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The investigation was carried out to assess the semen characteristics, gonadal and extragonadal sperm reserves of cocks fed dietary monosodium glutamate (MSG) at varied inclusion levels (0.00, 0.25, 0.50, 0.75, 1.00 and 1.25 g.kg-1 diet). A total of 240 sexually matured barred Plymouth Rock cocks of twenty 24 weeks of age were used in a 16-week feeding trial. The cocks were weighed and allotted to the 6 treatment diets. Each treatment was replicated 5 times with 8 cocks per replicate in a completely randomized design (CRD). At the end of the feeding trial, 4 cocks per replicate were humanely sacrificed and their reproductive tracts were dissected. The testes and epididymides were carefully sampled, weighed and processed. The data collected were subjected to analysis of variance followed by Tukey's Honestly Significant Difference (α 0.05) where significant differences occurred. The results showed that all the semen characteristics were significantly and negatively affected by inclusion of MSG above 0.50 g.kg-1 diet. The paired epididymides and vas deferens weights were significantly (P < 0.05) reduced by the inclusion levels of MSG above 0.75 g.kg-1 diet, while their lengths were significantly (P < 0.05) reduced above 0.50 g MSG.kg-1 diet. Nevertheless, the testicular parameters were not significantly (P > 0.05) affected by the varying inclusion levels of MSG when compared with the control. The paired testicular sperm reserves (TSR/testis and TSR/g testis) were not significantly (P > 0.05) influenced by the MSG inclusion when compared with the control diet. However, the paired epididymides sperm reserves were significantly lowered at the inclusion levels of 1.00 and 1.25 g MSG.kg-1 diet. This study suggests that dietary MSG has the potential to significantly affect the sperm characteristics and sperm reserves of cocks when administered above 0.50 g.kg-1 diet.
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