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Journal of Animal Science Abstract - Nonruminant Nutrition

Effect of substitution of a soybean hull and grape seed meal mixture for traditional fiber sources on digestion and performance of growing rabbits and lactating does1


This article in

  1. Vol. 85 No. 1, p. 181-187
    Received: July 08, 2005
    Accepted: July 05, 2006
    Published: March 12, 2015

    2 Corresponding author(s):

  1. N. Nicodemus2,
  2. J. García,
  3. R. Carabaño and
  4. J. C. De Blas
  1. Departamento de Producción Animal, E.T.S.I. Agrónomos, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Ciudad Universitaria, 28040 Madrid, Spain


The aim of this work was to determine what concentration of a mixture of soybean hulls and defatted grape seed meal (SHDG) could be included in diets that meet or exceed ADL and particle size requirements for rabbits. Four isonitrogenous and isofibrous pelleted diets were formulated, with similar ADL concentration and particle size (18.3% CP, 42.6% NDF, 7.1% ADL, and 34.9% of particles larger than 0.315 mm, on a DM basis). Diets contained a constant ratio of soybean hulls:defatted grape seed meal (81:19) provided at 0, 13.3, 26.7, or 40% SHDG, which was substituted for a 35:35:30 mixture of alfalfa hay, sunflower hulls, and wheat straw. Thirty-six rabbits were used to determine nutrient digestibility and cecotrophy traits. A feeding trial was carried out using 160 weanling rabbits (30 d of age; 536 ± 7.1 g). Milk production was measured in 56 rabbit does. Increasing concentrations of SHDG in the diet did not affect digestibilities of DM, GE, or NDF or DE that were on average 54.7, 55.2, and 21.6% and 10.2 MJ/kg of DM, respectively. Digestibility of CP decreased in diets containing 40% (P = 0.002) and 26.7% (P = 0.054) SHDG compared with diets containing a lower percent of SHDG. Daily recycling of CP through cecotrophy, an indicator of microbial protein production, was not affected by SHDG inclusion. Growing rabbits fed 40% SHDG had reduced ADFI and ADG compared with rabbits fed 26.7% SHDG or less (106 vs. 113, 111, or 111 g/d, and 35.8 vs. 37.8, 36.6, or 37.6 g/d, respectively). There was no effect on G:F from adding SHDG to the diets. In the 2-wk period after weaning, ADG decreased (P = 0.031) for rabbits fed 40% SHDG compared with rabbits fed 26.7% SHDG or less (28.4 vs. 32.2, 30.8, of 32.2 g/d), with no effect on ADFI or G:F. Type of diet did not influence mortality during the fattening period, which averaged 6.25%. Rabbit does fed 40% SHDG had reduced ADFI (411 vs. 430 g/d; P = 0.023) compared with rabbits fed 26.7% SHDG or less, with no effect (P > 0.11) on milk production, weight of the litter at 21 d and at weaning (30 d), or parturition-effective mating interval. In conclusion, SHDG can be included up to 26.7% in diets for fattening rabbits and lactating does that meet ADL and particle size requirements.

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