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Ingredients and chemical composition of experimental diets

 
Item Fatt1 Repro1 Lact1
Ingredients, g∙100 g−1
Wheat 0 5 15
Barley 3 13 5
Wheat middling 23 25 17
Rapeseed meal “00” 3 9 15
Sunflower meal 23 23 23
Molasses 2 2 2
Fruit pulp 11 6 8
Beet pulp 26 10 9
Alfalfa 3 2 2
Rapeseed oil 0 0 2
Sunflower hull 5 3 0
Minerals2 1.4 1.7 1.6
AA3 0.2 0.1 0.2
Vitamin premix4 0.2 0.2 0.2
Chemical composition5, g∙kg−1
Crude fat 23 24 49
Starch6 70 161 161
ADF 247 198 169
NDF 415 343 302
ADL 123 89 63
Digestible fiber7 269 212 190
DE8, MJ∙kg−1 9.73 11.01 11.88
Digestible proteins8 94 128 134
1Diets: Fatt (fattening diet), diet formulated to meet the needs of growing rabbits; Repro (reproductive diet), diet formulated to meet the needs of reproductive females; Lact (lactation diet), diet formulated to meet the needs of reproductive females and to increase milk production.
2Calcium carbonate, dicalcium phosphate, salt, clay.
3Lysine (0.1, 0.18, and 0.2 in feed R, L, and F, respectively); Threonine, 0.02 in feed L.
4Vitamins: A, D3, B1, E; Oligo elements: Cu2+, Fe2+, Zn2+, Mn2+.
5Analyzed chemical composition, unless otherwise specified.
6Calculated according to the table of ingredients (Ponter et al., 2004).
7Calculated as the sum of (NDF − ADF) and water insoluble pectins according to the table of ingredients (Maertens et al., 2002).
8Measured on growing rabbits (n = 54) according to Perez et al. (1995).



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Fatty acid composition (percentage of total fatty acids on an as fed basis) of experimental diets

 
Diets1
Fatt Repro Lact
Total lipids, g∙100g−1 2.38 2.35 4.42
Fatty acid profile (% total fatty acids)
C6:0 0.05 0.00 0.00
C8:0 0.05 0.05 0.01
C10:0 0.04 0.03 0.01
C12:0 0.10 0.05 0.03
C14:0 0.22 0.18 0.10
C15:0 0.17 0.14 0.08
C16:0 15.94 15.67 9.18
C18:0 2.77 2.22 2.00
C20:0 0.47 0.45 0.52
C22:0 0.68 0.57 0.38
C24:0 0.84 0.51 0.22
Total SFA 21.33 19.88 12.53
C14:1 0.05 0.00 0.00
C16:1 n-9 0.10 0.09 0.06
C16:1 n-7 0.37 0.39 0.30
C18:1 n-9c 25.70 21.93 40.69
C18:1 n-7 1.45 2.61 3.24
C20:1 n-9 0.56 0.54 0.94
C22:1 n-11 0.05 0.10 0.28
C24:1 0.08 0.17 0.09
Total MUFA 28.36 25.82 45.60
C18:2 n-6c 45.18 48.29 31.14
C18:3 n-3 3.94 4.79 10.4
C20:2 0.13 0.19 0.06
C20:4 n-6 0 0.05 0.03
C20:3 n-3 0.20 0.22 0.03
C20:4 n-3 0.21 0.14 0.04
C20:5 n-3 0.47 0.38 0.11
C22:4 n-6 0.18 0.13 0.07
C22:6 n-3 0 0.10 0
PUFA 50.31 54.30 41.88
n-6 45.36 48.48 31.24
n-3 4.82 5.64 10.58
n-6/n-3 9.42 8.60 2.95
1Diets: Fatt (fattening diet), diet formulated to meet the needs of growing rabbits; Repro (reproductive diet), diet formulated to meet the needs of reproductive females; Lact (lactation diet), diet formulated to meet the needs of reproductive females and to increase milk production. Analyzed according to Folch et al. (1957).



