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Growth performance, hematological and serum biochemical constituents of grower rabbits fed <i>Microdesmis puberula</i>, Hook. – Euphorbiaceae

FC Iheukwumere
IC Okoli
GA Anyanwu
BO Esonu


A twelve (12) weeks feeding trial was carried out to determine the effect of varying dietary inclusions of Microdesmis puberula leaf meal (MPLM) on the growth performance, hematological indices and serum biochemical constituents of growing rabbits. Four grower rabbit diets were formulated to contain the leaf meal at inclusion levels of 0, 10, 20, and 30% respectively. Twenty-four crossbred rabbits aged between 7 and 9 week were divided into 4 groups of 6 each and randomly assigned to the 4 dietary treatments. Feed intake, weight gain and feed conversion ratio were not significantly different (P<0.05) among animals receiving the treatment diets. The cost of feed per kg weight gain at 30% MPLM diet inclusion was significantly (p<0.05) lower than other diets. Hematological parameters such as PCV, RBC, Hb, MCV, MCH and MCHC were not significantly different among the treatment groups (p>0.05). While serum biochemical constituents like urea, creatinine, cholesterol, sodium, chloride, bicarbonate and serum protein values were similar for all groups, potassium level was significantly (p<0.05) different among the treatment groups. Serum enzyme activities especially alanine and aspartate transaminases showed significant difference among the treatment groups (p<0.05). These results suggest that the inclusion of M. puberula leaf meal up to 30% dietary level would be of benefit in raising grower rabbit in the humid tropics.

Keywords: microdesmis, leaf meal, rabbits, growth performance, hematology, serum biochemistry

Animal Production Research Advances Vol. 1(1) 2005: 24-31

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eISSN: 0794-4721