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https://doi.org/10.5713/ab.22.0354    [Accepted] Published online January 11, 2023.
Improving productivity in rabbits by using some natural feed additives under hot environmental conditions - A review
Magdy Abdelsalam1,2  , Moataz Fathi1,3,* 
1Department of Animal Production and Breeding, College of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, Qassim University, Al-Qassim 51452, Saudi Arabia
2Department of Animal Production, Faculty of Agriculture, Alexandria University, El-Shatby, Alexandria 21545, Egypt
3Department of Poultry Production, Faculty of Agriculture, Ain Shams University, Hadayek Shoubra 11241, Cairo, Egypt
Correspondence:  Moataz Fathi, Tel: +966-594067644, Fax: +966-63801360, Email: mmfathi@fulbrightmail.org
Received: 13 September 2022   • Revised: 7 November 2022   • Accepted: 24 December 2022
Abstract
Abstract: Heat stress is a major challenge to animal production in tropical and subtropical climates. Rabbits suffer from heat stress more than farm animals because they have few sweat glands, and their bodies are covered with thick fur. Intensive farming relies on antibiotics as antimicrobials or growth promoters to increase animals' productivity and health. However, the European Union and many countries have banned or restricted the use of antibiotics in animal feed for human health concerns. Several studies have found that replacing antibiotics in rabbit feed with natural plants or feed additives increases productivity and improves immune capacity, especially under heat stress conditions. Growth performance, immune response, gut microflora, and carcass yield may be increased in rabbits fed a diet supplemented with some natural plants and/or propolis. In this review article, we discuss and summarize the effects of some herbs and plant extracts as alternative feed additives on rabbit productivity, especially for those raised under hot ambient temperatures.
Keywords: Eucalyptus; Feed Additive; Hot Condition; Moringa; Propolis; Yucca
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