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Effect of feeding strategy on live weight and feed intake of rabbit does

 
Group1
P-value
RF RR LR SEM Group Cycle Parity Reproductive success n−1 Group × cycle
No. of animals per group 40 40 38
BW, g
    Kindling 4,226 4,199 4,190 18 0.89 <0.001 0.37 0.16 0.75
    AI 4,518 4,503 4,533 17 0.94 0.69 <0.001 <0.001 0.35
    d 25 4,625 4,654 4,706 18 0.63 0.13 0.11 0.89 0.46
    d 35 4,586 4,588 4,612 19 0.94 <0.001 <0.001 <0.001 0.26
Feed intake2, g∙d−1
    Kindling to AI 304 302 304 5 0.77 <0.001 <0.001 <0.001 0.29
    AI to d 25 369 368 372 6 0.81 <0.001 <0.001 <0.001 0.28
    d 25 to 35 342 338 332 6 0.62 <0.001 <0.001 <0.001 0.55
    d 35 to kindling 244a 220b 230ab 4 0.042 0.055 <0.001 <0.001 0.98
DE intake, MJ∙d−1
    Kindling to AI 3.34 3.32 3.35 0.05 0.78 <0.001 <0.001 <0.001 0.31
    AI to d 25 4.06 4.04 4.10 0.07 0.84 <0.001 <0.001 <0.001 0.31
    d 25 to 35 3.76 3.72 3.65 0.07 0.61 <0.001 <0.001 <0.001 0.54
    d 35 to kindling 2.69a 2.42b 2.52ab 0.04 0.042 0.057 <0.001 <0.001 0.98
a,bMeans within a row with different superscripts differ (P < 0.05).
1Group: reproduction-fattening (RF) = reproduction (Repro) diet from 0 to 25 d and 35 to 42 d, followed by the fattening (Fatt) diet from 25 to 35 d; reproduction-reproduction (RR) = diet Repro from 0 to 42 d; lactation-reproduction (LR) = lactation (Lact) diet from 0 to 25 d, followed by diet Repro from 25 to 42 d. Diet Repro (11.01 MJ DE/kg, 24.0 g lipids/kg, 161 g starch/kg, and 343 g/kg NDF) was formulated to meet the nutrient needs of reproductive females. Diet Fatt (9.73 MJ DE/kg, 23.0 g lipids/kg, 70 g starch/kg, and 415 g/kg NDF) was formulated to meet the nutrient needs of fattening rabbits. Diet Lact (11.88 MJ DE/kg, 49.0 g lipids/kg, 161 g starch/kg, and 302 g/kg NDF) was also formulated to meet the needs of reproductive females and to increase milk production.
2The feed intake presented is strictly that of the doe, as rabbit kits were inhibited from eating out of the doe feeder.



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Effect of feeding strategy on reproductive performances of rabbit does

 
Group1
P-value
RF RR LR SEM Group Cycle Parity Reproductive success n−1 Group × cycle
No. of litters2 47 48 52
Total born, n 14.1 13.3 14.4 0.3 0.29 0.057 <0.001 0.007 0.95
Dead born, n 0.9 0.8 0.3 0.1 0.083 0.038 0.43 0.28 0.26
Litter weight at birth, g 777ab 711b 803a 14 0.029 0.002 0.002 0.14 0.60
Kit weight at birth, g 59.8 59.7 59.5 0.8 0.99 0.090 0.004 0.002 0.71
Litter size at weaning, n 8.2 8.5 8.5 0.3 0.83 0.953 0.78 0.65 0.37
a,bMeans within a row with different superscripts differ (P < 0.05).
1Group: reproduction-fattening (RF) = reproduction (Repro) diet from 0 to 25 d and 35 to 42 d, followed by the fattening (Fatt) diet from 25 to 35 d; reproduction-reproduction RR = reproduction (Repro) diet from 0 to 42 d; lactation-reproduction (LR) = lactation (Lact) diet from 0 to 25 d, followed by diet Repro from 25 to 42 d. Diet R (10.01 MJ DE/kg, 24.0 g lipids/kg, 161 g starch/kg, and 343 g/kg NDF) was formulated to meet the nutrient needs of reproductive females. Diet Fatt (9.70 MJ DE/kg, 23.0 g lipids/kg, 70 g starch/kg, and 415 g/kg NDF) was formulated to meet the nutrient needs of fattening rabbits. Diet L (11.88 MJ DE/kg, 49.0 g lipids/kg, 161 g starch/kg, and 302 g/kg NDF) was also formulated to meet the needs of reproductive females and to increase milk production.
2Only the reproductive performances from cycles 2 and 3 were taken into consideration, as the feeding strategy was put in place after the first kindling; therefore, the reproductive performance of the first cycle was not affected by feeding strategy.



