Study on the nutrient adequacy of feeds for pet rabbits available in the Italian market

R. Ricci, A. Sartori, C. Palagiano, A. Dalle Zotte


This study was carried out to determine the proximate composition and nutritional adequacy of six complete commercial feeds for pet rabbits available in the Italian market. Wide variability was observed in the chemical composition of the complete feeds selected. Two feeds exceeded crude protein recommended level (172 g/kg and 182 g/kg), whereas 50% of the diets selected did not meet the minimal crude fibre requirements of 130 g/kg. The estimated digestible energy (DE) showed an oversupply in five feeds, attributable to high starch content (from 195 to 380 g/kg) in four of them. Fat levels resulted adequate in all feeds (between 10 and 50 g/kg), whereas a wide variability was observed in fatty acid (FA) composition. All feeds were deficient in phosphorus (<5 g/kg) and three of them also in calcium (<8 g/kg). All feeds were below the minimal vitamin E requirements (<40 mg/kg). One feed showed an aflatoxin B1 content of 11.36 μg/kg which is slightly higher than the European recommended maximum amount of 10 μg/kg. The six pet rabbit feeds obtained from the Italian market did not fulfil the nutrient requirements for pet rabbits and feeding animals with these products might produce detrimental health effects in the long term.


Pet rabbit; complete feed; proximate composition; fatty acid profile; afatoxins

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 Universitat Politècnica de València


Official journal of the World Rabbit Science Association (WRSA)


e-ISSN: 1989-8886     ISSN: 1257-5011