Effect of dietary Moringa oleifera leaf meal on egg fertility and sperm quality of Potchefstroom koekoek indigenous chicken
Tutubalang, Keamogetswe Augustinah
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The current study was conducted to evaluate the effect of Moringa oleifera leaf meal (MOLM) inclusion in layer rations on growth performance, egg laying performance, egg quality parameters and hatchability performance of Potchefstroom koekoek (PK) hens. In addition, the study also evaluated the effect of MOLM on growth performance, semen and sperm quality parameters of Potchefstroom koekoek cockerels. Forty-eight PK hens at age twenty-two weeks were randomly allocated to two dietary treatments: MOLM0 (control)= diet with no MOLM inclusion; MOLM70 = diet with 70g/kg of MOLM inclusion. Each treatment was replicated four times with each pen holding six hens as the experimental unit. Non-fertile eggs were collected for nine weeks. When hens reached thirty-one weeks of age, eight cocks were introduced to the study and randomly allocated to a mating ratio of 6 hens: 1 cock. Fertile eggs were collected for 14 days to measure hatchability performance. In addition, thirty-two Potchefstroom koekoek cockerels were assigned to two dietary treatments: MOLM0 (control) and MOLM70, for the duration of twenty weeks. Each experimental unit (a pen) contained 4 birds and was replicated 4 times. Feed intake, weight gain, feed conversion ratio (FCR), Semen motility parameters (curvilinear velocity (VCL), average pathway velocity (YAP), straight line velocity (VSL) straightness, wobble and linearity), progression parameters (PM, NPM & static), pH, concentration, velocity, volume and morphology were evaluated. There were no significant (P>0.05) effects on feed conversion ratio, average weight gain and egg laying performance for all treatments. However, diet significantly (p<0.05) affected feed intake. Furthermore, there was no significant difference (P>0.05) noticed in terms of egg weight, egg content, egg shell thickness and all internal egg parameters apart from albumen length. However, diet significantly affected (P<0.05) egg length, diameter, shape index, shell weight and shell percentage. Dietary treatment MOLM70 improved the hatchability performance of Potchefstroom koekoek. The two way interaction significantly affected semen volume. Diet MOLM70 resulted in higher sperm velocity (rapid), semen concentration, semen pH, motility (VCL, VSL AND V AP) and progressive motility than control (MOLM0). It was concluded that MOLM70 could be acceptable as sustainable feed resource in laying hen diets and it is potential useful in increasing the fertility of male Potchefstroom koekoek chicken.