View Full Table | Close Full ViewTable 5.

Effect of feeding strategy on the milk composition of rabbit does at 16 d of lactation (n = 30, 31, and 31 for the reproduction-fattening [RF], reproduction-reproduction [RR], and lactation-reproduction [LR] groups, respectively) during the first and third reproductive cycle at 16 d of lactation

 
Group1
P-value
RF RR LR SEM Group Cycle Reproductive success n−1
Total lipids, g/100 g 8.8 9.9 9.8 0.3 0.113 <0.001 0.525
Fatty acid profile (% total fatty acids)
C6:0 0.33 0.35 0.31 0.01 0.060 0.408 0.152
C8:0 26.11a 27.10a 22.11b 0.34 <0.001 0.892 <0.001
C10:0 22.27a 22.11a 18.65b 0.27 <0.001 0.127 <0.001
C12:0 2.81a 2.71a 2.29b 0.05 <0.001 0.069 0.018
C14:0 1.35a 1.32ab 1.00b 0.02 <0.001 <0.001 0.002
C15:0 0.35a 0.34a 0.30b 0.00 <0.001 0.004 <0.001
C16:0 12.39a 12.25a 10.22b 0.16 <0.001 0.003 <0.001
C18:0 2.77 2.78 2.69 0.04 0.652 0.017 <0.001
C20:0 0.09b 0.09b 0.13a 0.00 <0.001 0.293 0.678
C22:0 0.02ab 0.02b 0.03a 0.00 0.040 0.1577 0.415
Total SFA 68.50a 69.06a 57.72b 0.63 <0.001 0.002 <0.001
C16:1 n-9 0.25b 0.25b 0.29a 0.00 <0.001 <0.001 <0.001
C16:1 n-7 1.20a 1.01ab 0.84b 0.06 0.021 0.053 <0.001
C18:1 n-9t2 0.02a 0.02a 0.01b 0.00 <0.001 0.541 0.003
C18:1 n-9c 12.40b 12.32b 20.01a 0.41 <0.001 <0.001 <0.001
C18:1 n-7 0.92b 0.90b 1.40a 0.03 <0.001 0.223 <0.001
C20:1 n-9 0.15b 0.15b 0.29a 0.01 <0.001 0.048 0.580
C22:1 n-92 0b 0b 0.05a 0.01 <0.001 0.029 0.190
MUFAa 14.94b 14.65b 22.91a 0.47 <0.001 <0.001 <0.001
C18:2 n-6t2 0.02 0.02 0.02 0.00 0.952 0.326 <0.001
C18:2 n-6c 14.61ab 14.41b 14.90a 0.08 0.009 0.185 <0.001
C18:3 n-62 0.13a 0.11a 0.06b 0.01 <0.001 <0.001 <0.001
C18:3 n-3 1.40b 1.36b 4.03a 0.13 <0.001 0.862 0.769
C20:2 0.08 0.09 0.08 0.00 0.528 0.223 0.381
C20:3 n-62 0.03a 0.03a 0.02b 0.00 0.043 0.002 0.664
C20:4 n-6 0.22a 0.21a 0.16b 0.01 <0.001 0.952 <0.001
C20:3 n-3 0b 0b 0.02a 0.001 <0.001 0.539 0.409
C20:5 n-3 0.01ab 0b 0.02a 0.00 0.012 0.236 0.735
C22:4 n-6 0.05a 0.03a 0.01b 0.00 <0.001 0.085 0.055
C22:5 n-32 0.02b 0.02b 0.05a 0.01 0.003 0.001 0.067
PUFAb 16.56b 16.29b 19.37a 0.17 <0.001 0.121 <0.001
n-6 15.05 14.80 15.17 0.09 0.072 0.135 <0.001
n-3 1.43b 1.39b 4.11a 0.14 <0.001 0.356 0.872
n-6/n-3 10.58a 10.68a 3.70b 0.35 <0.001 0.029 0.549
a,bMeans within a row with different superscripts differ (P < 0.05).
1Group: RF = reproduction (Repro) diet from 0 to 25 d and 35 to 42 d, followed by the fattening (Fatt) diet from 25 to 35 d; RR = diet Repro from 0 to 42 d; LR = lactation (Lact) diet from 0 to 25 d, followed by diet Repro from 25 to 42 d. Diet R (11.01 MJ DE/kg, 24.0 g lipids/kg, 161 g starch/kg, and 343 g/kg NDF) was formulated to meet the nutrient needs of reproductive females. Diet F (9.73 MJ DE/kg, 23.0 g lipids/kg, 70 g starch/kg, and 415 g/kg NDF) was formulated to meet the nutrient needs of fattening rabbits. Diet L (11.88 MJ DE/kg, 49.0 g lipids/kg, 161 g starch/kg, and 302 g/kg NDF) was also formulated to meet the needs of reproductive females and to increase milk production.
2Fatty acids not found in diets.



