Acta Vet. Brno 2012, 81: 245-250

Benefficial effect of plant extracts in rabbit husbandry

Renáta Szabóová1, Andrea Lauková1, Ľubica Chrastinová2, Viola Strompfová1, Monika Pogány Simonová1, Iveta Plachá1, Zuzana Vasilková3, Mária Chrenková2, Štefan Faix1

1Slovak Academy of Sciences, Institute of Animal Physiology, Košice, Slovak Republic
2Animal Production Research Centre, Institute of Nutrition, Nitra, Slovak Republic
3Slovak Academy of Science, Institute of Parasitology, Košice, Slovak Republic

The present study evaluates the effect of plant extracts of oregano and commercial XtraktTM administrations on microbial, biochemical, immunological and nutritional indicators and on Eimeria sp. oocyst occurrence in rabbits. Rabbits (5 weeks old, Hy-plus hybrid, n = 66) were divided into experimental group 1 (E1) with oregano extract application, experimental group 2 (E2) with XtractTM application and control group. Natural substances were administered for the first 21 days. The experiment lasted for 42 days. The antibacterial effect was determined by the decrease of coagulase-positive staphylococci in E1 compared to control at day 42. Staphylococcus aureus cells were detected in lower counts in E2 compared to control at day 21. The counts of Clostridium-like bacteria were lower in both experimental groups at day 21 compared to day 7 (difference 1.2 and 1.3 log cycles, respectively) and to control (difference 0.5 and 0.3 log cycles, respectively). At day 7, the counts of coliforms in E1 were significantly lower than in E2 (P < 0.01). In rabbits fed with oregano, reduction of Eimeria sp. oocysts and higher value of phagocytic activity (21.6 ± 0.51 %) were found compared to XtractTM, and prolonged immuno-stimulatory effect was noted. In the animals of both experimental groups higher final weight, feed conversion ratio and lower mortality were achieved compared to control. The administration of oregano showed antibacterial, anticoccidial, and immunomodulatory effects. The results showed that oregano administration may be used as an alternative prophylactic measure in rabbits.


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