SEMEN QUALITY AND EGG HATCHABILITY IN LOCAL TURKEY FED DIETS CONTAINING MORINGA OLEIFERA AND GONGRONEMA LATIFOLIUM LEAF MEAL.
The experiment was conducted to determine semen quality, fertility, egg hatchability and some biochemical parameters in Nigerian local turkey toms fed diets containing Moringa oleifera (MO), Gongronema latifolium (GL) leaf meals and their combinations. A total of 72 Nigerian local turkeys comprising of 54 males and 18 females were used for the study. The males were randomly divided into 9 treatment groups, each treatment was replicated 3 times with 2 toms per replicate. The treatment diets were given only to the toms, starting from three month of age through the experimental period. The experimental animals were fed and given water properly, twice a day without restriction. All the management practices were carried out to the best of ability. The males in all the treatment groups were weighed weekly to determine their daily and weekly body weight gain. At 26 weeks of age, toms were trained for semen collection, and 32 weeks of age, semen was collected using abdominal massages. Samples were analyzed for colour, volume, progressive motility, sperm concentration, viability and sperm morphology. Fresh semen sample were also collected per treatment in vials’ stored in ice block and analyzed for fructose, Na and K. A total of 18 hens were randomly shared 2 per treatment corresponding to the 9 treatments. Pooled Semen from each treatment was used to inseminate the hens twice a week at the beginning of egg lay and once a week subsequently. A total of 225 eggs were collected and incubated in weekly batches, analyzed for fertility and hatchability. The result revealed that M. oleifera and G. latifolium leaf meals had significant (P<0.05) effects on the semen quality parameters measured. M. oleifera fed tom at 3kg yielded the best result: ejaculate volume 0.o58ml, motility= 92.93%, Conc.= 4.82(x10/ml9 ), live sperm= 94.13%, normal sperm 91.38% and corresponding lower values for percentage dead and abnormal sperm. While, G. latifolium treated toms had a lower value for their semen quality parameters when compared with the control group. Interaction effects of M. oleifera and G. latifolium leaf meals were significantly (P<0.05) different. Compared with control semen quality traits were higher at 3kgMO+1.5kgGL inclusion, lower at 1.5kgMO + 1.5kgGL, and significantly reduced semen quality of toms fed 1.5kgMO+ 3kgGL diets. Similarly, the percent fertile eggs, and percent hatched eggs were greatly improved at 3kgMO diets with corresponding decrease in percent infertile eggs and dead in shell embryos than the control. However, toms fed diet at 1.5kgGL and 3kgGL had their values for these parameters being severely reduced. Hatchability values increased to 88.39% and 83.33% at 3kg MO+1.5kgGL and 3kg MO+3kgGL respectively with a decrease in percent dead- in- shell embryos to 16.99% and 19.12% respectively. Seminal fructose concentration (mg/100ml) was significantly (P<0.05) increased (5.86+2.76) at 3kgGL when compared with the control, but M. oleifera had a negligible increase in fructose concentration. However, M. oleifera fed toms (3kg) had a significant(P<0.05) increase in concentration of Na and K (0.39 and 0.35) respectively. These result suggest that improved fertility, eggs hatchability and reduction in percent embryo mortality can be achieved using M. oleifera at 3kg/100kg diet and combination of M. oleifera+G. latifolium at rate of 3kgMO+1.5kgGL, but treatment with G.latifolium at the rate of 1.5kg, 3kg and combination at rate of 1.5kgMO +3kgGL caused reduced fertility in local Nigerian turkey.