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Indian Journal of Animal Nutrition
Year : 2015, Volume : 32, Issue : 2
First page : ( 201) Last page : ( 206)
Print ISSN : 0970-3209. Online ISSN : 2231-6744.

Nutrient Utilization, Blood Biochemical Parameters and Performance as Affected by Inclusion of Herbal Additives in the Diets of Growing Rabbits

Mahmoud A.E.M.*

Department of Animal Production, Faculty of Agriculture, Cairo University, 12613, Giza, Egypt

*E-mail: akkb2010@agr.cu.edu.eg, akkb2010@gmail.com

Online published on 13 July, 2015.

Abstract

This study was undertaken with the objective of studying the effect of supplementation of herbal additives on nutrient utilization, performance, carcass yield and immune response in growing rabbits. Seventy two weaned New Zealand White rabbits of similar age ((6 weeks) and body weight (475 g) were divided into 6 groups of 12 animals each. Six treatments were: T1: control (without additive), T2: 0.5% rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), T3: 0.5% sage (Salvia officinalis L.), T4: 0.5% mint (Mentha piperita), T5: 0.5% basil (Ocimum basilicum L.) and T6: mixture of above four plants at 0.125% each. Feed intake was found to be lowest in group T5 and the digestibility of nutrients and nutritive value was highest in T2 followed by T4 and T5 whereas T1, T3 and T6 diets had the lowest values. Herbal additives exhibited a significant (P<0.05) improvement in average daily gain in rabbits. Final weights were improved by 12.78, 8.44, 5.84, 2.48 and 1.79% in T2, T5, T4, T3 and T6, respectively compared to T1. Feed conversion ratio (P<0.05) improved in all treatments except T6. The level of immunoglobulin G increased due to addition of herbs. Blood bio-chemical constituents of all the experimental rabbits remained within normal range. It could be concluded that rosemary, sage, mint and basil could be incorporated as growth promoters for improving the performance of growing rabbits.

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Keywords

Carcass traits, Digestibility, Growth, Immune response, Herbal additives, Rabbit.

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