Response of growing rabbits to different levels of dietary citric acid
An experiment was conducted for a period of 56 days with 36 healthy New Zealand White (NZW) rabbits aged about one months having weight from 370 to 390g to evaluate the effects of dietary citric acid on growth performance, feed consumption and digestibility of nutrients as well as immune status. The experiment was designed with 6 dietary treatments having 6 rabbits per treatment. Rabbits of control treatment (T1) were given the diet without citric acid (CA) but the dietary treatments T2, T3, T4, T5 and T6 contained 0.5, 1.0, 1.5, 2.0 and 2.5% CA respectively. Green grass was supplied on ad libitum basis. The total body weight gain was Addition of CA at the level of 2% enhanced body weight significantly (P<0.05). (P<0.05)(P<0.05) T 734, 776, 812, 862, 911 and 740g for the rabbits fed 0, 0.5, 1.0, 1.5, 2.0 and 2.5% CA containing diets respectively. Total DM intake also increased with increasing the percentage of CA up to 2% level . Incase of feed conversion ratio, there was no significant difference in addition to different levels of CA. Supplementation of CA improved dry matter, crude protein and ether extract digestibility but incase of crude fiber and nitrogen free extract, there was no significant difference. Non significant difference was also found incase of acidity of feed and feces. The highest lymphocyte (73%) was counted in dietary treatment T6 having 2.5% CA, which was 17% higher than the control diet. From the result of this experiment, it may be concluded that the addition of CA up to 2% level in diet improves performance, digestibility of nutrients and immune status of growing rabbit.
Key words: Rabbit; Citric acid; Performance; Immunity
Bang. J. Anim. Sci. 2010, 39(1&2): 125-133
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