To determine the effects of indigestible sugars on the digestibilities of nutrients and utilization of nitrogen (N) in adult male rabbits, 12 rabbits with or without a collar that prevented cecotrophy were fed experimental diets for 8days, comprising 3days for adaptation and 5days for collection of feces and urine. The experimental diets were formulated by adding D-mannitol or citrus pectin to a commercial diet at 60g/kg. In the rabbits allowed cecotrophy, mannitol increased the absorption of crude ash but did not significantly alter the digestibilities of crude protein (CP), dry matter and acid-detergent fiber. By contrast, the digestibility of CP was decreased by pectin. The ratios of retained N to consumed N and absorbed N were elevated by mannitol. In the rabbits prevented from cecotrophy, mannitol had no effect on N retention, but increased the N content of cecotrophs (soft feces) and the ratio of the N content of cecotrophs to consumed N. Pectin did not have any significant influences on N retention and the N content of cecotrophs. These results suggest that D-mannitol stimulates cecal microbial proliferation, thereby improving N utilization in rabbits.
- Citrus pectin
- Nitrogen retention
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)