Effect of different levels of bee pollen on performance and blood profile of New Zealand White bucks and growth performance of their offspring during summer and winter months

Authors

  • Y. A. Attia,

    1.  Department of Animal and Poultry Production, Faculty of Agriculture, Damanhour University, Egypt,
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  • A. Al-Hanoun,

    1.  Department of Rabbits, Turkey and Waterfowls Production, Animal Production Research Institute, ARC, Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation, Alexandria, Egypt
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  • F. Bovera

    1.  Department of Scienze Zootecniche e Ispezione degli alimenti, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Napoli Federico II, Napoli, Italy.
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F. Bovera, Department of Scienze Zootecniche e Ispezione degli alimenti, via F. Delpino, 1 80137 Napoli, Italy. Tel: +39 081 2536497; Fax: +39 081 292981; E-mail: bovera@unina.it

Summary

The effect of bee pollen on productive and reproductive performances of adult buck rabbits and their offspring was studied during winter and summer seasons. Forty New Zealand White bucks were equally divided among four groups feeding the same commercial diet and receiving a water solution containing, respectively, 0 (control), 100, 200 and 300 mg bee pollen/kg body weight, twice per week along two experimental periods. The experimental periods were listed for ten weeks both during winter (30–40 weeks of age) and summer seasons (56–66 weeks of age). During the trials body weight, body weight gain, total feed intake, semen quality, fertility and blood constituents were determined. Fertility was determined after natural mating with no treated females. For each season, 80 weaned rabbits obtained from the bucks of the control group were equally divided (20 per group) among 4 levels (0, 100, 200 and 300 mg/kg BW) of bee pollen, given as a water solution twice per week. The offspring sired by bucks given 100, 200 and 300 mg (20 for each group and season) were not administrated bee pollen. The effect of bee pollen on growth performance of rabbits was studied from 4 to 12 weeks of age. Bee pollen at 200 mg/kg BW significantly (p < 0.01) improved semen quality, increased fertility percentage, improved biochemical profiles of blood and helps outstanding of bucks during both seasons. The same concentration of bee pollen increased body weight gain and survival rate and reduced feed intake and feed conversion ratio of offspring up to 12 weeks of age.

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