Scrotal Morphometric Characteristics of West African Dwarf Rams Administered Aqueous African Marigold Plant (Aspilia africana) Extract
Twenty-four West African Dwarf (WAD) rams aged 6-9 months with average weight of 4.65 kg were used in this study. Scrotal morphometric characteristics of rams administered aqueous Aspilia africana extract were examined. The experiment was in a Completely Randomized Design (CRD). The rams were randomly assigned to four (4) treatment groups, designated T1, T2, T3 and T4. There were six rams per treatment; each treatment was replicated 3 times with 2 rams per replicate. Rams in T1 (control) received 10 ml of distilled water whereas T2, T3 and T4 were administered aqueous Aspilia africana extract at 1000, 2000, and 3000 mg-1kg body weight, respectively. Rams in all the treatment groups were fed 2 kg of mixed forages, 500 g of the same concentrate diet daily and water were supplied ad libitum. Scrotal circumferences, scrotal lengths and scrotal volumes of the rams were measured weekly pre-, during and post-experiment. Results of the study revealed no significant differences (P>0.05) in the scrotal morphometric characteristics of the rams pre-experiment. Whereas, significant differences (P<0.05) were observed in the scrotal circumferences and scrotal volumes of the rams among the various treatment groups from the sixth and fifth weeks of administration of the extract, respectively. There were dose-dependent decreases in scrotal circumferences (SC) and scrotal volumes (SV) of rams in the treated groups. While, rams in the control group (T1) had the highest mean values for scrotal circumference and scrotal volume. Similar trend was observed post-experiment where rams in T2, T3 and T4, had scrotal circumferences of 19.67cm, 18.83cm and 16.67cm and scrotal volumes of 175.00ml, 100.00ml, 50.00ml, respectively. Rams in the control group had SC of 21.83cm and SV of 383.33ml. The findings of this study showed that Aspilia africana might have deleterious effects on fertility of rams administered with it. Thus, it is recommended that Aspilia africana be fed to animals not meant for breeding until an anti-dote which can suppress its anti-fertility effect is discovere
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