The role of amniotic fluid ingestion on the development of various fetal organic systems was evaluated in the rabbit model. The fetuses from 24 New Zealand white rabbits were studied on the 23rd day of gestation. Right ovarian-end fetuses underwent esophageal ligation (EL) or sham (SH) operations. Rabbits were submitted to hysterectomy on gestational day 30, and various organic systems of live fetuses were examined by weight and histological evaluations. Additionally, small intestinal enzymes were determined. Three fetal deaths, one in EL and two in SH groups, occurred with a total survival rate of 85%.