Length of collection period and number of rabbits in digestibility assays

 María J. Villamide, María A. Ramos


The purpose of this work is to evaluate the influence of the methodology used (number of animals and length of the experiment) on the variability of digestibility coefficients, in order to propose a working guide line for these assays on rabbits. Seventeen New Zealand x Californian growing rabbits were fed a commercial diet ad libitum. After an adaptation period of 7 days, food intake and excreta were recordad daily and in periods of 2, 3 up to 1 O consecutiva days in order to determine dry matter digestibility (DMD). Variabilities of DMD coefficients among animals and among periods were studied. The variance due to animals decreased with the number of days of the collection period up to 4-day periods and then it almost stabilized. The variance due to periods followed the same pattern. Comparing these two variances it can be noted that for 1-day periods the variance due to animals was similar (only 1.11 times higher) to that due to periods, but for 4 or 5-day periods this ratio increased (2.06 and 2.63 respectively). The number of animals necessary to detect significant differences (P<0.05) of 2 points between mean values of DMD was 1 O rabbits for collection periods of 4 days, 8 rabbits for 7 days, or 7 rabbits for 1 O days. Despite the residual effects, the correlation between DM ingested/DM excretad the same day was higher (0.939) than between DM ingested one day/DM excretad the day after (0.873). The feed intake and the growth rate measured in the adaptation period had a moderate correlation (- 0.54 and - 0.48, respectively) with the DMD.

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  Pérez J.M., Cervera C., Falcao e Cunha L., Maertens L., Villamide M.J., Xiccato G.
World Rabbit Science  vol: 3  issue: 4  year: 2010  
doi: 10.4995/wrs.1995.259


 Universitat Politècnica de València


Official journal of the World Rabbit Science Association (WRSA)


e-ISSN: 1989-8886     ISSN: 1257-5011   https://doi.org/10.4995/wrs