EFFECTS OF A PROBIOTIC AND A PREBIOTIC-CONTAINING DIET ON PERFORMANCE, CARCASS TRAITS, AND CECAL AND INTESTINAL PH OF GROWING RABBITS
Keywords:additives, Bacillus subtilis, mannanoligosaccharide, animal nutrition
AbstractThis study was aimed at evaluating the performance, carcass and non-carcass traits, and the intestinal and cecal pH of growing rabbits fed with diets containing a prebiotic and/or a probiotic to replace antibiotics as growth factor. Forty New Zealand White rabbits were distributed according to a completely randomized experimental design into five types of treatment (T1 = control diet; T2 = diet with zinc bacitracin; T3 = diet with a probiotic; T4 = diet with a prebiotic; and T5 = diet with a probiotic and a prebiotic), with four replicates each for performance and carcass traits, and two replicates for intestinal pH. Weight gain, daily feed intake, and feed conversion ratio were determined. At slaughter, carcass weight, kidneys, liver, heart, lungs, head, limbs, and hide were weighed. For cecal pH, 32 animals were used, of which two were slaughtered before the experiment started, and then two animals per treatment at, respectively, 50, 65, and 80 days of age, which corresponded to the end of the experimental period. There was no statistical difference in performance parameters. As for non-carcass traits, there was a significant difference only in heart weight. Cecal, jejunum, and ileum pH measurements were not statistically different among treatments; however, significant differences were found for duodenum pH. It was concluded that the addition of a prebiotic and/or a probiotic does not improve the parameters studied.