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Effect of feeding strategy on energy balance, energy intake, and BW of lactating rabbit does

 
Group1
P-value
RF RR LR SEM Group Cycle Parity Reproductive success n+1 Group × cycle
No. of lactations 64 72 67
BW, g
Kindling 4,200 4,146 4,197 18 0.296 <0.001 0.177 0.129 0.983
AI 4,550 4,551 4,607 19 0.229 <0.001 0.301 0.632 0.851
25 d 4,616b 4,644b 4,772a 22 0.011 0.563 0.025 <0.001 0.883
35 d 4,471 4,488 4,556 20 0.273 0.123 0.232 0.068 0.961
Feed intake2, g∙d−1
0 to 11 d 341 350 340 5 0.317 <0.001 <0.001 0.083 0.913
11 to 25 d 432 434 424 5 0.226 <0.001 <0.001 0.035 0.554
25 to 35 d 398ab 395b 367bc 5 0.044 0.117 <0.001 0.017 0.661
35 to 42 d 273a 244b 251ab 4 0.006 0.295 0.115 0.027 0.522
DE intake, MJ
0 to 11 d 41.31 42.46 44.43 0.58 0.107 <0.001 <0.001 0.072 0.918
11 to 25 d 66.54 66.91 70.55 0.59 0.060 <0.001 <0.001 0.030 0.576
25 to 35 d 38.79b 43.51a 40.45ab 0.59 0.003 0.123 <0.001 0.019 0.670
35 to 42 d 20.71a 18.84b 19.12ab 0.38 0.006 0.295 0.115 0.027 0.522
0 to 42 d 167.35 171.72 174.56 1.83 0.441 <0.001 <0.001 0.253 0.610
Energy balance, MJ
0 to 25 d −2.08a −2.01a −4.94b 0.67 0.023 <0.001 <0.001 0.056 0.134
35 to 42 d 7.14a 3.70b 3.63b 0.45 0.003 0.230 0.077 < 0.001 0.499
a–cMeans within a row with different superscripts differ (P < 0.05).
1Group: reproduction-fattening (RF) = reproduction (Repro) diet from 0 to 25 d and 35 to 42 d, followed by the fattening (Fatt) diet from 25 to 35 d; reproduction-reproduction (RR) = diet Repro from 0 to 42 d; lactation-reproduction (LR) = lactation (Lact) diet from 0 to 25 d, followed by diet Repro from 25 to 42 d. Diet R (11.01 MJ DE/kg, 24.0 g lipids/kg, 161 g starch/kg, and 343 g/kg NDF) was formulated to meet the nutrient needs of reproductive females. Diet F (9.73 MJ DE/kg, 23.0 g lipids/kg, 70 g starch/kg, and 415 g/kg NDF) was formulated to meet the nutrient needs of fattening rabbits. Diet L (11.88 MJ DE/kg, 49.0 g lipids/kg, 161 g starch/kg, and 302 g/kg NDF) was also formulated to meet the needs of reproductive females and to increase milk production.
2The feed intake presented is strictly that of the doe, as rabbit kits were inhibited from eating out of the doe feeder.



