Molasses blocks as supplementary feed for growing rabbits
In the present study molasses-blocks, including different amounts of cereal by-products and cement, have been tested in order to verify their effectiveness as supplementary feeds for forage fed rabbits. The tour feeding treatments were tested on 180 New Zealand White rabbits of 37, 65, 80 days of age during two trials. Molasses-blocks were formulated with 4 or 1 O % of cement on DM (84 and 810) and provided to the animals in addition to fresh alfalfa. The two control groups were fed fresh alfalfa alone (AA) or an industrial balanced pellet (IP). The higher cement level in block 810 induced the animals to reduce its ingestion (P<0.05) that was compensated by an higher consumption of alfalfa. AII the treatments produced higher daily gains in comparison to alfalfa alone (30.4 and 30.5 vs. 17.8 g/d for 84, 810 and AA respectively at 37 days of age ; 32.5 and 25.2 vs. 21.8 g/d at 65 days of age ; 33.5 and 29.9 vs. 21.9 g/d at 80 days of age). The differences were always significant for 84 and IP (P<b.05). The increased performances produced by blocks were lower than the ones produced by IP control, but the results were good enough so that the differences were non significant in the post-weaning period and near to the slaughtering age. The results obtained may encourage the use of molasses-blocks as supplementary feeds to increase the growing performances of meat rabbits in Developing Countries.
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