Residential desegregation and social reform in urban South Africa are of particular interest when considered against the degree of separation and division that previously existed (Lemon, 1991). Urban South Africa under apartheid is a classic example of the long-standing view that spatial segregation leads to social polarisation and eventually results in the exclusion of categories of people from
The study was conducted to evaluate the seasonal variations in semen parameters of Zulu rams preserved at 10°C for 72 h. The study site was the Agricultural Research Council (ARC) Irene, during the breeding season and the non-breeding season. Zulu rams (n = 6, age = 3 years and average weight = 35 kg ±2.29) were used in this study. Semen was collected with the aid of artificial vagina. Macroscopic (volume and pH), microscopic (sperm concentration, progressions, velocities and velocity ratios and morphology) semen parameters were evaluated immediately after semen collection. Data were analyzed using General Linear Model (GLM) in Minitab 17®. Semen volume was higher during breeding season (0.97±0.25 mL) than non-breeding season (0.72±0.5 mL). Total sperm motility was higher (92.01±1.40%) at 24h during breeding season than non-breeding season (88.69±1.40%), thereafter declined drastically in both seasons. However, non-breeding season yielded a high progressive motility (50.86±1.63%, 33.77±1.63% and 27.56±1.63%) after 24, 48 and 72 h than breeding season (21.32±1.63%, 11.89±1.63% and 10.29±1.63%). It was concluded that, semen parameters from Zulu rams does vary with seasons. Nevertheless, despite seasonal variations observed, Zulu rams' semen quality is acceptable in both breeding and non-breeding season hence can breed throughout the year. Notwithstanding, studies involving fertility are recommended and the nutrition effect of lambing during dry period should be considered.
The aim of the study was to compare the effect of age and live body weight on the oestrus response, duration, pregnancy rate and lambing rate among South African indigenous sheep breeds (Zulu sheep = 36, Bapedi sheep = 26, Damara sheep = 10 and Namaqua Afrikaner sheep = 9). Control Intravaginal Drug Release Dispensers (CIDR's) were inserted into the vagina for 10 days. The twitching of tail and standing to be mounted in the presence of the teaser ram were most targeted signs of oestrus. Data were subjected to an appropriate analysis of variance (ANOVA). The scores were subjected to 1:1 Frequency table and a Chi-Square (²) test for the equal proportions test. One Bapedi ewe loss CIDR before removal date hence was removed from the experimental animals. All Namaqua Afrikaner (100%) ewes responded to the synchronization protocol with the longest oestrus duration (70.7±7.2 h). However, Namaqua Afrikaner sheep scored the lowest rate for conception (44%) and lambing (44%). No significant different (P>0.05) observed for the onset of oestrus among the breeds. Four years old ewes responded better to oestrus synchronization than ≤3, 5 and ≥6 years. Nevertheless, ewes that were ≥6 years old had higher conception rate (94%) and lambing rate (84%). Zulu sheep had higher (89%) lambing rate than Damara (60%) sheep and Namaqua Afrikaner (44%) sheep. Lighter ewes had higher conception (83%) and lambing rate (90%) than heavier (77 and 64%) and moderate (68 and 78%) weights, respectively. In conclusion, Zulu sheep were more fertile than other South African indigenous breeds following oestrus synchronization. On the other hand, young ewes (≤3 years) produced heavier lambs and weaning weight but had higher mortality rate due to inexperience.
South African indigenous breeds’ population is decreasing at a time when their genetic material is mandatory due to the rising climate change and global warming. South African indigenous sheep breeds include Namaqua Afrikaner, Zulu, BaPedi, and Damara sheep. These breeds are the most preferred breeds by rural farmers in South Africa due to their adaptability, low feed, and veterinary requirements. However, since they are characterized by small body sizes, farmers tend to crossbreed them with exotic breeds. An early survey conducted in Kwa-Zulu Natal revealed a 7.5% decline in Zulu sheep between 2008–2011. It has recently been observed that the population left is genotypically mixed with exotic genetic material due to uncontrolled breeding techniques that rural farmers apply. Therefore, the aim of this review is to address the present status, difficulties, and conservation approaches applied to save these breeds. However, this review will be limited to the current extinction status as it appears in the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) system, data from recent studies, difficulties limiting the conservation success of these breeds, and the current conservation approaches in use to conserve these breeds.
The demand to conserve indigenous species through the cryo-gene bank is increasing. Spermatozoa remain sensitive to cryopreservation damages especially that of avian species thus limiting the use of reproductive biotechnologies such as artificial insemination in the conservation programs. Long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid (LCPUFAs), specifically omega n-3, expanded a research interest to improve animal reproductive efficiency through improving spermatozoa quality. This is driven by the fact that mammals cannot synthesize omega-3 de-novo because they lack delta-12 and delta-15 desaturase enzymes thus supplemented in the diet is mandatory. Delta-12 and delta-15 add a double bond at the 12th and 15th carbon-carbon bond from the methyl end of fatty acids, lengthening the chain to 22 carbon molecules. Fish oil is a pioneer source of omega n-3 and n-6 fatty acids. However, there is a report that numerous fisheries are over-exploited and could collapse. Furthermore, processing techniques used for processing by-products could complement alterations of the amino acid profile and reduce protein retrieval. Alternatively, flaxseed oil contains ±52–58% of total fatty acids and lignans in the form of α-linolenic and linoleic acid. Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA,18:3n-3) is enzymatically broken-down de-novo by delta-6 desaturase and lengthened into a long-chain carbon molecule such as eicosapentaenoic acid (C20:5n-3). Nevertheless, controversial findings following the enrichment of diet with flaxseed oil have been reported. Therefore, this paper is aimed to postulate the role of flaxseed oil as an alternative source of omega n-3 and n-6 fatty acids to improve semen quality and quantity from livestock animals. These include the interaction between docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and spermatogenesis, the interaction between docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and testicular cells, and the effect of flaxseed oil on semen quality. It additionally assesses the antioxidants to balance the level of PUFAs in the semen.
Zulu sheep is an adapted breed of South Africa with desirable traits such as their ability to thrive in a harsh environment and tolerant to various diseases. However, they are endangered, with their population size not exceeding 1000, and hence are associated with high inbreeding rates. Therefore, to limit biodiversity loss, there is a need to characterise and conserve its genetic materials. The aim of the study was to evaluate the relationship between morphometric characteristics and semen parameters of Zulu rams and conserve these genetics. The study was conducted at the Agricultural Research Council. Rams (n = 6, age = 3 years and average weight = 42 kg) were fed a standard diet and water was provided ad libitum. Semen was collected twice a week, using an artificial vagina, over 4 consecutive weeks. Semen volume, spermatozoa concentration, motility parameters, and viability were evaluated immediately after arrival in the laboratory. The experiment was carried out during breeding season (March to May 2017). Body measurements (rump height, body length, scrotum circumference, body weight, scrotal width, and scrotum length) were measured in the morning following the fasting period (night) using flexible measuring tape. Pearson correlation coefficient in Minitab 17 (Minitab Inc., State College, PA, USA) was used to determine the relationship among variables. A moderate significant correlation (P < 0.001) between body weight and %live spermatozoa (r = 0.46) was observed. Of note, a very weak (r = 0.28) significant correlation (P < 0.05) between scrotum circumference and live spermatozoa was observed. A very weak (r = 0.06) nonsignificant correlation (P > 0.05) was found between scrotum circumference and semen volume. These results indicate that body weight and scrotum circumference provide reliable spermatozoa viability estimates. Positive correlation between scrotum circumference and semen volume shows that scrotum circumference can be used to predict semen volume.
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