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Effect of a starter diet supplementation with mannan-oligosaccharide or inulin on health status, caecal metabolism, digestibility of nutrients and growth of early weaned rabbits

  • Z. Volek (a1), M. Marounek (a1) (a2) and V. Skřivanová (a1)
Abstract

The effect of a dietary supplementation with mannan-oligosaccharide (MOS, Bio-Mos, Alltech Inc.) and inulin (Frutafit® IQ) on growth, health, and caecal traits was studied on 348 rabbits (Hyplus®), weaned at 25 days of age. Three hundred and thirty rabbits (110 per group) were used for the health status and growth performance trial, while 18 rabbits (six per group) were used for caecal metabolism evaluation at the age of 42 days of age. Three diets were formulated: C (control), M (0.3% MOS) and I diet (4% inulin). Digestibility of the diets was measured in 10 rabbits per group between 36 and 40 days of age. The control diet was fed to rabbits of the C group from weaning to 74 days of age (slaughter). Diets M and I were fed to rabbits of the respective group from weaning to 46 days of age, then were fed with control diet till slaughter. From 25 to 46 days of age, the weight gain was slightly higher in control rabbits ( P = 0.11), while no differences were recorded for the whole period. No differences among groups in the mortality, which was high due to an enteropathy-infected environment, were significant. The lowest morbidity ( P = 0.05) as well as the health risk index were recorded in rabbits fed the diet with inulin ( P = 0.03). After change of diet, the health risk index increased in the rabbits previously fed the diet with additives, thereby no significant differences in the health status were recorded for the whole period. Total caecal volatile fatty acids concentration was higher ( P < 0.01) and the pH ( P < 0.01) and ammonia concentration ( P = 0.01) lower in rabbits fed the inulin diet than in other rabbits. In these animals, acetate molar proportion was higher ( P = 0.01) and that of propionate as well as the propionate/butyrate ratio significantly lower than in other rabbits. Butyrate molar proportion was higher in rabbits fed the diet with MOS ( P < 0.01). In rabbits fed the inulin diet a higher activity of inulinase was recorded ( P < 0.001) than in other rabbits. A significantly lower digestibility of cellulose was observed in rabbits fed the diet with MOS. The results of our study suggest the importance of using inulin-type fructans in the nutrition of young rabbits. The higher health risk index of rabbits after change of diets indicates that prebiotics should be given for a longer time during the fattening period.

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      Effect of a starter diet supplementation with mannan-oligosaccharide or inulin on health status, caecal metabolism, digestibility of nutrients and growth of early weaned rabbits
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      Effect of a starter diet supplementation with mannan-oligosaccharide or inulin on health status, caecal metabolism, digestibility of nutrients and growth of early weaned rabbits
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Corresponding author
* E-mail: volek.zdenek@vuzv.cz
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