DEHYDRATED CHICORY PULP AS AN ALTERNATIVE SOLUBLE FIBRE SOURCE IN DIETS FOR GROWING RABBITS

Luc Maertens, Hocine Guermah, Angela Trocino

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    Soluble fibre (SF) is an important nutrient to enhance fermentative activity and gut health in rabbits. The main source of SF in rabbit diets is sugar beet pulp (SBP), whereas, due to its high content of SF (34%), dried chicory pulp (ChP) could be an alternative for SBP. In a fattening trial with 192 hybrid weanlings of 32 days weighing 837±45 g, chicory pulp was used in replacement of SBP to study effects on production performances and slaughter characteristics. Rabbits were fed one of four iso-energetic (9.65 MJ DE/kg) and iso-nitrogeneous (15.6% crude protein) diets: a negative control (NC) diet with a low dietary SF content (7.3%), a positive control diet with a quite high SBP level (13.5%) and SF content (10.6%) and two diets with respectively 10% and 20% of chicory pulp (ChP10: 9.9% SF and ChP20: 13.7% SF). The SF content was measured as the difference between TDF and aNDF, this last corrected for ash and protein content. Each dietary treatment consisted of 12 replicates of 4 rabbits. Weight gain was high (54 g/day on average) and comparable for the NC, SBP and ChP diets. However, feed conversion ratio was improved (P<0.05) with the CP20 diet compared to the NC diet (2.88 vs. 2.97). Mortality was low and not influenced by the dietary treatment. Slaughter data were very similar and no effect of the SF level on caecal weight or slaughter yield was observed. It is concluded that chicory pulp is a good alternative soluble fibre source in balanced diets for rabbits and can be used at least till 20% inclusion rate.
    Oorspronkelijke taalEngels
    TijdschriftWorld Rabbit Science
    Volume22
    Exemplaarnummer2
    Pagina's (van-tot)97-104
    Aantal pagina’s8
    ISSN1257-5011
    DOI's
    PublicatiestatusGepubliceerd - jun-2014

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