Pomegranate peel as a natural antioxidant enhanced reproductive performance and milk yield of female rabbits


  • H.S. Zeweil Alexandria University
  • Y.M. Elgindy Alexandria University




pomegranate peel, antioxidant, heat stress, milk yield, reproductive performance, rabbit


This study was designed to investigate the effects of dietary pomegranate peel (PP; 9.61% crude protein and 13.1% crude fibre) on reproductive performance and milk yield of heat-stressed rabbit does. Forty-eight V-line rabbit does with average initial live body weight of 3.59±0.11 kg (2nd parity; 9 mo old) were divided into 4 treatment  roups (12 does per group). The first group was fed diet free of PP. The second, third and fourth groups were fed diets containing 0.75, 1.5 and 3.0% PP, respectively, included in substitution of clover hay from the basal diet. Feed of the 4 groups was free of added antioxidants. The studied traits were: kindling rate, gestation period, litter size, litter weight, kit weight at both birth and weaning (28 d of lactation) for the last 3 parameters, pre-weaning mortality and milk yield. Range of temperatures and relative humidity during the experimental period in the rabbitry varied between 27.5-33.5°C and 64-76%, respectively. The inclusion of PP quadratically affected litter size at birth (P<0.001) and weaning (P<0.01), as well as milk yield (P<0.001). However, it tended to reduce the kit milk intake in most lactation periods (P=0.078), leading to a linear reduction in individual kit weight at weaning (P=0.060). In conclusion, supplementations of PP in the diet of does during summer season in Egypt can improve their productivity.


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Author Biographies

H.S. Zeweil, Alexandria University

Department of Animal and Fish Production, Faculty of Agriculture, Saba Basha

Y.M. Elgindy, Alexandria University

Department of Animal and Fish Production, Faculty of Agriculture, Saba Basha


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