Effects of Female Dietary Restriction in a Rabbit Growth Line During Rearing on Reproductive Performance and Embryo Quality.

Autores UPV


Maternal diet prior to mating has an effect on reproductive performance. We analysed the effect of maternal dietary restriction during rearing on reproductive performance, the embryo development and foetal growth. Females were categorized in two groups: (i) does with ad libitum access to feed or (ii) restricted. Two experiments were performed: (i) after 1 month, receptive females from both experimental groups were artificially inseminated and the reproductive performance was recorded during three reproductive cycles; at the first insemination, the body weight and perirenal fat thickness were recorded, and (ii) females from both experimental groups were inseminated, and 24 h later, embryos were recovered and transferred to recipient females from a maternal line. Later, embryonic implantation was assessed at day 14 by laparoscopy and foetal growth was monitored by ultrasound examination. In experiment 1, no differences in kindling rate was found, but prolificacy was showed to be higher in ad libitum does, which also were heavier than restricted ones. In experiment 2, no differences among does either in body weight, in perirenal fat thickness or in reproductive performance (ovulation rate and embryo recovery rate) were related to differences in feed intake. However, despite similar embryonic implantation losses, embryos from restricted females demonstrated higher foetal and gestational losses. Embryos from restricted does presented lower foetal growth than embryos from ad libitum does. Therefore, our results demonstrated that nutrition before first conception in a rabbit line selected for growth rate may impact on the embryo and results in a disturbance in gestational losses and foetal growth over all reproductive life.