Abstract Title:

Effect of supplementation with the antioxidant astaxanthin on reproduction, pre-weaning growth performance of kits and daily milk intake in mink.

Abstract Source:

J Reprod Fertil Suppl. 2001;57:331-4. PMID: 11787170

Abstract Author(s):

K B Hansen, A H Tauson, J Inborr

Article Affiliation:

Department of Animal Science and Animal Health, Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, Grønnegårdsvej 3, 1870 Frederiksberg C, Denmark.


The study comprised two parts. Firstly, the effects of dietary supplementation with an algal meal (Novasta) with a high astaxanthin content on ovulation rate (number of corpora lutea, implantation rate, number, mass and length of fetuses) of breeding female mink were evaluated. Secondly, reproductive outcome (number of live and stillborn kits), kit growth rate and milk intake were studied. Both studies were performed on standard brown female mink (n = 20; control (n = 10) and experimental (n = 10)) housed under conventional farm conditions. Experimental animals were supplied with 5.35 mg astaxanthin per day (0.25 g algal meal (Novasta)). The numbers of corpora lutea, implantation sites and fetuses appeared to be higher in the group that was given astaxanthin but the effect was not significant. The differences between treated and control mink were 1.4 (corpora lutea), 0.9 (implantation sites) and 1.2 (litter size). The percentage of stillborn kits was reduced by 6.3 (P<0.005). The milk intake as measured by use of the isotopic water dilution technique was not affected by treatment group. Milk intake increased from about 19 g in week 1 of lactation to about 30 g per kit per day in week 4 of lactation. Kit weight gain was not affected by the experimental treatment.

Study Type : Animal Study

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