Effect of diet supplementation with live yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) on performance of rabbit does and their progenies


  • T. Belhassen Department of animal production, National Institute of Agronomy of Tunis
  • E. Simon Société Industrielle Lesaffre, Philéo
  • A. Potel Société Industrielle Lesaffre, Philéo
  • E. Auclair Société Industrielle Lesaffre, Philéo
  • R. Bergaoui Department of animal production, National Institute of Agronomy of Tunis




rabbit does, live yeast, reproductive performance


A study was conducted to determine the effect of live yeast supplementation in the diet of rabbit does on their mortality and reproductive performance and the performance of their progeny. A total of 52 cross-bred rabbit does (New Zealand×Californian) were divided into 2 groups differing in diet offered during 2 reproductive cycles and containing (group S; n=26) or not (group C; n=26) 1 g of yeast (Actisaf Sc 47, S.I. LESAFFRE, France)/kg of feed. Natural mating was performed 11 d after kindling and kits were weaned at 28 d of age. Body weight of litters was measured at birth, 21 d and at 28 d of age (weaning). Mortality of kits and rabbit does was monitored daily, and fertility of rabbit does and viability rate of kits at birth were also determined. Weight and litter size at birth and at weaning, litter weight gain during lactation and length of gestation were similar between the 2 groups during the 2 cycles. The mortality of does during the experiment was higher in group C than in group S (27 vs. 4%; P<0.05). Fertility rate of rabbits does and viability rate of kits at birth were higher (P<0.05) in rabbits fed with the supplemented diet than those with the control diet during the second lactation. In the first cycle, kit mortality was lower in S group (15.5%) than the C group (24.7%) during the first 21 d (P<0.05). However, no difference was observed during the second lactation. In conclusion, our results suggest that the inclusion of yeast in the diet of rabbit does could trigger positive effects on the fertility and mortality of rabbit does, as well as on the viability rate of kits at birth.


Download data is not yet available.


AFNOR. 2009. European standard EN 15789, Isolation and enumeration of yeast probiotic strains. 1-17.

Ayyat M.S., Marai I.F.M., El-Aasar T.A., 1996. New Zealand white rabbit does and their growing off spring as affected by diets containing different protein level with or without Lacto-Sacc Supplementation. World Rabbit Sci., 4: 225-230. doi:10.4995/wrs.1996.299

Bontempo V., Giancamillo A.D., Savoini G., Dell'Orto V., Domeneghini C. 2006. Live yeast dietary supplementation acts upon intestinal morpho-fuctional aspects and growth in weanling piglets. Anim. Feed Sci., 129: 224-236. doi:10.1016/j.anifeedsci.2005.12.015

Cole N.A., Purdy C.W., Hutcheson D.P. 1992. Influence of yeast culture on feeder calves and lambs. J. Anim. Sci. 70: 1682–1690.

Combes S., Fortun-Lamothe L., Cauquil L., Gidenne T., 2013. Engineering the rabbit digestive ecosystem to improve digestive health and efficacy. Animal, 7: 1429-1439. doi:10.1017/S1751731113001079

El-Hindawy M.M., Yamani K.A., Tawfeek M.I. 1993. Effect of probiotic (Lacto-Sacc) in diets with different protein levels on growth performance, digestibility and some carcass aspects of growing rabbits. Egypt. J. Rabbit Sci., 3: 13-28.

European Union Commission. 2005. Ban on antibiotics as growth promoters in animal feed enters into effect. Regulation 1831/2003/EC on additives for use in animal nutrition, replacing Directive 70/524/EEC on additives in feed-stuffs, Brussels, 22 December.

Jang Y.D., Kang K.W., Piao L.G., Jeong T.S., Auclair E., Jonvel S., D’Inca R., Kim Y.Y. 2013. Effects of live yeast supplementation to gestation and lactation diets on reproductive performance, immunological parameters and milk composition in sows. Livest. Sci., 152: 167-173. doi:10.1016/j.livsci.2012.12.022

Jurgens M.H., Rikabi R.A., Zimmerman D.R. 1997. The effect of dietary active dry yeast supplement on performance of sows during gestation-lactation and their pigs. J. Anim. Sci., 75: 593-597.

