Productive and reproductive performance of rabbits does as affected by bee pollen and/or propolis, inulin and/or mannan-oligosaccharides


  • Y.A. Attia King Abdulaziz University
  • F. Bovera Napoli University
  • W.S. El-Tahawy Damanhour University
  • A.M. El-Hanoun Ministry of Agriculture
  • M.A. Al-Harthi King Abdulaziz University
  • H.I. Habiba Damanhour University, Damanhour



rabbit, natural growth promoters, bee pollen, propolis, inulin, mannan-oligosaccharides


The aim of the paper was to compare the effect of prebiotics (inulin and/or mannan-oligosaccharides, MOS) and bee products (bee pollen and/or propolis) on productive and reproductive performance of rabbit does. Seventy nulliparous V-line female rabbits were distributed among 7 groups. The groups were fed the same diet and received no supplements (control group), natural molecules (bee pollen and/or propolis) at 200 mg/kg body weight (BW) or prebiotics (inulin and/or MOS) at 35 mg/kg BW. Productive, reproductive, biochemical and haematological traits were investigated. Bee pollen with propolis significantly increased body weight gain of does 1 wk after mating (3.53%), decreased feed intake (4.49%) and caused larger litter size (39.4%), heavier body weight of litter (17.7%), a greater number of kits born alive (48.7%), higher weight of kits (87.81%) at 28 d of age, higher milk yield (43.6%) and more favourable milk conversion ratio (31.6%). Moreover, bee pollen with propolis had significantly increased plasma total protein (43.1%), albumin (45.7%), globulin (41.0) and progesterone (60.5%), and had a significantly decreased plasma cholesterol (31.1%), aspartate aminotransferase/alanine aminotransferase ratio (20.3%) compared to the control group. Does treated with growth promoters had significantly fewer services per conception (22%) and greater fertility rate (21%) compared to the control group. Inulin with or without MOS significantly increased plasma glucose (49.9 and 50%, respectively) and feed cost (90.2%) compared to the control group. Supplementation of MOS or bee pollen with or without propolis had significantly greater relative economic efficiency (61.9, 55.1 and 27.1%, respectively) than the control group. MOS and bee pollen with or without propolis are able to improve productive and reproductive performance and economic efficiency of rabbit does in comparison to the unsupplemented group.


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Author Biographies

Y.A. Attia, King Abdulaziz University

Department of Arid Land Agriculture, Faculty of Meteorology, Environment and Arid Land Agriculture

F. Bovera, Napoli University

Department of Animal Science and Food Control, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine

W.S. El-Tahawy, Damanhour University

Animal and Poultry Production, Faculty of Agriculture

A.M. El-Hanoun, Ministry of Agriculture

Animal Production Research Institute

M.A. Al-Harthi, King Abdulaziz University

Department of Arid Land Agriculture, Faculty of Meteorology, Environment and Arid Land Agriculture

H.I. Habiba, Damanhour University, Damanhour

Animal and Poultry Production, Faculty of Agriculture


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