Digestive diseases in rabbits happen mainly in post-weaning period and are the predominant cause of mortality and economical losses in commercial farms.
Most of the digestive disturbances during this period are the result of stress, produced by the separation from the doe, transportation to fattening cages and feed change. Rabbits are extremely sensitive to stress.
Under stressful conditions, passage of feed in intestine slows down and cecotrophy stops. Rabbits produce two types of droppings: fecal pellets and cecotropes. Cecotropes are produced in the cecum, where the fermentation by flora makes the cecotropes very rich in essential nutrients. Reingestion of cecotropes is necessary for rabbit’s normal physiology.
Stress also leads to an alkalization of the pH in some parts of the digestive system, which unbalances normal intestinal flora and promotes the growth of pathogens such as E.coli, Clostridium sp., etc.
The stress factor, along with environmental influences and changes in the introduction of a new feed, favor post weaning diarrhea, that may lead to a 20% mortality.
Many natural products, organic acids and other AGP-replacers have been proven ineffective in preventing this problem, but the trials that have been carried out recently with GrowthPlus© show promising results.
In a first trial, where the control group had no plant extract, GrowthPlus© at 1 kg / ton given during the post-weaning period has been shown to reduce diarrhea incidence by 62%, mortality by 50%, increase body weight gain for all the period by 13%, improve the conversion rate and increase economical profit more than 5%.
In a second trial against a product based on oregano, occurrence of diarrhea was 26% lower in GrowthPlus© group, mortality was 35% lower and body weight gain at the end of the post-weaning period was 11% higher.
Summarizing, the results obtained demostrate that GrowthPlus© is effective to reduce the consequences of post-weaning diarrhea in rabbits in a natural way. GrowthPlus© is a product based on bactericide plant extracts, natural prebiotics, organic acids and European silicates and its recommended dose in rabbits is 1-2 kg/ton.
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