EFFECTS OF DILUENTS, AGE OF SEMEN AND INSEMINATION DOSES ON VIABILITY AND FERTILITY OF TURKEY SEMEN PRESERVED AT AMBIENT TEMPERATURE
An investigation was conducted with a total of one hundred and fifty (150) semen samples collected randomly from six (6) toms and one thousand three hundred and fifty eggs (1350) from forty-five (45) hens to evaluate the effect of diluents, age of semen and insemination doses on viability and fertility of turkey semen preserved at ambient temperature. Results of the work revealed that the semen qualities of those toms used for the work were not statistically different (P>0.05). The rate of semen survival per hour shows that in diluent (DIII) containing coconut milk a highly significant difference (P<0.01) in rates of survival of sperm during the 8 hour period was observed. Other diluents preserved sperm for a reasonable period of time, diluent (D0) lasted for 4 hrs, DI lasted for 5 hrs whereas DII also sustained survival of sperm for above 6 hrs before the sharp decline. The level of fertility recorded in all the diluents using different dosages showed that diluent D0 containing 0.2ml recorded the highest yield. The overall result in this case showed a highly significant difference (P<0.01). In the aspect of hatchability, diluent DI produced the highest number of chicks valued 63.48+8.27% .Significantly higher (P<0.01) hatch of fertile eggs and eggs set was obtained from hens inseminated with semen diluted in DIII than other diluents. From the work, it is evident that metabolizable substrates containing coconut milk and other diluents used proved efficient. The results show that careful improvement and utilization of those local and affordable diluents would enhance turkey semen preservation and artificial insemination practice in our local environment.