The effect of including lemongrass extract powder (LGEP) as a phytogenic herbal extract supplementation for growing rabbits on productive performance, nutrient digestibility, blood parameters and carcase characteristics were evaluated. One hundred twenty unsexed V-Line rabbits, with 35 days age and 802 ± 47 g weight, were used. Rabbits were divided equally into four treatments to be fed on basal diet as a control diet without lemongrass inclusion (LGEP0) or with the inclusion of LGEP at 2 g (LGEP2), 4 g (LGEP4) or 6 g (LGEP6) per kg diet. Feeding LGEP did not significantly affect final body weight, weekly weight gains, feed consumption or feed conversion ratio. Moreover, no significant effect of supplementing rabbit diets with LGEP was observed on all apparent nutrient digestibility. The LGEP4 treatment decreased (P<.05) blood malondialdehyde, while LGEP contained treatments increased blood immunoglobulin G concentration as well as spleen relative weight (P<.01) compared to the control treatment. Although LGEP inclusion levels did not significantly affect productive performance traits, the studied LGEP treatments may help to enhance the anti-oxidative status and relative immune response of growing rabbits.HIGHLIGHTS The effect of supplementing lemongrass extract powder (LGEP) to growing rabbits was evaluated. The inclusion of LGEP by 4 g/kg tends to improve growth performance, carcase and digestibility values. The studied lemongrass treatments enhanced the anti-oxidative status and relative immune response of growing rabbits. LGEP could be used as a natural phytogenic feed additive in the growing rabbit diets.
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