Fresh leaves of Brosimum alicastrum are a potential forage for rabbits with about 14 to 17% proteins in dry matter and a classical fibre content for a forage (36-50% NDF and 5.5 to 7% ADL in DM). As it was observed for most of the wild or domestic herbivorous animals (Carter, 2015), these leaves are more relished by rabbits than most of the other tropical forages (Cruz-Bacab, 2013; Safwat et al, 2014). Feeding B. alicastrum fresh leaves ad libitum to growing rabbits in addition to a concentrate also ad libitum, resulted in insignificantly higher daily weight gain (24.7 g/d) than the Hibiscus rosa-sinensis leaves used in the same conditions (23.8 g/d). The spontaneous proportion of B. alicastrum leaves in the daily total dry matter intake was 26 to 38% according to the experiment (Martinez et al., 2010). Fresh leaves of B alicastrum may replace 50% of the rabbit concentrate with only a small reduction of the growth rate (less than 10%) and a reduction of carcass of only 3% (Serrano-Sibrian et al., 2016).
Determination of digestibility of leaves used as only feed, resulted in a value of 9.58 MJ/kg DM for digestible energy and a digestibility of proteins of 61.4% (Martinez et al., 2010), values which are close to those generally admitted for alfalfa meal for example. In addition, energy digestibility values are not affected by the incorporation level of dried B. alicatrum leaves in balanced diets at 20 -40 or 60% (Rojas , 2008).
Fruits and seed
No information seems available in the international literature on the use of Brosimum alicastrum fruits or seeds in rabbit feeding (March 2017). Nevertheless fruits and seeds were commonly used by pre-Columbian Maya human populations (Gillespie et al ., 2004) and can be used with success to feed cattle, sheep, goats, pigs and horses (Peters et al, 1982; Yates et al., 2004) or poultry as well (Carter , 2015).Thus this products of the B. alicastrum tree must be considered as a suitable feed source for rabbits also. Composition of seeds is comparable to that of cereals such as maize, barley or wheat (12-13% crude proteins and about 5% crude fibre in DM), and most probably could be used in the same manner in rabbit feeding. The only important remark is the important lysine deficiency of B. alicastrum seed's proteins associated with a large amount of sulphur amino acids, more than 2 times greater than that of wheat or maize (Gomez-Pompa, 1980).