Variability of caecal parameters in rabbits

Keywords: rabbit,caecum, metabolism, variability


Three groups of rabbits of different origin (29, 27 and 28 animals; 3 or 4–6 months of age) were slaughtered, their caecal contents analyzed and used for inoculation of in vitro cultures. Whereas the caecal pH, dry matter percentages and acetate molar proportions in caecal volatile fatty acids (VFA) were relatively stable, molar proportions of other VFA varied considerably. In in vitro incubations, caecal parameters varied somewhat less than in vivo. Methane production varied much more than total VFA production. No non-methanogenic rabbit, however, was found. The hydrogen recovery correlated Significantly with the methane production and, in two out of three groups of rabbits, also with the propionate molar percentage. The caecal pH was inversely related to VFA concentration.


Demeyer, C I. (1991). Quantitative aspects of microbial metabolism in the rumen and hindgut. In Rumen Mi-crobial Metabolism and Ruminant Digestion, Jouany, J. P. (ed). INRA Editions, Paris, 217–237.

Gidenne, T. (1996). Nutritional and ontogenic factors affecting rabbit caeco-colic digestive physiology. In Proc 6th World Rabbit Congress, 1, 16–28.

Jensen, K. (1977). Fermentation pattern in the bovine rumen after feeding straight feeds. Acta Vet. Scand, 18, 98–107.

McDougall, E.I. (1948). Studies on ruminant saliva I. The composition and output of sheep's saliva. Blochem. J., 43, 99–106. PMC1274641.

Parker, D.S. (1976). The measurement of production rates of volatile fatty acids in the caecum of the conscious rabbit. Br. J. Nutr., 36(1), 61–70. doi: 10.1079/BJN19760058.

Piattoni, F., Demeyer, D., & Maertens, L. (1997). Fasting effects on in vitro fermentation pattern of rabbit cae-cal contents. Wld Rabbit Sci., 5(1), 23–26. doi: 10.4995/wrs.1997.314.

Piattoni, F., Maertens, L., & Demeyer, D. (1995). Age dependent variation of caecal contents composition of young rabbits. Arch. Anim. Nutr., 48(4), 347–355. doi: 10.1080/17450399509381854.

Van Nevel, C.J., Prins, R.A., & Demeyer, D.I. (1974). On the inverse relationship between methane and propio-nate in the rumen. Z. Tierphysiol. Tierernahrg. u. Fut-termittelkde 33(3), 121–125. https://www.ncbi.nlm.

Abstract views: 1
PDF Downloads: 1
How to Cite
Vozna, O., & Motko, N. (2019). Variability of caecal parameters in rabbits. Scientific Messenger of LNU of Veterinary Medicine and Biotechnologies. Series: Agricultural Sciences, 21(91), 108-110.