The economic value of animal production depends on the price of raw materials used in feed formulas and the level of incorporation of agroindustrial by-products of low-added value. The study aimed to determine the effects of incorporating dehydrated tomato pulp (DTP) at rates of 30, 40 and 60% instead of dehydrated alfalfa in the diet of fattening rabbits on growth and slaughter performances, meat quality and economic efficiency. One hundred and twenty local rabbits, called the ‘white population,’ weaned at 33 day of age, were randomly divided into 4 groups of 30 animals, identified and distributed in cages, 6 rabbits/cage, i.e. 5 replicates per group. There were no statistically significant differences among groups concerning growth performance for the whole study period (days 33–77). The liver weight of the 60% DTP group was positively influenced (on average +20 g) in comparison to the control, while the perirenal fat weight took values inversely proportional to the DTP incorporation rate for the experimental groups. The middle part (loin) was heavier in 30% DTP group (on average +68 g) in comparison to the control group. The partial substitution of dehydrated alfalfa by DTP improved the economic efficiency of the 60% DTP group (on average +0.38%). So, DTP might remain an alternative to the substitution of alfalfa at rates of 60% without negative effects on the growth performance, slaughter performance, carcasses characteristics and at the same time it may assure cost-effectiveness.
The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.
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