Effect of Inclusion of Hard Versus Soft Wheat Bran with Different Particle Size on Diet Digestibility, Growth Performance and Carcass Traits of Fattening Rabbits

  • Laudadio, V. (Department of Animal Health and Welfare, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Bari) ;
  • Dario, M. (Department of Animal Health and Welfare, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Bari) ;
  • Addonizio, F. (School of Technology and Pathology of Avian Species, Rabbit and Wildlife, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Bari) ;
  • Tufarelli, Vincenzo (Department of Animal Health and Welfare, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Bari)
  • Received : 2009.04.06
  • Accepted : 2009.05.11
  • Published : 2009.10.01


Effect of inclusion of hard vs. soft wheat bran with different particle size on diet digestibility, growth performance and some slaughter traits was evaluated in fattening rabbits. Four isonitrogenous and isocaloric diets were used according to the origin of wheat bran (hard (HWB) - Triticum durum - and soft (SWB) - Triticum aestivum) combined with wheat bran particle size sieved by 2 mm (fine: 2) or by 8 mm (coarse: 8) in a bifactorial (2${\times}$2) study. A growth trial was conducted to measure the effect of treatments on performance in one hundred and twenty New Zealand White${\times}$Californian rabbits fed experimental diets from 50 to 87 days of age. Faecal apparent digestibility was determined within the last week in twenty animals per diet. Digestibility of nutrients was higher (p<0.05) in the diet containing HWB2, except for crude protein, ether extract and ash, than fine and coarse soft wheat bran diets. Final live weight, feed intake and feed consumption of rabbits on the diet with fine hard wheat bran were higher and resulted in greater daily weight gains (p<0.01) than for animals on the other diets. The slaughter yield and percentage value of organs were not significantly (p>0.05) affected by the diets fed; however, the diet containing fine hard wheat bran led to lower (p<0.05) percentages of skin, abdominal fat and carcass drip loss than the other dietary treatments. It is concluded that fine hard wheat bran can be better included in the diet than soft wheat bran to maximize growth performance without affecting carcass traits of fattening rabbits.


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