The role of folic acid and iron in reproductive performance of New Zealand White does and their kits


  • K.A. El-Masry Nuclear Research Center
  • A.S. Nasr Zagazig University



Forty eight lactating non-pregnant New Zealand White does 9 months of age and weighing 3468 g and in the third parity were used in the present study. The does were randomly divided into 4 equal groups of 12 each and were mated twice. The four groups of the pregnant does were given an unsupplemented diet (control) or a diet supplemented 5 mg folie acid (FA), 80 mg Fe (as Ferrous Sulfate, FeS04) or 5 mQ FA + 80 mg Fe/kg dry matter, respectively, for a period of two parities with two lactation cycles. AII treatments had increased (P<0.05) maternal weight at 14, 21 and 28 days of gestation, as comparad to the control group. In does receiving FA or Fe, both litter size at birth and at weaning increased (P<0,05), while FA + Fe group insignificantly increased litter size at weaning only. Total mortality of young rabbit was significantly (P<0.05) lower in all treatments. FA, Fe, and FA+ Fe treatments increased (P<0.05) litter weight at weaning (5080, 3730 and 3160, respectively vs .. 2069 g) and improved (P<0.05) kit weight at weaning (666, 598 and 638, respectively vs 559 g) comparad to the control group. On day 28 of gestation, plasma progesterone level is increased in FA supplemented does and both progesterone and estradiol-171} levels are increased in does supplemented with Fe treatment. Plasma concentrations of T4, estradiol-171} and progesterone were significantly higher on day 28 of gestation in does supplemented with FA + Fe. Total milk yield/doe/lactation cycle was significantly higher in all treated groups than in the control (P<0.05). lt was concluded that the supplementation of FA or FA + Fe to a basal diets of pregnant does will improve their reproductlve performance.


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