Local heating of the scrotal contents of rams to approximately 40°C for 1½ to 2hr causes a sharp increase in the proportion of morphologically abnormal spermatozoa in the ejaculate 14 to 16 days later (Braden & Mattner, 1970). This period of delay approximates to the epididymal passage time for ram spermatozoa (Dawson, 1958; Amir & Ortavant, 1968), and has been cited as evidence that spermatozoa undergoing epididymal passage at the time of heating are resistant to damage (Braden & Mattner, 1970).
In the present study, observations were made of the changes in the fine structure of ejaculated ram spermatozoa after mild scrotal heating.
Four mature Saxon Merino rams which produced good quality semen were restrained in metabolism cages. The scrota of three of them (Rams A, B and C) were immersed for
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