Impact Of Feeding Karkade (Hibiscus Sabdariffa) Seeds On Semen Charactaristic Of Sudanese Desert Rams

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Mukhtar, Hatim
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This study was conducted to evaluate the influence of feeding karkade (Hibiscus sabdariffa) seeds on ram's semen characteristic. Nine rams of the Sudanese desert sheep with similar body weight were used for a period of six weeks. The animals were distributed randomly into three groups. Three iso-caloric iso- nitrogenous diets were formulated including three levels of karkade seeds 0, 15 and 25%. The parameters measured were semen volume, mass activity, percentage of dead spermatozoa, percentage of morphologically abnormal sperms, concentration of spermatozoa, testis length, scrotal circumference and live body weight. The analysis showed a significant (P<0.05) effect of treatment on the volume of ejaculate. The two groups that received 15 and 25% gave lower volume throughout the experimental period when compared to the control. However there was no significant difference (P> 0.05) between the treatments throughout the experimental weeks in either the mass activity or percentage of dead spermatozoa, while there was a significant difference due to treatment in the percentage of abnormal spermatozoa. The 25% group scored a higher value of abnormal spermatozoa than the other two groups which are similar throughout the six weeks of experiment. The abnormalities tended to increase in the two groups that received karkade seeds compared to the control group. At the same time the concentration of spermatozoa per ml varied significantly (P< 0.05) between the treatments. The 25% karkade seeds showed the lowest sperms concentration compared to the other two groups. Sperm concentration also varied significantly viii (P< 0.05) between the weeks. at 25% group recorded the lowest concentration among the three studied group group. The study also indicated significant differences between the treatments in the length of the tests. The two groups of 15 and 25% had the lowest tests length compared to the control group. In addition to this, there was significant difference among the treatment in the scrotal circumference which is found to be lower in the 15 and 25% karkade seeds groups compared to the control. There was no significant variations indicated among the treatments in the live bodyweight. The study concluded that, the use of karkade (Hibiscus sabdariffa) seeds in the rations of the rams has an adverse effect on semen characteristics that might have resulted from presence of phytoestrogens in the Hibiscus sabdariffa seeds.