Effect of dietary pomegranate by-product extract supplementation on growth performance, digestibility, and antioxidant status of growing rabbit

Abstract

The study objective was to investigate the effect of three levels of dietary pomegranate by-product extract (PBE) (100, 150, and 200 mg) on growth performance, nutrient digestibility, carcass characteristics, and some blood parameters. Sixty weaned New Zealand White (NZW) rabbits at 5 weeks of age with an average body weight 561.67 ± 6.68 g were randomly allotted to four dietary groups; each group included three replicates (five rabbits each). The control group was fed a basal diet without PBE; the other three experimental groups fed diets supplemented with PBE at 100-, 150-, and 200-mg/kg diet. The results revealed that dietary supplementation of PBE at each level significantly (P < 0.05) improved the average final body weight and FCR. Rabbits group fed diet supplemented with 200 PBE recorded the highest (P < 0.05) of all nutrients digestibility, DCP, TDN, and DE. Feeding rabbits on diets supplemented with PBE at levels 100-, 150-, and 200-mg/kg diet increased (P < 0.05) plasma concentrations total protein, albumin, globulin, HDL, TAC, SOD, and GSH-Px, compared to the control group. The opposite trend was noticed with glucose, total lipids, triglycerides, total cholesterol, and LDL concentrations whereas they were lower (P < 0.05) than those of the control group. The obtained results also showed that PBE supplementation levels reduced (P < 0.05) both E. coli and salmonella counts in rabbit cecum. It could be concluded that the supplementation of rabbit diets with PBE at 100-, 150-, and 200-mg/kg diet improved growth performance and the nutrient digestibility. Moreover, PBE had an antioxidant and antibacterial effect of the growing rabbits.

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Acknowledgments

The authors are grateful to the Department of Animal Production Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Cairo University for the technical support.

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Correspondence to Fawzia A. Hassan.

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Animals were cared for in accordance with acceptable practices and experimental protocols reviewed and approved by the Department of Animal Production Science, Faculty of Agriculture, and Cairo University.

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Hassan, F.A., Ibrahim, M.R.M. & Arafa, S.A. Effect of dietary pomegranate by-product extract supplementation on growth performance, digestibility, and antioxidant status of growing rabbit. Trop Anim Health Prod 52, 1893–1901 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11250-020-02201-0

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Keywords

  • Pomegranate by-product
  • Rabbits
  • Growth performance
  • Antioxidants