The Effect of Adding Different Levels of Wheat Germ Oil without or with Folic Acid to Rabbit’s Diet in Improving Growth and Digestion

Abstract

The present study aimed to investigate the effect of wheat germ oil (WGO) with or without folic acid on rabbit body weight, growth rate, feed consumption, feed efficiency and nutrient digestion at different ages. This experiment was conducted in one of the breeding halls of the Department of Animal Production at the College of Agriculture/ University of Basrah from 1-2-2018 to 1-7-2018 preceded by an introductory period of 10 days for the acclimatization of animals. Eight males and 56 female rabbits were purchased from local markets, at the age of two months, with an average weight of (650, 810) grams for males and females, respectively. The animals were divided randomly into four groups (14 females + 2 males/ group) The first group is a control group (no WGO) and the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th groups were given WGO orally at a dose of 0.25, 0.50 and 0.75 ml/ kg body weight/ day respectively for five months. After two months of, treatments the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th group were divided into two groups. The 1st group of each treated group continued received the same dose of WGO according to experimental protocol while the 2nd group of each treatment received the same dose of WGO plus folic acid at a dose of(1 mg/ kg of body weight/ animal) at the age of 150 days (puberty).The results revealed that dosing rabbit with WGO improved body weight at the age of puberty and pregnancy, especially the 0.75 ml/kg dose without folic acid (2887.95, 3087.95 and 3641.45 gm at 150 days of age, 15 and 30 days of pregnancy respectively). Those with folic acid were 2887.95, 3105.90 and 3660.85 gm respectively. Growth rate of 0.75 WGO with folic acid exceeded all other groups at 15 and 30 days of pregnancy (7.27 and 36.99 gm respectively). These improvements are reflecting the better digestion coefficients of drymaters (DM), Curde protein (CP) and curde fiber (CF) of the group dosed with 0.75 WGO with folic acid at 150 days of age (69.96%, 84.96% and 77.25% respectively).