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Asian-Australas J Anim Sci > Accepted Articles
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5713/ajas.19.0221    [Accepted] Published online August 3, 2019.
Effects of the dietary digestible fiber-to-starch ratio on pellet quality, growth and cecal microbiota of Angora rabbits
Guiqin Yang1,*  , Fei Zhao1  , He Tian1  , Jiantao Li1  , Dongxin Guo1,* 
College of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Medicine, Shenyang Agricultural University, Shenyang, Liaoning 110866, China
Correspondence:  Guiqin Yang, Tel: +86-24-88487156, Fax: +86-24-88487156, Email: yguiqin@syau.edu.cn
Dongxin Guo,Email: guodx@sina.com
Received: 18 March 2019   • Revised: 7 June 2019   • Accepted: 18 July 2019
Substituting starch with digestible fiber (dF) can improve digestive health of rabbits and reduce costs. Therefore, it is necessary to develop a criterion for dF and starch supply. Effects of the dietary dF-to-starch ratio on pellet quality, growth and cecal microbiota of Angora rabbits were evaluated.
Five isoenergetic and isoproteic diets with increasing dF/starch ratios (0.59, 0.66, 0.71, 1.05 and 1.44) were formulated. A total of 120 Angora rabbits with an average live weight of 2.19 kg were randomly divided into five groups with four replicates. At the end of 40 day feeding trial, cecal digesta were collected to analyse microbiota.
The results showed that the dF/starch ratio had linear effects on pellet variables (p <0.01). When the dF/starch ratio was 1.44, the pellets had the lowest powder and highest durability. The dF/starch ratio had unfavorable linear effects on growth variables (p <0.001). When analyzed by quadratic regression, the optimal dF/starch ratios for average weight gain and feed/gain were 0.59 and 0.74, respectively. There were differences in wool yield, fiber length and fiber diameter caused by the dF/starch ratio (p <0.05), and the dF/starch ratios ranged from 0.66 to 1.06 was appropriate. The cecal microbiota OTU number index in the 1.05 dF/starch treatment was higher than that in the 0.66 and 0.71 dF/starch treatments. The higher dF/starch ratio resulted in a higher cecal microbiota OTU number index (p <0.05). The proportion of Ruminococcus in the 0.71 dF/starch treatment was higher than that in the 0.59 dF/starch treatment (p <0.05)
The most suitable dF/starch ratio for feed pellet quality is 1.44, and for rabbit growth the optimal range of ratios is from 0.59 to 0.74. With combination of the wool growth, output cost, and cecal microbiota, we suggest that a dietary dF/starch ratio ranging from 0.74 to 1.06 is optimal.
Keywords: Digestible Fiber; Starch, Pellet Quality; Cecal Microbiota; Angora Rabbit

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