Document Type : Original Article


Poult. Dept., Fac. Agric., Zagazig Univ., Egypt


This work was carried out to study the effect of Egyptian clover hay substitution with sugar beet pulp on growing rabbits performance, carcass traits, digestability of nutrients, feeding values and economical efficiency. Eighty unsexed New-Zealand White (NZW) growing rabbits of 5 weeks were randomly allotted into 5 equal groups (16 rabbits each, with 8 replicates each of two rabbits) to study the effect of substituting Egyptian clover hay (CH) by sugar beet pulp (SBP) at different rates on growing rabbits performance. Five diets were fed to NZW rabbits from 5-13 weeks of age. The first group was fed the basal diet as a control, while the other four groups were fed diets contaning 9, 18, 27 and 36% SBP, respectivaly which represents replacment rate of 25, 50, 75 and 100% of CH in the control diet. Growth performance, carcass traits, digestability coeffecient and feeding values were studied. Results showed that, replacing CH in the control diet with SBP up to 75%, significantly increased (P < 0.01) live body weight (LBW) and body weight gain (BWG) of the most ages during the experimental period. Rabbits fed 25, 50 and 75% SBP instead of CH recorded the highest viability values. Daily feed intake (FI) was insignificantly decreased with increasing the most levels of CH substitution with SBP while feed conversion (FC) values were significantly (P < 0.05) improved with increasing levels of SBP during the most ages of the experimental period. The inclusion of SBP replacement of CH up to 75% had a significantly (P < 0.05) positive effect on the digestibility coefficients of CP and NFE. Each of DCP, TDN and DE were gradually increased (P < 0.01) when 25, 50 and 75% SBP replaced CH in control diet. All carcass characteristics studied, length of each part of the gastrointestinal tract and pH of digestive tract were not significantly affected by feeding the SBP diets. The best efficiency value was for the rabbits fed 75% SBP substitution of CH, followed by 100, 50 and 25% SBP replacements. Results obtained seemed to justly the following conclusion: From the nutritional and economical point of view, using SBP up to 75% substitution for CH (27%) in growing NZW rabbit diets had no adverse effect on each of growth performance, viability rate, digestion coefficients, carcass characteristics and digestive tract measurements.