The effect of dietary inclusion of white lupin seed (WLS) on the milk composition and yield of rabbit does as well as the performance of their litters was studied.

Two lactation diets (SL and LL) and two weaning diets (SW and LW) were formulated. The SL diet contained soybean meal and sunflower meal as the main CP sources, whereas the LL diet was based on WLS. As a result, the LL diet had a greater EE content than did the SL diet. The SW diet included SBM as the main CP source, whereas the LW diet was based on WLS. No additional fat was added to any of the diets.

A total of 32 (16 per treatment) Hyplus PS 19 does were fed one of the two lactation diets. The litters were standardized to nine kits on the day of birth and were fed one of the two weaning diets from day 17 to 69 of age. At day 30 of age (weaning), 66 rabbits on each weaning diet were used to evaluate performance. Feed intake and doe BW were not affected by the dietary treatments. Milk yield tended to be higher between day 1 and 30 of lactation in does fed the LL diet. Improved G:F between day 1 and 21 of lactation, greater ADG and milk efficiency of litters was observed in does fed the LL diet. The performance of fattening rabbits was not affected by dietary treatment. The number of ill + dead rabbits caused by digestive disease was lower in rabbits fed the LW diet.

Thus, WLS is a suitable dietary CP source for lactating does that can replace traditionally used CP sources without adverse effects on feed intake and milk yield or on the growth and viability of their litters. Due to its FA composition, the use of WLS in the lactation diet has the potential to improve the milk FA composition of does.

Source:  Z. Volek et al., 2014. Effect of diets containing whole white lupin seeds on rabbit doe milk yield and milk fatty acid composition as well as the growth and health of their litters. J Anim Sci online, March 2014. doi: 10.2527/jas.2013-7120.