Reproductive characteristics of rabbit bucks administered Panax ginseng extracts
Keywords:Ginseng, libido, puberty, rabbits, semen
This study was conducted for 4 months in the quest to discover natural materials, especially of plant origin, capable of substituting the roles of synthetic materials, especially drugs, in reproductive enhancement of livestock species. Such natural materials will help eliminate the menace of residual effects of synthetic materials on livestock products and probably attract more revenue from them. A total of 24 New Zealand White (NZW) weaned rabbit bucks were used and the study was carried out in a Complete Randomized Design (CRD), comprising three treatments replicated four times; MT1 (control), MT2 and MT3 , containing 0, 200 and 400 mg/kg body weight of Panax ginseng extracts (PGEs), respectively. Assessment for attainment of puberty started from the age of 11 - 14 weeks on a weekly basis and at 72 h interval thereafter by examining their ejaculate and preputial fluid smeared on a glass slide under a microscope for sperm cells. Semen was collected twice a week for 3 weeks after maturity (6 months old) with the aid of an artificial vagina (AV), using rabbit does as teasers. Semen analysis was done within 20 minutes of collection, following standard procedures. Libido was determined weekly for 3 weeks by recording the time it took the matured rabbit bucks to sniff, groom, and mount the rabbit doe in the initial instance (reaction time); and by counting the number of times the matured buck attempts to mount the doe per minute (libido score). Data generated from this study was analyzed using analysis of variance (ANOVA). Age at puberty (MT1 = 116.00 days; MT2 = 112.50 days; MT3 = 100.50 days) was significantly (P<0.05) lower in MT3 (400 mg/kg b.w), and weight at puberty (MT1 = 1483.33 g; MT2 = 1475.00 g; MT3 = 1378.50 g) recorded a dose dependent significant (P<0.05) decrease in the male rabbits. Semen volume (MT1 = 0.95 mL; MT2 = 1.25 mL; MT3 = 1.55 mL), total sperm count (MT1 = 115.00 x 10 ; MT2 = 125.50 x10 ; MT3 = 146.20 x 10 ), progressive sperm motility (MT1 = 78.50 %; MT2 = 83.00 %; MT3 = 82.30 %), live sperm proportion (MT1 = 80.63 %; MT2 = 85.40 %; MT3 = 89.75 %) and libido score (MT1 = 7.00 mounts/min; MT2 = 9.00 mounts/min; MT3 = 11.50 mounts/min) were significantly (P<0.05) higher in adult rabbit bucks administered PGEs, while reaction time (MT1 = 9.45 s; MT2 = 3.15 s; MT3 = 2.60 s) significantly (P<0.05) decreased in PGEs treated rabbits. This study shows that PGEs can orally be administered up to 400 mg/kg body weight in NZW rabbit bucks to enhance their reproductive potential, through early attainment of puberty, improved semen quality and enhanced libido.