Dried brewers grains in growing rabbits: nutritional value and effects on performance

P.J.D.O. Lima, P.H. Watanabe, R.C. Cândido, A.C.S. Ferreira, A.V. Vieira, B.B.V. Rodrigues, G.A.J. Nascimento, E.R. Freitas


Two assays were carried out to determine i) the nutritional value of dried brewers’ grains and ii) the effects of inclusion of this ingredient in growing rabbit diets on animal performance and economic performance of the breeding unit. In the digestibility assay, a total of 28 male rabbits were distributed in 2 groups differing in the diet offered to animals: a reference diet (35.51% neutral detergent fibre and 16.50% crude protein [CP]) and a test diet (60% of reference diet and 40% of dried brewers grains). The dried brewers’ grain contained 37.9% of CP and 3371 kcal digestible energy/kg dry matter. In the performance study, 80 weaned rabbits (40 males and 40 females) were allotted at 40 d of age to 5 groups differing in the inclusion levels of dried brewers’ grains (0, 7, 14, 21 and 28%) from 40 d to 90 d of age. Inclusion of dried brewers’ grains did not affect the live weight at 90 d, the feed intake between 40 d and 90 d or the dressing percentage of rabbits (on average 223 g, 96 g/d and 51.3%, respectively). There was no effect of diet on the meat quality parameters (69.5% water holding capacity, 25.6% cooking loss, 3.4 kg/cm2 Warner-Bratzler shear force and pH 5.70) and inclusion levels above 14% reduced the feed cost (–18%; P


alternative feedstuff; barley; rabbit production

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