INTERNAL ORGANS MORPHOMETRIC, SPERM AND CARCASS CHARACTERISTICS OF RABBIT BUCKS AS INFLUENCED BY BLACK SEED (Nigella sativa)
This study assessed internal organs morphometric, sperm indices and carcass characteristics of rabbit bucks as influenced by dietary supplementation of unprocessed black seed. A total of 40 weaned male rabbits (Chinchilla X New Zealand) were weigh-balanced into four dietary treatments of 10 replicates each. The rabbits were fed 5% of their body weight with diet containing 16% crude protein, 14% crude fibre and 2300 Kcal/kg metabolizable energy. The four experimental treatments consisted of unprocessed black seed at levels of 0, 0.5, 1.0 and 1.5% of feed in T1, T2, T3 and T4 respectively. The feeding trial lasted for 84 days. At the end of the trial, 5 rabbits from each treatment were humanely sacrificed and the internal organs, and reproductive organs were carefully dissected for morphometric and semen evaluation respectively. Carcass indices were also assessed. The data collected were subjected to one way analysis of variance (ANOVA). The result revealed a significant (p<0.05) increase in carcass indices as the supplementation level increased up to 1%. A significantly (p<0.05) similar trend was observed in all the internal organs morphometric. Significant (p<0.05) increase was also observed in all the sperm variables (sperm count, sperm motility, sperm morphology and sperm viability) as black seed supplementation increased up to 1%. Supplementation of unprocessed black seed up to 1.5% in male rabbit’s diet has beneficial effects on internal organs morphometric, sperm and carcass characteristics. Dietary supplementation up to 1% however demonstrated the best response in terms of the aforementioned indices.