The aim of this study was to evaluate, by means of a survey, the forage intake and nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) excretions in breeding and fattening rabbit farms. The does produced an average of 6,4 litters a year and kittens were weaned between 24 and 35 days. In the fattening units, 5,2 stock rotations were accomplished a year and a final weight of 2,9 kg was reached with an average gain of 42 g/d and a feed conversion ratio 4,17. Based on fresh matter, the N, P and K contents of rabbits were respectively 30,4, 6,5 and 3,1 g/kg. The dietary contents ranged between 21,4 and 23,8 g N, 5,0 and 6,0 g P and between 13,5 and 14,9 g K depending on the animal category. Forage intake represented 20, 15 and 9 % of total intake by does, young breeding stock and fattening rabbits respectively. The annual excretion of N and P was lower than the currently used standards in rabbit breeding but higher in rabbit fattening. The annual K excretion was considerably higher than currently believed in cuniculture.
Pontiggia A., Münger A., Ammer S., Philipona C., Bruckmaier R. M., Keil N.M., Dohme-Meier F.
Even in temperate climate zones, an increase in the ambient temperature and solar radiation can cause heat stress in grazing dairy cows. Agroscope studied the physiological changes in cows caused by increasing heat load.
Lazzari G., Münger A., Heimo D., Seifert S., Camarinha-Silva A., Borda-Molina D., Zähner M., Schrade S., Kreuzer M., Dohme-Meier F.
In dairy cows, herbage-based diets often lead to increased nitrogen excretion. Tanniferous sainfoin and extract of acacia can reduce nitrogen excretion from urine and thus ammonia volatilization from slurry.
Excessive nitrogen inputs from the air lead to over-fertilisation of sensitive ecosystems. Continuous feeding optimisation can make an important contribution to reducing ammonia losses and thus nitrogen inputs.