Alopecia in Rabbits Fed Semi-purified Diets with Marginal Protein Content

  • A Alhaidary Department of Animal Production, College of Food and Agricultural Sciences, King Saud University
  • H E Mohamed Department of Animal Production, College of Food and Agricultural Sciences, King Saud University
  • A C Beynen Department of Animal Production, College of Food and Agricultural Sciences, King Saud University

Abstract

A marginal (i.e. less than optimal) protein intake by rabbits has been suggested to cause hair loss. Our  recent study with rabbits offered the opportunity to test the suggestion under controlled conditions. Young  growing rabbits were fed one of four semi-purified diets. The diets were high (21.6 energy % protein) or  low in casein (13.0 energy % protein) with either high or low level of corn oil (21.1 instead of 5.3 energy  %). On various body parts of the rabbits, the degree of alopecia was scored. Upon slaughter, the amount of  hair in the stomach was assessed. The low-fat diets with either high or low protein content induced similar  growth rates, indicating that the low protein level was not limiting growth. It was found that a decrease in  the protein level of the low-fat diet was associated with significant alopecia on legs and belly and less hair  accumulation in the stomach. It is concluded that signs of alopecia that are observed in rabbits fed experimental  diets could relate to low dietary protein concentration. 

Section
Articles