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Improvements in the conception rate, milk composition and embryo quality of rabbit does after dietary enrichment with n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids

  • M. Rodríguez (a1), R. M. García-García (a2), M. Arias-Álvarez (a3), P. Millán (a2), N. Febrel (a1), N. Formoso-Rafferty (a3), J. López-Tello (a3), P.L. Lorenzo (a2) and P. G. Rebollar (a1)...

Abstract

This work attempts to confirm the effect of an enriched diet with n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) trying to mitigate the reproductive performances issues such as low conception rate of primiparous rabbits. A total of 127 does were fed ad libitum throughout their two first cycles with two diets with different fat sources: mixed fat in the control and salmon oil in the enriched one, with 3.19 g/100 g (n=63 does) and 28.77 g/100 g (n=64 does) of n-3 of the total fatty acid, respectively. Feed intake was similar between groups (P>0.05). Plasma progesterone concentration was higher in the enriched females than in control ones at 7 (30.9±2.18 v. 23.9±2.30 ng/ml, respectively; P=0.029) and 14 (38.7±2.18 v. 28.2±2.30 ng/ml, respectively; P=0.001) days of first gestation. Considering both cycles, reproductive parameters of mothers (fertility, duration of gestation and prolificacy) and litter parameters (weight at parturition and weaning, mortality and average daily gain (ADG) of kits during lactation) were similar in both groups. However, individual measurements of neonates of enriched group improved 5.87%, 7.10% and 18.01% (P<0.05) in terms of crown-rump length, biparietal and thoracic diameters, respectively, compared to control ones at first parturition. It is noteworthy that at the second insemination, critical point in rabbit, fertility rate of enriched group did not decline as sharply as in the control group (89.7% v. 76.6%, respectively; P=0.067), although ADG and littler weight were slightly lower at the second lactation after PUFA enrichment (P<0.05). Total PUFA and unsaturated index of milk of enriched does group were significantly elevated than in control one (33.3±0.02 v. 23.2±0.02 g/100 g and 1.20±0.00 v. 0.86±0.00, respectively; P<0.05). Finally, plasma progesterone, ovulation rate, fertility and embryo development at 3.5 days after the artificial insemination were similar between diets (P>0.05), but embryo apoptosis rate was higher in control group than in enriched one (31.1±4.56% v. 17.1±3.87%, respectively; P<0.05). In conclusion, dietary PUFA enrichment from the rearing and throughout two productive cycles improved plasma progesterone during pregnancy, fertility, milk fatty acid profile and neonates development of primiparous supporting the beneficial effect of n-3 PUFA supplementation in rabbit does.

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Keywords

Improvements in the conception rate, milk composition and embryo quality of rabbit does after dietary enrichment with n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids

  • M. Rodríguez (a1), R. M. García-García (a2), M. Arias-Álvarez (a3), P. Millán (a2), N. Febrel (a1), N. Formoso-Rafferty (a3), J. López-Tello (a3), P.L. Lorenzo (a2) and P. G. Rebollar (a1)...

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