwarf rams with an average weight of 12kg in a Completely Randomized Design involving four dietary treatments containing 0, 0.5, 1 and 1.5% levels of inclusion of taurine respectively. Semen was collected during the wet and dry season. Each ejaculate was evaluated for its various characteristics and morphology. The colours of ejaculates for all treatments were creamy, pH ranged between 6.61 – 6.77. The semen volume ranged from 0.54ml (0%) - 1.76ml (1.5%). Sperm motility and concentration ranged between (62.35ml (0%) – 86.23ml (1.5%) and 2.30–5.17 x 106 respectively. There was no significant seasonal variation in reaction time, semen colour, pH, volume and concentration however, maximum sperm motility was observed during the dry (79.67%) and minimum in wet season (74.00%). The percentage of normal cells ranged from 79.20 (0%) – 91.54% (1.5%). The abnormalities of the cells were highest for rams fed the 0% and least for those fed 1.5% taurine inclusion. The range of the abnormalities is; mid – piece droplet (2.30-3.38%), coiled tail (1.05–4.78%), bent tail (1.97-4.21%), detached tail (2.14 - 4.20%) and free tail (1 - 4.33%) respectively. The results showed that season had no significant effect on the variables. The study showed that taurine improves sperm quality, morphology and also helps in ameliorating the effect of seasonal stress. It was therefore recommended that taurine should be incorporated at 1% in the diet of ram for optimal production.
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