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Intake, digestion and nitrogen balance of diets blended with urea treated and untreated cowpea husk by growing rabbit

JA Oluokun


An experiment was conducted to evaluate the performance of rabbits fed diets blended with or without urea treated cowpea husk. A total of 30-forty two day old rabbits with an average initial weight of 650 ± 1.5 g were allocated in completely randomized design to three dietary treatments containing 25% cowpea husk with the following treatments; untreated (control, A), 1% urea-treated (B) and 3% urea treated (C). The diet blended with 3% urea treated cowpea husk gave the highest dry matter intake, growth rate and best feed conversion ratio. The digestibility values of dry matter, crude protein, neutral detergent fibre (NDF) and acid detergent fibre (ADF) and nitrogen retention of the group fed 3% urea treated cowpea husk containing diet were significantly higher than for groups offered diets containing untreated or 1% urea treated cowpea husk. Therefore, urea treatment brought about improved nutritive value of cowpea husk and improved animal performance, digestibility and nitrogen retention.