Nutritive value of arborescent alfalfa and immature rye in free-ranged organic growing rabbit - INRAE - Institut national de recherche pour l’agriculture, l’alimentation et l’environnement Access content directly
Conference Papers Year : 2022

Nutritive value of arborescent alfalfa and immature rye in free-ranged organic growing rabbit


Free-ranged organic rabbit meets the consumer’s demand of outdoor rabbit farming and improved animal welfare, but lacks in technical references and nutritive value of forages available at farm. We thus studied the nutritive value of two feeds: arborescent alfalfa (Medicago arborea) ‘AA’ and immature rye ‘IR’ (herbaceous stage), in comparison to a pelleted feed ‘P’ for 5 groups of 5 growing rabbits (74 days old, mean live weight=1,802 g) housed individually in movable cages on pasture and following organic regulation for rabbit farming. Each cage had a shelter of 0.4 m2 and a pasturing surface of 1.2 m2. The groups were: group P fed a pelleted feed only, AA fed only with arborescent alfalfa (400 g fresh per day), AA+P was fed with alfalfa (200 g fresh/d+ 60 g/d of pellets), IR fed only with immature rye (500 g fresh per day), IR+P fed 400 g fresh/d rye + 60 g/d of pellets. After one week of adaptation to movable cage and feeds (74-81 d old), the digestibility was measured for four days, with feed intake and faecal total collection measurement (a board was installed on the cage floor to collect the faeces). During digestibility period, the dry matter (DM) intake of AA and IR fed alone averaged respectively 88.6 and 56.3 g/d per rabbit, corresponding resp. to a daily fresh intake of 239 and 378 g/d. Pellet intake of the P group averaged 121 g DM /d, while in IR+P group the IR intake averaged 34.0 g DM/d and in AA+P group the AA intake averaged 47.1 g DM/d. The AA contained 134 g/ kg of crude protein for 291 g ADF/kg, while IR contained 289 g/kg of crude protein for 215 g ADF/kg. Digestible protein and energy content were 37 g PD/kg fresh and 4.68 MJ DE/kg for AA (fed alone), and 31 g PD/kg and 1.34 MJ DE/kg fresh for IR (fed alone). When the AA and IR were fed freely and complemented by 60 g/d of pellets (groups AA+P, IR+P), the DM digestibility was reduced proportionally to the pellet intake, and averaged 55.4 and 56.8%, similar to that recalculated from IR and AA groups. Thus, mixing forages (AA or IR) with pelleted feed did not alter the nutritive value of the forages.
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hal-04359992 , version 1 (21-12-2023)



Jp Goby, Carole Bannelier, O. Faillat, Thierry Gidenne. Nutritive value of arborescent alfalfa and immature rye in free-ranged organic growing rabbit. 73rd Annual Meeting of the European Federation of Animal Science, Sep 2022, Porto, Portugal. ⟨10.3920/978-90-8686-937-4⟩. ⟨hal-04359992⟩
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