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The effect of diet quality (high-fibre (HF) or low-fibre (LF)) on energetic parameters in pregnant and lactating rats (Lasiopodomys brandtii) was examined. There was no significant difference (p>0.05) in body mass of voles prior to dietary acclimation and during pregnancy. Energetic parameters (dry matter, gross energy, digestible energy intake and digestibility) as well as body mass of pups was not significantly (p>0.05) affected by diet quality. Low fibre diet caused a decreased (p<0.05) in feed and gross energy intake and increased (p<0.001) digestible energy intake at mid lactation while digestibility was significantly increased at early lactation. Liver and kidney were significantly (p<0.05) lighter in voles on low fibre diet. No significant difference was observed between diets for metabolic rate. These results revealed that rats can compensate for poor quality (HF) diet physiologically by increasing food intake and decreasing digestible energy intake and digestibility to keep reproductive performance unaffected. The most energetically demanding period of breeding cycle of rat was mid lactation.
Key words: Energetic parameters, High- and low-fiber diet, Lactating, Pregnant, Rat