Effect of quantitative feed restriction on the performance, organ development and cecal activity of growing nutrias (Myocastor coypus)
|Cathegory||Scientific publication in impacted journals|
Feed restriction in young growing animals has been used to improve the performance of chickens, rabbits, turkeys, pigs and lambs. However, no study has been published on nutrias. The aim of this study is focused on assessing the effect of quantitative feed restriction on the fattening results of male and female nutrias and their internal organ development and cecal fermentation parameters up to 32 weeks of age. In the first experiment, feed restriction was applied for 14 days from 11th to 12th week of age and nutrias received 75% of ad libitum feeding (AL). A 4-week restriction, from 13th to 16th week of age, was used in the second experiment; males received 75 g of feed daily, and females received 72 g. In both experiments, restricted nutrias compensated for growth and reached a final weight similar to that of the ad libitum fed animals. In the second experiment, 4 weeks of feed restriction significantly increased the length of the small intestine and the length of the cecum, with a higher effect in the males than in the females. The dry matter of the cecum (P < 0.001), and butyrate (P < 0.001) were lower, whereas propionate (P = 0.003) was higher in the restricted animals. Regarding sex, propionate (P = 0.025) was higher and butyrate (P = 0.021 was lower in the males. The results of the present study indicate moderate effect of short feed restriction on performance and morphological changes in the gastrointestinal tract. The 4 weeks restriction, in males, impaired growth; however, compensatory growth occurred in the second half of fattening period, which indicates that males need longer time for live weight compensation. More research is required to elucidate the effect of feeding regime on the performance, digestive morphology and physiology of nutrias.
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