Group Title: Animal Science Department mimeograph report
Title: Citrus pulp in the ration for rabbits
Full Citation
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 Material Information
Title: Citrus pulp in the ration for rabbits
Series Title: Animal Science Department mimeograph report - Florida Agricultural Experiment Station ; AN65-12
Physical Description: 3 leaves : ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Arrington, Lewis Robert, 1919-
Ammerman, Clarence B.
University of Florida -- Agricultural Experiment Station
Publisher: Florida Agricultural Experiment Station
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: April, 1965
Copyright Date: 1965
Subject: Rabbits -- Feeding and feeds -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Dried citrus pulp -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Statement of Responsibility: L.R. Arrington and C.B. Ammerman.
General Note: Caption title.
General Note: "April, 1965."
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00072966
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 77551214

Full Text

S Animal Science Department Florida Agricultural
Mimeograph Report AN65-12 Experiment Station
Gainesville, Florida
April 1965


L. R. Arrington and C. B. Ammerman'2

Dried citrus pulp has been used for a number of years as a feed
for dairy and beef cattle. The nutrient composition and characteristics
of the pulp and its ready acceptance by cattle suggest that it may be
useful as a feed for rabbits. The rabbit is an herbivorous animal
normally consuming much the same type of feedstuffs as cattle. Rabbits
are produced commercially for meat and as laboratory animals for research
and information on the feeding value of citrus pulp would be useful in
ration formulation. The purpose of the present study was to determine
the feeding value of citrus pulp for rabbits.


Rations containing 0, 15, 30.and 45 percent dried citrus pulp were
fed to weanling rabbits during a six week growth period. The experi-
mental ration was prepared by substituting ground citrus pulp in a
ground complete commercial rabbit ration/. Since the addition of citrus
pulp reduced protein content of the total ration, soybean meal (50c
protein) was added in amounts to provide a protein content in the
experimental rations equal to that in the control. Rations were fed
ad libitum and individual voluntary intake was recorded. Feed conversion
was calculated from total feed intake and weight gain.

Rabbits of the Dutch breed were used in all trials. Seven mature
females which were consuming 15 or 30 percent pulp were bred and con-
tinued on the citrus pulp rations through a 4 week lactation period.
In a third trial, an additional 16 mature rabbits were provided whole
citrus pulp in a separate feeder and in addition to the pelleted com-
mercial ration in order to measure voluntary intake of unmixed pulp.
The complete ration was fed in an amount which approximated three percent
of body weight and amounted to 70 to 75 grams daily. This amount had
been found to permit body weight maintenance but was slightly less than
ad libitum intake.

1/ This study supported in part from funds from the Citrus Processors
Association, Winter Haven, Fla.

Arrington, Associate Animal Nutritionist; Armerman, Assistant
Animal Nutritionist.

Purina Rabbit Checkers.



Data representing voluntary feed intake, weight gain and feed
efficiency are recorded in table 1. Intake decreased as the level of
citrus pulp in the ration increased and was significantly less at the
30 and 45 percent level. The differences in feed intake are reflected
in weight gains which were significantly less at the two higher levels
of pulp. The greater consumption of the ration containing 45 percent
pulp over that with 30 percent is difficult to explain. It may be
noted that those rabbits fed 45 percent were lighter in initial weight
and were fed at a slightly different time. This may account in part
for the different result. Although voluntary intake and weight gain
were reduced with the higher levels of pulp, the efficiency of feed
utilization was not affected.

The seven breeding age females which were fed citrus pulp
produced litters and six raised their young. The average weight of
young at 4 weeks, however, was slightly less than controls fed the
complete pelleted ration.

Adult rabbits provided pulp free choice consumed an average of 15
grams per day in addition to a maintenance amount of 70 to 75 grams of
the complete ration. The consumption of pulp under these conditions
cannot be taken as indicating a preference for pulp by rabbits, but
that without forced feeding citrus pulp was consumed in addition to a
maintenance intake of a pelleted complete diet.

At the highest level of citrus pulp intake (45 percent), some
slight diarrhea or soft, sticky feces were observed. This condition
persisted throughout most of the feeding period but did not progress
beyond the mild diarrhea or soft feces. This condition was not
observed in those consuming 15 or 30 percent pulp and no other abnor-
malities were observed.

Although incorporation of pulp into the mixed ration reduced feed
intake, the free choice intake of unmixed pulp by mature rabbits
indicated that citrus pulp is palatable. Rabbits receiving diets with
15 or 30 percent pulp consumed averages of 69 and 58 grams per day and
this represented intakes of approximately 10 and 17 grams of pulp. This
may be compared with an average of 15 grams per day voluntarily consumed
by adult rabbits.


Dried citrus pulp was included in the ration for growing rabbits
at levels of 0, 15, 30 and 45 percent. Voluntary feed intake and weight
gain were significantly reduced when 30 and 45 percent pulp were fed, but
feed efficiency was not affected. Six of seven females fed 15 or 30
percent pulp produced and nursed litters normally but weight of young at
four weeks was less than controls. Adult rabbits fed citrus pulp


separately and in addition to a maintenance amount of a complete
commercial ration consumed an average of 15 grams per day. At the
highest level of citrus pulp (45 percent) slight diarrhea was observed.
The results indicate that citrus pulp may be fed satisfactorily to
rabbits but that at levels greater than 15 percent of the ration some
reduction in feed intake and weight gain may occur.

Table 1

Feed Consumption, Weight Gain and Feed to Gain Ratio of Rabbits
Fed Rations Containing Three Levels of Citrus Pulp

No. Av. Initial Av. Daily Av. Daily Feed/Gain
Rations Rabbits wt., gm Feed, gm Gain, gm Ratio

Control 10 975 76 14.8 5.2

15% Citrus Pulp 11 960 69 14.3 4.9

30% Citrus Pulp 11 971 58** 11.8** 5.0

45% Citrus Pulp 9 854 63** 12.8* 4.9

** Significantly different from control (P<0.01).
* Significantly different from control (P<0.05).

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