Performance of weaner rabbits fed Panicum maximum, Centrosema pubescens and Sida acuta supplemented with poultry growers mash
Sixteen Crossbred Weaner rabbits aged eight weeks made up of 8 males and 8 females with initial average weight of 650 ± 21.76 g were subjected to four dietary treatments namely Panicum maximum plus Poultry growers mash (T1), Centrosema pubescens plus Poultry growers mash (T2) Sida acuta plus Poultry growers mash (T3) and Poultry growers mash alone (T4) which served as Control. The experiment, which lased for nine weeks, was aimed at comparing the performance of the rabbits fed different forages. The results indicated that there was no significant (P > 005) difference in weight gain among the treatment groups. However the group fed Centrosema pubescens recorded the highest numerical weight gain compared with the other groups. Total feed intake and feed conversion ratio of the rabbits fed Panicum maximum, Centrosema pubescens and Sida acuta were similar but significanty (P > 001) higher than for rabbits fed poultry growers mash alone. There were significant (P<0.05) differences in the total feed intake, total dry matter intake, feed conversion ratio and cost of feed per kg live weight gain among rabbits fed different forages. In conclusion, the results of the experiment indicated that all the orages could be used for the feeding of rabbits and that a better performance will be obtained i forages are supplemented with poultry growers mash.
Keywords: Rabbits, Forages, Supplements, Poultry growers mash, Utilization