Young rabbits does fed ad libitum diets often show parturition problems such as dystocia and abnormal presentation, resulting in reduced numbers of kits. This can be linked to excessive fatness of the does. Several studies have documented the effect of feed restriction on rabbits, but only limited information exist on the carryover effect of maternal feed restriction exerts on meat quality attributes of the offspring produced from such restriction. This study evaluated the influence of maternal feed restriction and vitamin E inclusion during pregnancy on meat quality of rabbit kits. Seventy-five rabbits, consisting of sixty 20-week-old does and 15 mature bucks, were used in the experiment. Treatments consisted of two levels of feed restriction (0 and 15 %) applied at three different periods during pregnancy (15 – 19, 20 – 24, or 25 – 29 days) with or without vitamin E dietary inclusions (0 and 300 mg/kg). The pregnant does were divided into twelve treatment groups, each containing five replicates of one rabbit each. The experiment was in a 2 × 3 × 2 factorial layout in a completely randomised design. After kindling (between days 28 – 31 of pregnancy) the resulting kits (a total of 180 kits) were arranged on treatment basis of their mothers and managed for a period of 56 days; that is 15 kits per treatment, each replicated 5 times (each replicate contained 3 kits). After 56 days of experiment, the data were collected on meat pH, total cholesterol, crude fat, crude protein, thermal shortening and refrigeration loss. Feed restriction during pregnancy with or without dietary vitamin E (no addition and 300 mg/kg) resulted in a significant (p < 0.05) influence on meat quality attributes of growing rabbits as total cholesterol (555.00 ± 6.06) decreased in the meat of rabbits whose mothers were feed-restricted during pregnancy. On the other hand, maternal feed rationing with or without vitamin E did not significantly (p > 0.05) affect the crude protein and thermal shortening of their slaughtered offspring. In conclusion, maternal feed rationing during pregnancy can be adopted as a feeding strategy in manipulating meat quality indicators of growing rabbits as total cholesterol concentrations decreased which is a good indicator that the meat is safer and better for consumers in order to prevent health-related challenges.

Częstotliwość wydawania:
Volume Open
Dziedziny czasopisma:
Life Sciences, Plant Science