EFFECT OF FORAGE TYPE, PALM OIL SUPPLEMENTATION AND SEX ON SERUM PROGESTERONE AND TESTOSTERONE PROFILE OF WEANER RABBITS

Authors

  • Iyeghe-Erakpotobor, G. T.
  • Okunlola, B.O.
  • Barje, P. P.

Keywords:

Progesterone, testosterone, forage meal, groundnut, lablab, palm oil, puberty, rabbits

Abstract

A study was conducted using a total of 96 mixed breed rabbits aged between 5-7 weeks were
used to evaluate the effect of forage type, forage level, palm oil (PO) supplementation and sex on
serum progesterone and testosterone profile of weaned rabbits. The rabbits were randomly
allotted to the treatment groups in a Completely Randomized Design with 2x2x2x2 factorial
arrangement. The factors considered were forage type (groundnut, lablab), level(20, 40%) palm
oil supplementation (without, with) and sex (male, female). Water and feed were supplied ad
libitum. The study lasted 98 days duration.Blood samples were collected starting from the
twelfth week of age and subsequently at two weeks interval up to the eighteenth week to monitor
progesterone and testosterone profiles of weaned rabbits. Progesterone and testosterone
concentration increased (P<0.05) from the twelfth to eighteenth week of agein male and female
rabbits. However, concentration of progesterone was significantly (P<0.05) higher in females
than males of the same age. Serum testosterone concentration was not affected (P>0.05) by
forage type. However, male and female rabbits fed groundnut forage meal had significantly
(P<0.05) higher serum progesterone than those fed lablab forage meal. There were no significant
(P>0.05) differences in testosterone profile of male and progesterone concentration in female
rabbits fed diets with 20% or 40% forage meal however, significantly (P<0.001) higher
progesterone concentration was observed in male rabbits fed 40% forage level than 20%. There
were no significant differences (P>0.05) in serum testosterone in male and progesterone
concentrationin female rabbits fed diets with or without PO. Progesterone levels were highly
significant (P<0.01) in male rabbits fed diets with palm oil than those fed diets without PO.It is
concluded that testosterone and progesterone profiles of weaned rabbits were influenced by
feeding groundnut or lablab forage meals at 20 or 40% levels supplemented with palm oil.Based
on testosterone and progesterone concentrations, male and female rabbits attained puberty by 14
weeks of age. Rabbits on 20% forage meal or lablab attained puberty later at 16 weeks while
those on 40% forage meal or groundnut forage attained puberty earlier at 14 weeks of age.

Published

2015-12-30