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Abstract

EFFECT OF SUPPLEMENTING L-CARNITINE ON SEMEN QUALITY TRAITS IN IRAQI DRAKES

*Hazim J. Al-Daraji, Anmar O. Tahir

University of Baghdad, College of Agriculture, Department of Animal Resource, Baghdad, Iraq

ABSTRACT

This study was conducted to determine the effect of supplementing Iraqi drakes with L-carnitine on semen quality traits. A total of 48 male Iraqi ducks, which were 30 weeks old were used in this study. Drakes were randomly allocated to four treatment groups with 12 drakes per treatment group, replicated three times, with 4 drakes in each replicate. Treatment groups were: Treatment 1 (T1): Birds fed a diet free of Lcarnitine (control group), Treatment 2 (T2): Birds fed a diet containing 50 mg L-carnitine/kg of diet, Treatment 3 (T3): Birds fed a diet containing 100 mg L-carnitine/kg of diet, and Treatment 4 (T4): Birds fed a diet containing 150 mg L-carnitine/kg of diet. Drakes were only fed experimental diets during the experiment which lasted three months. The semen quality traits investigated were ejaculate volume, mass and individual motility of spermatozoa, spermatocrit, spermatozoa concentration, percentages of dead and abnormal spermatozoa and acrosomal abnormalities. Supplementing the diet of drakes with L-carnitine at the levels of 50, 100 and 150 mg / kg of diet significantly increased ejaculate volume, spermatocrit, mass and individual motility of spermatozoa, and concentration of spermatozoa, while percentages of dead and abnormal spermatozoa and acrosomal abnormalities were decreased. However, T4 (150 mg L-carnitine/kg of diet) recorded the best results with relation to all semen quality traits included in this study. Dietary supplementation with L-carnitine improved semen quality of local drakes; therefore L-carnitine can be used as an efficient feed additive to improve reproductive performance of male ducks.

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