Kalmus P., Orro T., Waldmann A., Lindjärv R., Kask K. 2009. Effect of yeast culture on milk production and metabolic and reproductive performance of early lactation dairy cows. Acta Vet. Scand., 51: 1-7. doi:10.1186/1751-0147-51-32

Kimsé M., Bayourthe C. Monteils V., Fortun-Lamothe L., Cauquil L., Combes S., Gidenne T. 2012. Live yeast stability in rabbit digestive tract: Consequences on the caecal ecosystem, digestion, growth and digestive health. Anim. Feed Sci. Tech., 173: 235-243. doi:10.1016/j.anifeedsci.2012.01.012

Kritas S.K., Petridou E.I., Fortomaris P., Tzika E., Arsenos G., Koptopoulos G. 2008. The effect of probiotics on microbiology, health and performance of fattening rabbits. Asian Austral. J. Anim., 21: 1312-1317. doi:10.5713/ajas.2008.70186

Kritas S.K., Marubashi T., Filioussis G., Petridou E., Christodoulopoulos G., Burriel A.R., Tzivara A., Theodoridis A., Pískoriková M. 2015. Reproductive performance of sows was improved by administration of a sporing bacillary probiotic (Bacillus subtilis C-3102). J. Anim. Sci., 93: 405-413. doi:10.2527/jas.2014-7651

LeMieux F.M., Naranjo V.D., Bidner T.D., Southern L.L. 2010. Effect of dried brewers yeast on growth performance of nursing and weanling pigs. Prof. Anim. Sci. 26: 70-75. doi:10.15232/S1080-7446(15)30558-1

Maertens L., De Groote G. 1992. Effect of dietary supplementation of live yeast on the zootechnical performances does and weanling rabbits. J. Appl. Rabbit Res., 15: 1079-1086.

Maertens L., Van Renterghem R., De Groote G., 1994. Effects of dietary inclusion of paciflor® (Bacillus CIP 5832) on the milk composition and performances of does and on caecal and growth parameters of their weanlings. World Rabbit Sci., 2: 67-73. doi:10.4995/wrs.1994.220

Monroy-Salazar H.G., Perez-Sotelo L., Gonzalez-Hernandez Y., Vaughan G., Lagunas-Bernabe S., Cuaron-Ibarguengoytia J., Montano-Hirose J.A., Alonso-Fresan M.U., Pradal-Rosa P., Vazquez-Chagoyan J.C. 2012. Effects of live yeast dietary supplement on fecal coliform counts and on peripheral blood CD4+ and CD8+ lymphocyte subpopulations in nursery pigs. J. Swine Health Prod., 20: 276-282.

Nicodemus N., Carabaño R., Garcia J., De Blas J.C. 2004. Performance response of doe rabbits to Toyocerin® (Bacillus cereus var. toyoi ) supplementation. World Rabbit Sci., 12: 109-118. doi:10.4995/wrs.2004.577

Pinheiro V., Mourão J.L., Jimenez G. 2007. Influence of Toyocerin® (Bacillus cereus var. toyoi) on breeding performance of primiparous rabbit does. World Rabbit Sci., 15: 179 -188. doi:10.4995/wrs.2007.590

Stamati S., Alexopoulos C., Siochu A., Saoulidis K., Kyriakis S.C. 2006. Probiosis in sows by administration of bacillus toyoi spores during late pregnancy and lactation: effect on their health status/performance and on litter characteristics. International Journal of Probiotics and Prebiotics, 1: 33-40.

Vanderpool C., Yan F., Polk D.B. 2008. Mechanisms of probiotic action: Implications for therapeutic applications in inflammatory bowel diseases. Inflamm. Bowel Dis., 14: 1585-1596. doi:10.1002/ibd.20525

Van Heugten E., Funderburke D.W., Dorton K.L. 2003. Growth performance, nutrient digestibility, and fecal microflora in weanling pigs fed live yeast. J. Anim. Sci. 81: 1004-1012.

Zaleska B., Milewski S., Zabek K. 2015. Impact of Saccharomyces cerevisiae supplementation on reproductive performance, milk yield in ewes and offspring growth. Arch. Anim. Breed., 58: 79-83. doi:10.5194/aab-58-79-2015