The Interaction of NDF Level and Fiber Particle Size on Productivity and Fiber Digestion in Rabbit during the Fattening Period

M. Sobri, K. G. Wiryawan, P. D. M. H. Karti, I. W. T. Wibawan


This research was conducted to determine the interaction of NDF level and fiber particle size on the performance of production, digestibility of dry matter, crude fiber and fiber fraction, digestive tract, microbial profiles, volatile fatty acids (VFA), and total organic acid of rabbits during the fattening period. The experiment utilized 144 New Zealand white (NZW) crossbred rabbits aged 28 days. The experimental design was a completely randomized 3 x 3 factorial pattern, with 3 levels of neutral detergent fiber (NDF) (F1= 33.60%, F2= 36.10%, and F3= 41.43%) and 3 sizes of fiber particles (P1= 1 mm, P2= 2 mm, and P3= 3 mm). Each treatment had 4 replications, and each replication had 4 animals. The combination treatment showed changes in feed intake with an average of 5.25 kg/head. The F2 treatment showed the best results in body weight gain (BWG) and feed conversion ratio (FCR) with an average of 1.80 kg/head and 3.09, respectively. The F1 level showed the highest average of pathogenic bacteria (E. coli) population at 3.37 x 109 cfu/mL which inversely proportional to the average level of butyric acid percentage and total organic acids which were 12.92% and 386.23 mmol/L in rabbits during the post-weaning period. The conclusion of this study was that the inclusion of NDF and a balanced size of fiber feed in feed could lead to optimization of the fiber digestibility, digestive tract, total organic acid production, and butyric acid concentration which could suppress the growth of E. coli and improve the performance of rabbits during the fattening period.


Abad, R., M.A. Ibanez, R. Carabano, & J. García. 2013. Quantification of soluble fiber in feedstuffs for rabbits and evaluation of the interference between the determinations of soluble fiber and intestinal mucin. Anim. Feed Sci. Technol. 182: 61-70.

AOAC. 2012. Official Methods of Analysis. 18th Ed. Association of Official Analytical Chemist, Mayland, USA.

Blas, C. & J. Wiseman. 2010. Nutrition of The Rabbit. 2nd Edition. CU Madrid, Spain and Nottingham UK.

De Blas, J.C., S. Chamorro, J.G. Alonso, P.G. Rebollar, A.I.G.Ruiz, M.S.G. Conde, D. Menoyo, N. Nicodemus, C. Romero, & R. Carabano. 2012. Nutritional digestive disturbances in weaner rabbits. Anim. Feed Sci. Technol. 173: 102-11.

Directorate General of Livestock and Animal Health, Ministry of Agriculture, Republic of Indonesia. 2017. Statistics on Animal Husbandry and Animal Health. 2017_ (ebook). pdf?time=1505127443012

Gidenne, T., V. Kerdiles, N. Jehl, P. Arveux, B. Eckenfelder, C. Briens, S. Montessuy, & G. Muraz. 2013. Protein replacement by digestible fibre in the diet of growing rabbits. Anim. Feed Sci. Technol. 183: 142–150.

Jang, Y.D., S.K. Jang, D.H. Kim, H.K. Oh, & Y.Y. Kim. 2014. Effects of dietary protein levels for gestating gilts on reproductive performance, blood metabolites and milk composition. Asian Australas. J. Anim Sci. 27: 83-92.

Knudsen, C., S. Combes, C. Briens, G. Coutelet, J. Duperray, Salaun, A. Travel, D. Weissman, & T. Gidenne. 2014. Increasing the digestible energy intake under a restriction strategy improves the feed conversion ratio of the growing rabbit without negatively impacting the health status. Livest Sci. 169: 96–105.

Marguenda, I., N. Nicodemus, S. Vadillo, L. Sevilla,  M. Villarroel, C. Romeo, & R. Carabaño . 2012. Effect of dietary type and level of fiber on rabbit carcass yield and its microbiological characteristics. Livest. Sci. 145: 7–12.

Martínez, V.B., P.E. Martínez, L. Rodenas,V.J. Moya, C. Cervera, J.J. Pascual, & E. Blas.  2013. Partial replacement of starch with acid detergent fibre and/or neutral detergent soluble fibre at two protein levels: effects on ileal apparent digestibility and caecal environment of growing rabbits. Livest. Sci.  154: 123–130.

Morais, M. J., C. C. Sevilla, J E. E. C. Abes, & A. A. Angeles. 2018. Growth performance and ruminal metabolic variables of goats fed rain tree (Samanea saman). Trop. Anim. Sci. J. 41:22-28.

Sobri, M., K.G. Wiryawan, P.D.M.H. Karti, & W.T. Wibawan. 2019. Effect of fiber feed on rabbits during the postweaning period. Pak. J. Nutr. 18: 101-108.

Steel, R. G. D. & J. H. Torrie. 1995. Principles and Procedures of Statistics. Alih Bahasa Sumantri, B. Prinsip dan Prosedur Statistika. Edisi 4 Penerbit PT. Gramedia Pustaka Utama, Jakarta.

Tazzoli, M., M. Birolo, E. Filiou, A. Zuffelato, & G. Xiccato 2013. Increasing dietary energy with starch and soluble fibre and reducing ADF at different protein levels for growing rabbits. Agriculturae Conspectus Scientificus. 78: 1-5.

Trocino, A., J. Garcia, R. Carabano, & G. Xiccato. 2013. A metaanalysis of the role of soluble fibre in diets for growing rabbits. World Rabbit Science 21:1–15.

Trocino A., M. Fragkiadakis, & G. Xiccato. 2011. Effect ofthe increase of dietary starch and soluble fibre on digestive efficiency and growth performance of meat rabbits. Anim. Feed Sci. Technol. 165: 265–277.

Trocino, A., M. Fragkiadakis, G. Radaelli, & G. Xiccato. 2010. Effect of dietarysoluble fibre level and protein source on growth, digestion, caecal activity and health of fattening rabbits. World Rabbit Science 18: 199–210.

Van Soest, P.J., J.B. Robertson, & B.A. Lewis. 1995. Methods for dietary fiber, neutral detergent fiber and on-starch polysaccharides in relation to animal nutrition. J. Dairy Sci. 74: 3583–3597.

Villamide, M.J., R. Carabano, L. Maertens, J. Pascual, T. Gidenne, L.F.E. Cunha & G. Xiccato. 2010. Prediction of the nutritional value of European compound feeds for rabbits by chemical components and in vitro analysis. Anim. Feed Sci. Technol. 150: 283-294.

Volek, Z. & M. Marounek. 2011. Dried chicory root (Cichorium intybusL.) as anatural fructan source in rabbit diet: effects on growth performance, digestion and caecal and carcass traits. World Rabbit Science 19: 143–150.

Zhu, Y.L., C.Y. Wang, X.P. Wang, B. Li, L.Z. Sun, & F.C. Li. 2013. Effects of dietary fiber and starch levels on the non-specific immune response of growing rabbits. Livest Sci. 155: 285–93.


M. Sobri
K. G. Wiryawan (Primary Contact)
P. D. M. H. Karti
I. W. T. Wibawan
Author Biography

M. Sobri, Graduate School of IPB University (Bogor Agricultural University)

Dirut. Cv. Tlogowungu Farm.
SobriM., WiryawanK. G., KartiP. D. M. H., & WibawanI. W. T. (2019). The Interaction of NDF Level and Fiber Particle Size on Productivity and Fiber Digestion in Rabbit during the Fattening Period. Tropical Animal Science Journal, 42(2), 137-144.

Article Details