Effects of dietary fat on reproductive performance of rabbit does: a review.
Addition of fat permits a noticeable increase of digestible energy intake by rabbit does (231 kJ per day / 1 % ether extract). Additional energy intake is used in priority for milk production. This leads to heavier young rabbits at weaning (+2.1 % for each 1 % increase in ether extract). Fat inclusion also modify milk composition (fatty acids proportions), but influence on suckling rabbits survival is unclear. Effects of dietary fat on fertility of rabbit does are non existent or positive. Positive effects should be overall related to the increase of dietary energy content associated with fat inclusion. Effects on prolificity are controversial. Finally, fat addition seerms not to reduce body mobilization in primiparous does, however, in a longer term, it should improve female body condition.
In conclusion, fat inclusion permits overall a higher milk production, but some negative effects of fat on prolificity obtained impose to use this feedstuff in the diet of reproductive rabbits with carefulness. Nevertheless, fat addition could be justified for some breeding conditions (hot ternperature).
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Official journal of the World Rabbit Science Association (WRSA)
e-ISSN: 1989-8886 ISSN: 1257-5011 https://doi.org/10.4995/wrs