|Title||Consequences of rearing feeding programme on the performance of rabbit females from 1st to 2nd parturition.|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2019|
|Authors||Martínez-Paredes, E, Savietto, D, Ródenas, L, Cervera, C, Blas, E, Brecchia, G, Boiti, C, Pascual, JJ|
|Date Published||2019 Oct|
To evaluate how rearing programmes could affect resources allocation and reproductive performance of primiparous rabbit females, a total of 118 rabbit females were used to evaluate the effects of five rearing feeding programmes on their performance from 1st to 2nd parturition: CAL, fed ad libitum C diet (11.0 MJ digestible energy (DE), 114 g digestible protein (DP) and 358 g NDF/kg dry matter (DM) until 1st parturition; CR, fed ad libitum with C diet until 12 weeks of age and then C diet restricted (140 g/day) until 1st parturition; F, fed ad libitum with F diet (8.7 MJ DE, 88 g DP and 476 NDF/kg DM) until 1st parturition; FC, fed with F diet ad libitum until 16 weeks of age, and C diet ad libitum until 1st parturition; FCF, fed with F diet ad libitum until 16 weeks of age, then C diet ad libitum until 20 weeks and then F diet ad libitum until 1st parturition. From 1st parturition, C diet was ad libitum offered to all the experimental groups until 2nd parturition. CAL females presented lower feed intake than females of F, FC and FCF groups in the 1st week of lactation (on av. -16.6%; P<0.05). During 1st lactation, the perirenal fat thickness change in CAL females was not different from 0 (+0.02 mm), while in the other four groups it increased (on av. +0.44 mm; P<0.05). Plasma of females fed with F diet during rearing (F, FC and FCF) had lower non-esterified fatty acids content than those exclusively fed with C diet (-0.088 and -0.072 mmol/l compared to CAL and CR, respectively; P<0.05). FCF litters had higher weight than F litters at day 21 of lactation (+247 g; P<0.05), but FCF litter had significantly lower weight than FC litters at weaning (+170 g; P<0.05). CR females had the shortest average interval between the 1st and 2nd parturition (49 days) and FCF females the longest (+ 9 days compared to CR; P<0.05). At 2nd parturition, liveborn litters of F females were larger and heavier than litters of FCF females (+2.22 kits and +138 g; P<0.05), probably due to the lower mortality at birth of F litters (-16.5 percentage points; P<0.05). In conclusion, rearing females on fibrous diets seems to increase the ability of primiparous rabbit females to obtain resources, especially at the onset of lactation.