Feed intake, sperm output and seminal characteristics of Ethiopian highland sheep supplemented with different levels of leucaena (Leucaena leucocephala) leaf hay
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Animal Feed Science and Technology;86(3-4): 239-249
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/28201
The effect of feeding increasing levels of Leucaena leucocephala leaf hay on the potential fertility and feed intake of male highland sheep maintained on roughage diet was studied. In treatment 1 (NS), animals received only chickpea haulm. Treatments 2 (L100), 3 (L200) and 4 (L300) consisted of 100, 200 and 300 g per head per day of sun dried leucaena leaf hay while sheep under treatment 5 (C300) received 300 g per head per day of concentrate supplement. Chickpea haulm was offered ad-libitum to all groups and water and mineral licks were freely available. Addition of leucaena improved total dry matter (DM) and crude protein (CP) intake significantly without depressing the intake of the basal diet. Supplementation increased the percentage of motile cells (10 vs. 76% for L300) and mass activity/motility score (1.5 vs. 3.2 for L300) of spermatozoa while reducing the incidence of total morphologically defective sperm cells (34 vs. 5% for L200). Volume of ejaculate (0.36 vs. 1.1 ml for L200), sperm concentration (2.8 vs. 71.1 X 10(9) ml-1 for L300), and total number of spermatozoa per ejaculate (1.96 vs. 5.92x10(9) per ejaculate for L300), increased significantly as a result of supplementation. Testicular size showed significant differences among treatment groups and generally increased with supplementation. It was concluded that supplementation of up to 300 g per head per day of leucaena resulted in improved feed intake, testicular growth, sperm production and semen quality of Ethiopian highland sheep offered chickpea haulm basal diet.