EFFECT OF SELENIUM AND VITAMIN E ON THE REPRODUCTIVE PERFORMANCE OF RABBIT DOES AND KITS
This study was conducted to evaluate the effect of dietary supplementation of Vitamin E and Selenium on the reproductive performance of rabbit Does and Kits. Four groups of mixed breeds of rabbits (Newzealand white, Dutch black, and Chinchilla) 8-9 months old with an average body weight of 1.98±0.6kg were considered in the experiment. Each group was made up of 3does and a buck to serve them. All the bucks were fed the basal diet during the study alongside group 1 Does which served as the control. Does in groups 2, 3 and 4 Does were fed the basal diet supplemented with 40mg vitamin E (VE); 0.3mg Selenium (Se); and 40mg Vitamin E plus 0.3 Selenium (VE + Se) for 4 weeks respectively. From the study, there were no significant (P>0.05) differences in the reproductive performances of Does except for body weight of litter at birth which was significantly (P>0.05) increased by Se and significantly decreased by VE + Se supplementation; and weight at weaning which was increased in the Se group. Blood Haemoglobin, PCV, RBC, and LH did not differ (P>0.05) from the control. Se and VE groups increased blood Neutrophils. In the VE+ Se group, Eosinophil and FSH were significantly (P>0.05) increased, while lymphocyte was significantly (P>0.05) reduced. However, Eosinophil and Lymphocyte were significantly (P>0.05) decreased in the VE group. For the oxidative enzymes, the Se, SOD, and Glutathione peroxidase were not influenced by the treatments (P>0.05). The Se group had a significantly (P>0.05) increased MDA and Reduced glutathione values. Glutathione level was significantly lowered in the VE and Se group. For the VE + Se group, MDA was significantly increased while Catalase was significantly (P>0.05) reduced. Other oxidative enzymes were not however influenced (P>0.05) by the treatments. In conclusion, in addition to improvement in the FSH and oxidative enzymes status of Does, there was also better reproductive performance when Se is supplemented at 0.3mg/kg diet.