Effects of Dietary Citric Acid on the Growth and Physiology of Rabbits

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A total of thirty (30) weaner rabbit bucks were used in this study to investigate the effects of dietary citric acid on growth performance, carcass yield, reproductive parameters, blood profiles and bone characteristics of cross-bred rabbits.

Six (6) rabbits each were randomly assigned to five dietary treatments and each animal served as a replicate.

Feed grade synthetic citric acid were varied in the diets of the rabbits at the rate of 0.00, 0.75, 1.50, 2.25 and 3.00 %.

The feeding trial lasted for 16 weeks.

The results revealed that the inclusion of citric acid in the diets had no significant (P>0.05) effect on average daily feed intake, average daily weight gain and feed conversion ratio.

However, the inclusion of citric acid in the diets of the weaner rabbits had significant effect (P<0.05) on the average daily water intake and water to feed ratio.

The inclusion of citric acid up to 3.00 % in diet showed no significant effect on the abdominal fat weight, visceral fat weight, paired kidney weight and heart weight.

There was also no significant effect (P>0.05) of citric acid on the dressing percentage and weight of primal cuts.

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