Evaluation of Feather Meal in the Diet of Growing Rabbits

Evaluation of Feather Meal in the Diet of Growing Rabbits

Loading document ...
Loading page ...


Author(s): Trigo M. S., María Gabriela Muro, A. C. Cattáneo, R. Arias, María Elena Cossú, A. G. Antonini

Download Full PDF Read Complete Article

DOI: 10.18483/ijSci.1855 51 183 16-20 Volume 7 - Dec 2018


The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of an alternative protein source (hydrolyzed feather meal vs meat meal) and two levels (high:170 g and low:140 g CP) on performance and carcass quality traits in rabbits. One hundred twenty eight New Zealand x Californian rabbits were used, weaned at 28 days of age. The experimental design was a 2x2 factorial arrangement: two sources of animal protein (Control: MM and alternative: FM) and two levels of crude protein (CP: 17% and 14%). The digestibility of diets was evaluated based on 10 animals per treatment (between 49 and 56 days of age), using cages provided with individual faeces collectors. Daily weight gain (DWG), feed conversion ratio (FCR), dry matter digestibility (DMD), feed cost per rabbit and feed cost per kg of meat produced, were recorded. Forty animals (10 for each treatment) were slaughtered at 75 days of age, following the standard procedures of rabbit slaughter. Data were analyzed by ANOVA, GLM, SAS. The protein level of diet significantly influenced weights at 61 days, DMD, FCR and at slaughter, percentage of gastro-intestinal tract, weight of the stomach (full and empty), weight of the full caecum, hot carcass weight and carcass yield. The source of protein significantly influenced feed consumption, dry matter intake, feed conversion ratio, dressing percentage and feed cost per rabbit. Although the inclusion of FM in the diet did not generally affect performance traits, it did affect performance on the protein-restricted diets. The inclusion of feather meal in the diet appears to be the subject of the cost of this by-product when diet is formulated.


Rabbits, Alternative Protein Source, Protein level, Performance


  1. Apple,J.K.; Boger, C. B.; Brow, D.C.; Maxwell,C.V.; Frieser, K.G. Roberts, W.J. and Jonson, Z.B. 2003. Effect of Feather meal on live animal performance and caecass quality and composition of growing-finishing. Swine. J.Anim.Sci. 81:172.
  2. Bauza R., Bratschi C., Gonzalez A., Hirigoyen A., Scaglia L., Sierra F. 2007. Evaluación de la inclusión de dos tipos dehidrolizado de plumas en dietas de cerdos en engorde. Sitio Argentino de Producción Animal. APPA - ALPA - Cusco, Perú, 2007.
  3. Blasco A., Ouhayoun J. 1996. Harmonization of criteria and terminology in rabbit meat research. Revisal proposal. World Rabbit Science, 4 (2), 93-99.
  4. Divakala K. C. 2008. Amino acid supplementation of hydrolyzed feather meal diets for finisher pigs. Auburn, Alabama May 10, 2008. http://www.minagri.gob.ar/site/ganaderia/aves/01-Estadísticas/index.php. Febrero de 2012.
  5. E van Heugten and T A T G van Kempen Growth performance, carcass characteristics, nutrient digestibility and fecal odorou compounds in growing-finishing pigs fed diets containing hydrolyzed feather meal. J. Anim. Sci. 2002. 80:171–178
  6. Maertens L., Luzy F., De Groote G. 1997. Effect of dietary protein and amino acids on the performance, carcass composition and N-excretion of growing rabbits. Ann Zootech, 46, 255-268.
  7. Ministerio de Agricultura. Buenos Aires, Argentina. http://www.minagri.gob.ar/site/ganaderia/aves/01-Estadísticas/index.php. Febrero de 2014.
  8. NRC 1977. Nutrient Requirements of Domestic Animals. Nutrient Requirements of Rabbits. 2 nd revi. ed. ÑAS y NRC, Washington DC. p. 14.
  9. Perez J. M., Lebas F., Gidenne T., Maertens L., Villamide M. J., Carabaño R., Fraga M. J., Ramos M. A., Cervera C., Blas E., Fernandez J., Falcao E., Cunha L., Freire J., Xiccato G., Parigi Bini R., Dalle Zotte A., Cossu M. E., Carazzolo A., 1996. “Metodo Europeo di Riferimento per la Determinazione in Vivo della Digeribilità di Diete per Conigli”. Zoot. Nutr. Anim., 22, 47-51.
  10. SAS 2004. Institute Inc. SAS On line Doc* 9.1.3. Cary, NC: SAS Institute. Inc.
  11. Ssu K. W., Brumm M. C., Miller P. S. 2004. Effect of feather meal on barrow performance. J. Anim. Sci. 82:2588–2595.
  12. Velazquez C. 1994. Estudio de la disponibilidad y uso actual de productos y subproductos de origen animal en Uruguay. CONICYT. Uruguay. 21 p.

Cite this Article:

International Journal of Sciences is Open Access Journal.
This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License.
Author(s) retain the copyrights of this article, though, publication rights are with Alkhaer Publications.

Search Articles

Issue April 2021

Volume 10, April 2021

Table of Contents

World-wide Delivery is FREE

Share this Issue with Friends:

Submit your Paper