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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The authors are grateful to the Department of Animal Production Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Cairo University for the technical support.
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
- Pomegranate by-product
- Growth performance