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J Anim Physiol Anim Nutr (Berl). 2019 Feb 4. doi: 10.1111/jpn.13069. [Epub ahead of print]

Bee pollen and propolis as dietary supplements for rabbit: Effect on reproductive performance of does and on immunological response of does and their offspring.

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Arid Land Agriculture Department, Faculty of Meteorology, Environment and Arid Land Agriculture, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Department of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Production, University of Napoli Federico II, Napoli, Italy.
Department of Animal and Poultry Production, Faculty of Agriculture, Damanhour University, Damanhour, Egypt.
Animal Husbandry and Animal Wealth Development Department, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Alexandria University, Alexandria, Egypt.


To evaluate the effect of bee pollen (BP) and/or propolis (Pro) supplementation on rabbit does, 64 nulliparous NZW rabbits does were distributed among eight groups (eight animals/group). One unsupplemented group was the control; the other seven groups were supplemented, respectively, with zinc bacitracin (ZnB) at 100 mg, BP at 150 and 300 mg, Pro at 150 and 300 mg, BP+Pro at 150 and 300 mg of each three times/week, day after day continuously along eight parities. The BP300, Pro300 and BP+Pro150 groups had higher body weight of litter at birth and number of kids born alive. The BP supplementation at 150 mg increased plasma total protein and albumin than the control group. The BP or Pro at 150 mg decreased plasma T3 than the other groups except for BP+Pro150. The ZnB group had significantly greater T3 /T4 ratio compared to BP, Pro and BP+Pro at 150 mg. The BP+Pro150 group had less ALT than the control; BP300 and Pro 300 mg resulted in lower plasma AST than the groups Pro150 with or without BP and the control group. The plasma alkaline phosphatase of BP at 150 or 300 mg and BP+Pro150 was significantly greater than that of the Pro150 group. The BP+Pro300 group had higher WBCs than the other groups. In contrast, the lymphocytes were greater in the Pro and BP+Pro300 groups than in BP, Pro and BP+Pro at 150 mg. The groups supplemented with BP and BP+Pro at 150 and 300 mg had significantly greater SRBCs of doe rabbits and their offspring compared to the control and the ZnB group. The BP at 300 mg increased the serum albumin and α1 -globulin than the control group. The Pro300 group had greater serum α2 -globulin and β-globulin than the control group. The total globulin was significantly greater for the 300 mg propolis-supplemented groups than the control.


bee pollen; immune status; propolis; rabbit does; reproductive performance


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