Effect of ileal cannulation on rabbit digestion and caecotrophy: an interlaboratory study

 T. Gidenne, E. Blas, Rosa Carabaño, J.M. Merino


An interlaboratory study, concerning the effect of ileal cannulation on the digestion and caecotrophy in the rabbit, was performed simultaneously in three experimental locations using the same procedure.

In the absence of simultaneous ileal digesta sampling, the digestibility of dry matter or fibre (NDF, ADF) did not differ between cannulated or control rabbits. But, a lower crude protein digestibility (-2.6 points) was observed for cannulated animals, as a consequence of a reduced recycling of protein originating from a lower excretion of soft faeces (12.2 vs 16, 1 gDM/d, P=0.011 ). As hard faeces excretion did not differ between the two groups, the ratio hard/soft faeces was higher in cannulated rabbits.

Simultaneous ileal collection and digestibility measurement led to a 2 points decrease of the dry matter digestibility (P<0.01), without significant interaction between cannulation and laboratory effect.

The incidence of ileal cannulation was not negligible, but insufficient to compromise the validity of nutritional studies performed on cannulated rabbits.

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 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