Growth Performance Indices of New Zealand White Rabbits Administered Panax ginseng Extracts
Treatment with Panax ginseng has been reported to elicit various biological effects in both animal and human models. Among the reported effects on animal are protein synthesis and growth promoting ability. For a better understanding, the current experiment was conducted to evaluate the effect of oral administration of P. ginseng extracts (PGEs) on growth performance parameters of growing New Zealand White (NZW) rabbits. A total of 48 NZW male and female rabbits, with the average age of two months were used for the experiment, conducted in a Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD). The rabbits were organized into 3 groups of 16 rabbits each (8 males and 8 females), on weight equalization basis and randomly assigned to 3 treatments: T1, T2 and T3, containing PGEs at 0.0, 200.0 and 400.0 mg/ml, respectively. Final body weight and total body weight gain of the male rabbits on T2 and T3 were significantly (p < 0.05) higher than those of male rabbits on T1, while feed conversion ratio for the male rabbits recorded a higher (p < 0.05) value in T1 than in T2 and T3, which were similar (p < 0.05). Trunk length and breast girth of the male rabbits were significantly (p < 0.05) higher in T3 than in T1 and T2. Feed intake pattern was similar among the male rabbits, but different between males and females. Significant (p < 0.05) differences were not observed in all parameters measured among female rabbits, but all experimental rabbits followed the same pattern of body weight gain. Oral administration of Panax ginseng extracts at 200 and 400 mg/ml levels enhanced feed conversion ratio in male NZW rabbits, thereby increasing body weight gain, trunk length and breast girth, while feed intake patterns slightly differed between the male and female growing rabbits.
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