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Feeding strategy for young rabbits around weaning: a review of digestive capacity and nutritional needs

  • T. Gidenne (a1) and L. Fortun-Lamothe (a1)
Abstract

The digestive maturation of the young rabbit is reviewed. It indicates that their nutritional needs and those of lactating females are antagonistic in many aspects. Energy requirements of lactating females are very high, whilst a low starch, high fibre diet around weaning improves the health of the young after weaning. To solve this problem, several feeding and management strategies are presented and discussed. If weaning occurs between 28 and 35 days of age, feeding the young with a specific diet, different from the female’s, seems an effective solution. Otherwise, it is necessary to find a compromise between the needs of the litter and of the doe. Early weaning (< 26 days) could be also a promising way to provide adequate feeding for the young as soon as they begin to eat solid food.

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Corresponding author
E-mail: gidenne@toulouse.inra.fr
References
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Animal Science
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