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African Journal of Biotechnology

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Performance and digestibility of weaner rabbits fed graded levels of soybean cheese waste/maize offal diet and brachiaria grass hay

GT Iyeghe-Erakpotobor, CU Osuhor, TS Olugbemi

Abstract


Weaner crossbred rabbits were allocated to five treatment groups in a completely randomized design. The treatments consisted of 100, 75, 50 and 25% levels of soybean cheese waste/maize offal diet (SBW).
100% rabbit meal served as control. Each rabbit received chopped Bracharia decumbens hay ad libitum. Water was offered ad libitum. Concentrate and hay were offered in separate feeders. Rabbits on
the control diet had significantly higher feed intake compared with SBW treatments. Hay intake was significantly lower in 100 and 75% level treatments than 50 and 25% SBW treatments. Weight gain was significantly lower for 25% level with daily gains ranging between -2.08 g for 25% and 6.70 g for the control. Feed conversion efficiency was significantly lower for 25% level compared with other treatments. Survival rate of rabbits ranged between 40 and 60% for the experimental treatments. Dry matter, ash, ether extract, crude protein and nitrogen free extractives intake decreased with decrease in the level of concentrate. Crude fibre intake was similar for the control, 100, 75 and 50% SBW treatments but significantly lower for 25% SBW treatment. Dry matter, ether extract and nitrogen free extractives digestibility were similar for the control, 75 and 25% SBW treatments, and significantly higher than 100 and 50% SBW treatments. Crude protein digestibility and retention were similar for all the groups. Soybean cheese waste/maize offal diet offered at 50% along with bracharia hay compared favorably with the standard rabbit meal in terms of growth and digestibility of nutrients by weaner rabbits. Level of SBW concentrate offered to rabbits should however, not be below 50% when fed with bracharia hay



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