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Book Sections Year : 2024

Rabbit Nutrition and Feeding

Abstract

This chapter intends to address the feeding of rabbits for the production of meat in conventional intensive systems (indoor breeding). Feed costs represent the main cost of rabbit production and thus sharply impact the profitability. The main components of the diet for rabbits (i.e., fiber, starch and protein) are characterized and their implications in the performances. Balanced nutrients are needed to reach the expected performances of genetically improved lines of rabbits. Digestive pathologies have a high incidence around the weaning, and we propose nutrition and feeding strategies (outside the use of antibiotics) to minimize these occurrences, namely the use of feed intake limitation programs, and good fibers balance in the diets between indigestible fiber and more digestible fiber. The nutritional needs of rabbits are now well known and if respected the animal can express fully its productive potential without compromising its health. Rabbit farming is a production with low environmental impact and reduced competition with human population. Local ingredients from short circuits and many coproducts are already included in their feed, which meets some of the challenges of current animal production.
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hal-04630888 , version 1 (01-07-2024)

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Victor Pinheiro, Thierry Gidenne. Rabbit Nutrition and Feeding. Springer. Veterinary Care of Farm Rabbits. A Complete Practice Guide to Rabbit Medicine and Production., pp.201 - 234, 2024, ISBN 978-3-031-44541-5. ⟨10.1007/978-3-031-44542-2_10⟩. ⟨hal-04630888⟩
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