Potential of coconut water to enhance fresh semen quality and fertility in rabbits

  • O. A. JimohEmail author
Regular Articles


Coconut water as a natural diluent was evaluated on rabbit semen quality, conception and litter size in artificially inseminated does. A total of 10 bucks and 90 does, all crossbred New Zealand White × chinchilla, were used for the trial. Pooled semen was obtained from bucks using artificial vagina. Semen diluents were prepared at 0%, 20%, 40%, 60% and 80% and control 50% normal saline and designated as T1, T2, T3, T4, T5 and T6 respectively, in a completely randomised design. Semen analysis was conducted on fresh semen and the various diluted semen immediately at 37 °C. Fifteen does each were randomly allotted to the different treatment and were inseminated with their respective treatment diluted semen using the standard procedure, and conception rate, litter size and productivity index at birth were assessed at kindling. Result obtained revealed that spermatozoa motility and structural membrane integrity of the diluted semen were significantly (p < 0.05) affected by the percentage of dilution. The range of values obtained for spermatozoa motility, structural membrane integrity and acrosome integrity is within the accepted values for good-quality semen. Conception rate, litter size and productivity index at birth were highest in does inseminate with T4 (60%), and the least values were obtained in T5 (80%). In conclusion, coconut water is a suitable diluent for rabbit semen for on-farm artificial insemination, the optimal dilution rate of coconut water in rabbit semen is 60%, which guarantees high conception, litter size and productivity index at birth.


Coconut water Diluent Fertility Insemination Spermatozoa motility 

List of abbreviations


artificial insemination


reactive oxygen species


polyunsaturated fatty acids



The author appreciates the Teaching and Research Farm, Department of Agricultural Technology, Federal Polytechnic, Ado-Ekiti, Nigeria, for making available animals for the research. And grateful to Ahmed Bilikisu, Johnson Victoria, Omolagba Olaolu, Abidakun Opeyemi and Ajiboye Ebenezer for the care and handling of the animals, and their resourcefulness to the study.

Author contributions

Jimoh Olatunji Abubakar designed the study, supervised the fieldwork, carried out the experimental protocol and statistical analysis. The sole author wrote the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Competing interests

The author declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval and consent to participate

The study was approved by the institutional committee on the care and use of animals for the experiment and in accordance with the NIH guide for the care and use of laboratory animals.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Animal Physiology Laboratory, Department of Animal ScienceUniversity of IbadanIbadanNigeria
  2. 2.Agricultural Technology DepartmentFederal Polytechnic Ado EkitiAdo EkitiNigeria

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