To investigate the relationship between dietary nutrient concentration and weaning age on growth performance and caecal characteristics of rabbits, a trial was carried out on 64 litters (eight rabbits/litter) comparing two weaning ages (25 vs. 34 d) and two diets (HC: high concentrated and LC: low concentrated diet) offered to the kits from 18 to 34 d of age. At 34 d of age 54 animals per group were caged individually and all were fed the LC diet until 45 d of age. All animals were then fed a standard fattening diet (37% neutral detergent fiber, 3.4% ether extract and 18.0% crude protein on dry matter basis) until slaughter at 80 d. The digestibility trial was performed from 56 to 60 d of age on another group of 16 rabbits (8 per diet). During the experimental period (18-80 d of age), feed intake and animal weights were recorded. Caecal volatile fatty acids were measured at 45 and 80 d of age, while microbiological analysis was performed at 25 and 34 d on healthy suckling rabbits. Digestibility of dry matter, protein, neutral detergent fiber, fat and energy was higher in rabbits fed the HC diet (by 7.7, 7.4, 13.1, 26.7, 10.6%, respectively; P<0.001) than in those fed the LC diet. Growth rate and feed conversion ratio (FCR) from 18 to 34 d improved by 7.7 and 9.5% in rabbits fed HC in comparison to the LC diet, respectively (P <= 0.061). Diet offered around weaning did not influence growth rate or FCR from 34 to 80 d of age. Rabbits weaned earlier increased feed intake (by 67.8%) from 25 to 34 d, but reduced growth rate (by 26.8%) compared to animals weaned at 34 d (P<0.001). Early weaning reduced live weight during the entire fattening period (P <= 0.018), as well as the FCR (by 4%; P<0.001). Caecal pH was lower at 45 d of age in rabbits weaned at 25 d than in those weaned at 34 d (5.53 vs. 5.83; P=0.019). Treatments did not affect total caecal VFA concentration, but HC diet decreased caecal acetic concentration and increased butyric acid level compared to the LC diet at 45 d (P <= 0.001). HC diet tended to reduce caecal counts of Enterobacteriacae (P=0.093), while it did not affect facultative anaerobic bacteria, E. Coli and Costridium sop, The LC diet increased at 25 d the number of Clostridium perfringens in comparison with the HC group at the same age and in comparison with animals fed both two diets at 34 d (P<0.001). The values of E. Coli and Enterobacteriaceae increased (P <= 0.008) from 25 to 34 d of age, whereas that of Clostridium sop. decreased. Weaning at 25 d increased mortality from 18 to 34 d compared with rabbits weaned at 34 d (7.02 vs. 2.46%, P=0.017). However, during the fattening period (34-80 d) rabbits weaned earlier showed lower mortality (7.41 vs. 17.6%; P=0.024).
Influence of age at weaning and nutritive value of weaning diet on growth performance and caecal traits in rabbits / V. Cesari, G. Grilli, V. Ferrazzi, I. Toschi. - In: WORLD RABBIT SCIENCE. - ISSN 1257-5011. - 17:4(2009 Oct), pp. 195-205.
|Titolo:||Influence of age at weaning and nutritive value of weaning diet on growth performance and caecal traits in rabbits|
CESARI, VALENTINA TERESA (Corresponding)
GRILLI, GUIDO (Secondo)
FERRAZZI, VIVIANA (Penultimo)
TOSCHI, IVAN (Ultimo)
|Parole Chiave:||rabbit; nutritive value; weaning age; caecal fermentation; caecal microbiota population|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore AGR/20 - Zoocolture|
Settore VET/05 - Malattie Infettive degli Animali Domestici
|Data di pubblicazione:||ott-2009|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||http://dx.doi.org/10.4995/wrs.2009.644|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01 - Articolo su periodico|