Animal Reproduction (AR)
https://animal-reproduction.org/article/5b5a6038f7783717068b462e
Animal Reproduction (AR)
Original Article

Effects of Aspilia africana on conception rates of rabbit does

N.N. Etim, M.A. Oguike

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Abstract

The study was conducted to investigate the conception rates of rabbit does fed Aspilia africana as forage using thirty (30) Dutch breed rabbit does of average age of 6 months which were randomly divided into three treatment groups with ten does per treatment. The treatment consisted of T1 - mixed forages (Ipomea batatas leaves, Centrosema pubescens, Musa sapientum leaves, Panicum maximum) without A. africana (control), T2 - fresh A. africana and T3 - wilted A. africana. Each treatment was replicated five times with two does per replicate in a Completely Randomized Design (CRD). The rabbits in all the treatment groups were fed 300 g of the same concentrate diet which contained 18.0% crude protein (CP) and 2620 kcal ME/kg throughout the study and 500 g of mixed forages which consisted of Ipomea batatas leaves, Centrosema pubescens, Musa sapientum leaves, and Panicum maximum from the commencement of the experiment until parturition. The test forage was introduced in treatments 2 and 3 following parturition. Does in the control group (T1) continued on the mixed forages fed during acclimatization. After weaning at four weeks, the does were remated two weeks later. Two weeks after remating, the does were palpated in the lower abdomen to confirm pregnancy. When no pregnancy was found, A. africana was suspended for three weeks. Three weeks later, the does were mated again. The study revealed no significant (P > 0.05) differences in daily feed intake of does among the various treatment groups throughout the study. Gestation length (29.10, 29.40, 29.20 for T1, T2 and T3 respectively), receptivity (3, 3, 2 for T1, T2 and T3 respectively) conception rates (96, 96, 99 for T1, T2 and T3 respectively) and ovarian weights (0.20, 0.22 and 0.20 for T1, T2 and T3 respectively) of the does in the various treatment groups showed no significant differences (P > 0.05) before the introduction of the test plants (A. africana). During the period of administration of the test plant, the treated groups T2 and T3 had significantly lower (P < 0.05) mean values for receptivity (T2 and T3 = 1) compared to T1 (3), conception rates for T2 and T3 were 0% and T1 was 100%. The gestation length for the control was 30.5 days while gestation was not recorded for T2 and T3 since they did not conceive at all. The ovarian weight of the control T1 (0.20 g) was significantly higher (P < 0.05) than T2 and T3 both of which recorded 0.13 g for their ovarian weights. The study showed that the use of A. africana was deleterious to fertility in rabbits.

Keywords

conception, contraceptive, rabbits, reproduction
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