NUTRITIVE VALUE OF THE ALFALFA HAY AND WHOLE CORN PLANT TO GROWING RABBITS.

J. F. LUI, B. R. P. ANDRADE, M. C. OLIVEIRA, E. A. SANTOS, D. R. CAIRES

Abstract


The objective of this experiment was to evaluate the apparent digestibility of alfalfa hay and whole corn plant, pelleted, using growing rabbits. Eighteen New Zealand White rabbits were allocated in a completely randomized design with two treatments (alfalfa hay and whole corn plant) and nine replications. The animals were 50 day old, both sexes, and were individually housed in metabolism cages. Alfalfa hay and the whole corn plant were grounded and, after the 9% soybean oil addition, they were pelleted. The experimental period lasted 19 days, 12 for adaptation to the diets and cages and seven to feces collect. Feces collected were weighed and analyzed to determine the dry matter, crude protein, ether extract, neutral detergent fiber, acid detergent fiber and crude energy contents. After that the apparent digestibility coefficients were determined. The best digestibility coefficient for crude protein (76.08%), acid detergent fiber (36.32%) and neutral detergent fiber (40.14%) was observed for the alfalfa hay pellets. These results suggest that the alfalfa hay pellets can be better used by rabbits.
KEY-WORDS: animal alimentation, animal nutrition, digestibility



DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15361/2175-0106.2005v21n4p142-146