Productive behavior of rabbits fed with Leucaena leucocephala (Lam.) de Wit, foliage in the fattening phase


José. J. Pérez-Bautista
Bernandino Candelaria-Martínez
Ricardo Martínez-Martínez
Ricardo Vicente-Pérez
Sixto Marcelo-Hernández
Jeronimo Herrera-Pérez
Pedro.F. Grifaldo- Alcántara
Armando Gómez-Vázquez


Acceptability, consumption, rabbit finishing, weight gain, leguminous plant.


Objective: To assess the productive behavior of rabbits fed with a diet that included 33% fresh Leucaena leucocephala foliage during the fattening phase.

Design/Methodology/Approach: Twenty 60-day-old New Zealand rabbits with an average live weight of 960 g were used. Using a completely randomized, 2×2 factorial design, five male and five female rabbits were distributed among the following treatments: ACCH treatment (300-g commercial feed for female rabbits), ACCM treatment (300-g commercial feed for male rabbits), ACFLCH treatment (200-g commercial feed with 100 g Leucaena foliage for female rabbits), and ACFLCM treatment (200-g commercial feed with 100 g Leucaena foliage for male rabbits). An analysis of variance and a Tukey's test were applied to determine the effect of the treatments on each of the variables analyzed.

Results: The rabbits that consumed the ACFLCM and ACFLCH diets with the addition of Leucaena gained more weight (P<0.05): 23.18±6.35 and 21.59±10.23 g/rabbit/day. Feed intake was higher (P<0.05) with a Leucaena foliage diet: 48.04.2±0.50 and 47.68±0.84 g/rabbit/day. A significant difference (P>0.05) in final weight was observed among treatments (ACCM, 1,971±256.6; ACFLCM, 2,211.8±197.7; ACCH, 2,012.4±275.6; and ACFLCH, 2,184.0±464.9).

Study Limitations/Implications: Proper and correct use of available forage must be made to guarantee that animals have access to food all year round.

Findings/Conclusions: The addition of Leucaena foliage in the diet did not generate a decrease in growth or feed intake.

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