View Full Table | Close Full ViewTable 7.

Effect of the feeding strategy on feed intake, ADG, and feed conversion ratio of young rabbits

 
Group1
P-value
RF RR LR SEM Group Cycle Parity Reproductive success n−1 Group × cycle
No. of animals 629 663 654
Feed intake, g∙rabbit−1∙d−1
18 to 25 d 9a 10a 7b 0.1 <0.001 <0.001 0.438 0.554 0.518
25 to 35 d 50a 48ab 46b 0.1 0.013 <0.001 0.381 0.039 0.911
35 to 63 d 103 103 103 NC2 NC NC NC NC NC
63 to 70 d 213 214 219 0.8 0.439 <0.001 0.031 <0.001 0.674
35 to 70 d 125 125 125 0.1 0.897 <0.001 <0.001 0.763 0.130
ADG, g∙d−1
Birth to 18 d 12.7b 12.8b 14.6a 0.2 <0.001 <0.001 <0.001 <0.001 0.148
18 to 25 d 15.8 15.6 16.1 0.1 0.926 0.014 0.106 <0.001 0.055
25 to 35 d 39.6 39.8 38.6 0.1 0.144 <0.001 0.017 <0.001 0.085
35 to 63 d 37.9 37.9 38.3 0.1 0.641 <0.001 0.271 0.647 0.957
63 to 70 d 65.1 66.1 66.3 0.3 0.574 <0.001 0.187 0.508 0.724
35 to 70 d 43.4 43.6 43.9 0.1 0.358 0.075 0.006 0.147 0.893
Feed conversion ratio
35 to 63 d 0.366 0.366 0.369 0.001 0.534 0.029 <0.001 0.761 0.994
63 to 70 d 0.304 0.308 0.303 0.001 0.663 0.041 <0.001 0.837 0.826
35 to 70 d 0.346 0.349 0.350 0.001 0.359 0.046 0.003 0.067 0.802
a,bMeans within a row with different superscripts differ (P < 0.05).
1Group: reproduction-fattening (RF) = reproduction (Repro) diet from 0 to 25 d and 35 to 42 d, followed by the fattening (Fatt) diet from 25 to 35 d; reproduction-reproduction (RR) = diet Repro from 0 to 42 d; lactation-reproduction (LR) = lactation (Lact) diet from 0 to 25 d, followed by diet Repro from 25 to 42 d. Diet Repro (11.01 MJ DE/kg, 24.0 g lipids/kg, 161 g starch/kg, and 343 g/kg NDF) was formulated to meet the nutrient needs of reproductive females. Diet Fatt (9.73 MJ DE/kg, 23.0 g lipids/kg, 70 g starch/kg, and 415 g/kg NDF) was formulated to meet the nutrient needs of fattening rabbits. Diet Lact (11.88 MJ DE/kg, 49.0 g lipids/kg, 161 g starch/kg, and 302 g/kg NDF) was also formulated to meet the needs of reproductive females and to increase milk production.
2NC = noncalculable, as the variance of the feed intake for restricted groups is null.