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Hongthong Phimmmasan et al., 2004. Livest. Res. Rural Dev., 16 (5)

Document reference 
Hongthong Phimmmasan; Siton Kongvongxay; Chhay Ty; Preston, T. R., 2005. Water spinach (Ipomoea aquatica) and Stylo 184 (Stylosanthes guianensis CIAT 184) as basal diets for growing rabbits. Livest. Res. Rural Dev., 16 (5)

Two experiments were carried out to evaluate fresh water spinach (Experiment 1 in An Giang University, Vietnam) and stylo 184 (Experiment 2 in the Livestock Research Centre in Lao) as basal diets for growing rabbits. In each experiment graded levels of broken rice were used as supplements (0, 5, 10, 15 and 20 g/rabbit per day in Experiment 1 and 0, 4, 8 and 12 g/day in Experiment 2).Growth rates on water spinach ranged from 18 to 23 g/day and DM feed conversion from rates 1.61 to 2.65, and were not affected by the level of broken rice.  DM digestibility coefficients determined by the insoluble ash technique ranged from 84.7 to 89.3% and were not affected by level of broken rice. The rabbits preferentially selected the leaves of the water spinach (70% of leaf DM consumed compared with 50% in the foliage offered). Levels of short chain fatty acid in the faces increased with level of broken rice, implying that gastric digestion of starch in the stomach was incomplete. Performance on Stylo 184 as the basal diet was much poorer with growth rates ranging from 5.54 to 6.67 g/day and DM feed conversion from 15.1 to 19.8.Water spinach as the only source of feed for growing rabbits appears to support acceptable growth rates of close to 20 g/day with a DM feed conversion of 2.7.  This simple feeding system may be attractive for small-holder farmers in the tropics, due to the possibility to raise rabbits with a local resource (water spinach) that is easy to grow and needs no processing.

Citation key 
Hongthong Phimmmasan et al., 2004