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Open Access Does Vitamin E or Vitamin E plus Selenium improve reproductive performance of rams during hot weather?

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The objective of this study was to determine the effect of Vitamin E (Vit E) and Selenium (Se) on semen quality, sexual activity, packed cell volume (PCV), and white blood cell counts (WBC) of Awassi rams during the hot season. Twelve Awassi rams were subdivided into three groups and treated for 90 days. Rams in the 1st group (T1) were treated twice weekly with 175 mg/ram vitamin E at intervals of 12h; rams in the 2nd group (T2) were treated on the same schedule with 70 mg/ram vitamin E plus 2800 mg selenium; and rams in 3rd group (T3) served as controls. Sperm quality (percentage of motile cells and percentage of morphologically normal cells) and quantity (sperm volume, and concentration) were recorded weekly. Sexual activity was tested by using the pen libido test at monthly intervals. Blood samples were taken before treatment and after the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd months. Semen quality was significantly affected by treatments: the ejaculate volume increased in T2 vs T1, and T3; mass activity and individual motility were increased in T1 and T2 vs T3. Sperm concentration was increased in T2 and T1 vs T3, and the percentage of dead and abnormal spermatozoa was reduced in T1 and T2 vs T3, though the differences were not statistically significant. Pen libido test showed reduced reaction time for the first mount in the 1st month in T2 and T1 vs T3. The number of serves was increased in groups T1 and T2 vs T3. There were no significant differences in PCV among groups. After 3 months from the beginning of treatments, the percentage of lymphocytes increased in T1 and T2 vs. T3, while the percentage of neutrophils was reduced in T2 vs T3 in the 2nd and 3rd months. The results of this experiment indicate that treatments with vitamin E alone or in combination with selenium improved semen characteristics and reproductive performance of Awassi rams during the hot season.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2010

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