Effect of dietary addition of arak (Salvadora persica) on growth and reproductive performance in Black Baladi rabbit males.
The study aimed to evaluate the effect of Arak (Salvadora persica) as feed additive on performance of pre and post-sexual maturity of rabbit males. A control diet was formulated with an estimated proportion of 18% crude protein and 14% crude fi bre. Another three diets were formulated supplementing control diet with 0.1 0.2 or 0.3% Arak. The Arak used in this study contained (as % DM basis): 27.9 ash, 12.4 crude protein, 1.7 ether extract and 8.0 crude fi bre. Ninety-six weaned Black Baladi (BB) male rabbits aged 30 d weighing 570±8.30 g (mean±standard error) were used (24 per diet). Daily weight gain and daily feed intake were recorded from weaning up to 70 d of age (slaughtering commercial age). At this time four rabbits from each group were slaughtered and genitalia were immediately taken and dissected. Blood samples were collected at 120 and 150 d of age from fi ve bucks from each group. At the age of maturity several reproductive traits were also recorded. Final body weight at 70 d of growing BB rabbit males increased linearly and quadratically (P<0.001) with maximum Arak inclusion (0.23%), whereas feed effi ciency improved linearly by 0.16±0.061 g/g (P=0.011) per increment of 1 unit of Arak inclusion. Weight of sexual-accessory glands at 70 d of age increased linearly and quadratically (P<0.01) as dietary concentrations of Arak increased, the highest values for genital organs weight being obtained by using 0.2% Arak. Plasma testosterone concentration, from 120 d to age of puberty, increased linearly by 5.87±1.69 ng/mL (P<0.001) with Arak inclusion. The minimum puberty age was obtained by 0.2% Arak inclusion (P=0.024). Sexual desire, mating activity, semen-ejaculate volume, advanced-sperm motility, sperm-cell concentration and total-sperm output were linearly and quadratically affected by Arak inclusion (P<0.05), being optimized for 0.2% Arak inclusion. In conclusion, the addition of 0.2% Arak (Salvadora persica) to the growing and mature BB male rabbit diets improved growth and reproductive capabilities.
rabbit males; Arak (Salvadora persica); growth performance; reproduction; semen quality
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