Livestock Research for Rural Development 31 (8) 2019 Guide for preparation of papers LRRD Newsletter

Citation of this paper

Evaluation of chemical composition of carob meal (Ceratonia silliqua) and its effect on growth performance in fattening rabbits

M Guenaoui, D J Guemour and S Meliani

University of Ibn Khaldoune, Faculty of Natural Sciences And Life, Laboratory for the Reproduction of Farm Animals, Tiaret, (Algeria)


The aim of this work was to study the effect of Carob pod meal on growth performances in fattening rabbits. Carob pods were collected in April 2018 from the west region of Algeria. Four experimental diets were prepared. A control diet “CC00” to meet the nutritive requirements for fattening rabbits. Three diets “CR05 .CR10 and CR15” were obtained by replacing 5, 10 and 15 % of barley in the control diet by carob meal. In total 92 rabbits (23/ treatment) weighing 540 ± 32 g weaned at 35 d of age were used to record growth performances at to 77 days of age. Carob meal has a low CP (4,2%) but a high content in fiber (20,7%). The inclusion of carob at 10 and 15% increased feed intake without any effect on weight gain and feed conversion.

Key words: Algeria, daily gain, feed intake, mortality


In rabbit breeding the largest share (70%) of production costs is represented by food (Maertens and Gidenne 2016, Gidenne et al 2017). While in Algeria, the majority of raw materials used in feed formulation are based on maize and soybean meal, which are imported and in direct competition with human food (Duperray 2008). In this case the research for alternative sources such as agro-industrial co-products available locally is an interesting approach. Carob meal (pods and seeds) can take a part in the solution of this problem by its high availability in Algeria with a low price. In previous studies, carob gave positive results on growth performances in fattening lambs at a level of 30 % (Guessous et al 1989, Lanza et al 2001, Obeidat et al 2011). The incorporation of carob meal into the rabbit diet showed good fermentation at the caecum because of its large content of soluble fiber (Gasmi-Boubaker et al 2013) with a positive effect on health status after weaning (Guenaoui et al 2019). It is in this context that our research is aimed at the effect on growth performance in fattening rabbits.

Material and methods

Carob pods were obtained from the province of MEDEA in the west of Algeria during April 2018. They were milled into fine particles of 1 mm to be included in the experimental diets which are presented as pellets of 3.5 mm/15 mm. A control diet “CM” was formulated to meet the nutritive requirements for fattening rabbit according to De Blas and Mateos (2010). Three more diets CM05, CM10 and CM15 were obtained by replacing 5, 10 and 15 % of barley by carob meal.

Ninety two rabbits at 35 days-old with a body weight of 540 ± 32 g were blocked by litter and randomly assigned to the 4 experimental diets (23 rabbits per diet) and housed individually in flat-deck cages of 600 × 250 × 330 mm. Individual live weight and feed intake were recorded over the period 35-73 days of age.

Analytical methods

The methods of AOAC (2000) were used to determine DM (934.01), ash (967.05), CP (2001.11). NDFom (without sodium sulphite), and ADF were sequentially determined using the filter bag system (Ankom Technology, New York) and AOAC procedure (2000, 973.187). The gross energy was measured with an adiabatic bomb calorimeter.

Statistical analysis

The results were analyzed, using the General Linear Model (GLM) procedure of SAS (SAS 2000). The individual rabbit was used as the experimental unit and the type of diet as the main sources of variation.

Results and discussion

Carob meal composition

Table 1. Proximate composition of carob meal (% DM basis)

This study



Crude protein




Crude fiber












GB (Gasmi-Boubaker et al 2008), Will (William et al 2005)

In our study the chemical composition of carob used was generally similar with those previously reported, because they are from the same region (the Mediterranean).

Growth performance and health condition

Table 2. Mean values for growth performances and mortality of rabbits between 35 and 77d of age

Experimental diets


p value





Live weight 35 d, g







Live weight 77 d, g







Feed intake, g/d







Weight gain, g/d







Feed conversion, g/g







Mortality, %







ab Means in the same row without common letter are different at P<0.05

Incorporation of 10 and 15 % of carob meal improved slightly the feed intake in comparison with the control and the CM5 diets without any effect on the daily weight gain and feed conversion. These results are in accordance with those reported by Guenaoui et al (2019).



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Received 23 June 2019; Accepted 10 July 2019; Published 1 August 2019

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