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Tran Hoang Chat et al., 2005. Livest. Res. Rural Dev., 17 (10)

Document reference 
Tran Hoang Chat; Ngo Tien Dung; Dinh Van Binh; Preston, T. R., 2005. Water spinach (Ipomoea aquatica) as replacement for guinea grass for growing and lactating rabbits. Livest. Res. Rural Dev., 17 (10)

Forty-eight weaned rabbits (New Zealand white) with average initial weight of 1423g (growth trial) and thirty-six lactating rabbits (Improved New Zealand White) with average initial weights of 3460g in the third lactation were used in two experiments to evaluate water spinach as replacement of guinea grass as forage sources in a basal diet of concentrates and molasses block. The experiments were designed as completely randomized arrangements of 6 treatments which were: guinea grass replaced by water spinach at levels of: 0, 20, 40, 60, 80, 100 % based on dry matter. The experimental periods were 42 days (growth trial) and 75 days (gestation-lactation).  There was a linear response in growth rate and feed conversion, both of which were improved by the order of 25% (from 25 to 31 g/day for growth; 4.8 to 3.9 for feed conversion) as water spinach completely replaced the guinea grass. Similar positive improvements due to water spinach were observed in the lactation study with increases in all parameters (litter size and weight, milk yield and offspring growth rate). It is concluded that water spinach is a highly appropriate feed for rabbits in view of its high protein content and low level of fibre.

Citation key 
Tran Hoang Chat et al., 2005