Carrion, S. and Blas Beorlegui, Juan Carlos de and Méndez, J. and Caidas, A. and Garcia Rebollar, Paloma
Nutritive value of palm kernel meal in diets for growing rabbits.
"Animal Feed Science and Technology", v. 165
The aim of this work was to determine the nutritive value of palm kernel meal (PKM) in diets for growing rabbits. In Experiment 1, 20 New Zealand × Californian growing rabbits 50 d-old were used to determine energy, crude protein, fibre and fat digestibility of PKM. The nutritive value was estimated by the difference method using a basal diet and another diet made by substituting 200 g/kg of basal diet with PKM. Energy, crude protein, ether extract and neutral detergent fibre of PKM digestibilities were, respectively, 0.549 (±0.056, SE), 0.541 (±0.069), 0.850 (±0.048) and 0.430 (±0.101), and the digestible energy concentration was 10.9 MJ/kg (±1.03) DM. In Experiment 2, 412 rabbits were allocated at random to the two experimental diets to measure growing performance. Inclusion of 200 g PKM/kg in the diet did not affect feed or digestible energy intake but decreased slightly (by around 5%) average daily gain (P = 0.003) and feed efficiency (P < 0.001). Neither mortality nor Clostridium perfringens counts in soft faeces were affected by type of diet. Palm kernel meal can be considered a palatable source of fibre, protein and fat for rabbits and can substitute significant amounts of other fibrous ingredients in the diet without adverse effects on growth performance.