Feed intake and nutrient digestibility of weaner rabbits fed cassava peel as replacement for maize
Twenty 8-week old crosses of New Zealand White X Chinchila weaner rabbits were used to assess the performance of rabbits fed diets with cassava peel replaced with maize on a graded level. Fivedets were formulated diets 1 (control), 2, 3, 4, and 5 in whch maize was replacedwth cassava peel at 0%, 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100%, respectively. The 20 rabbits were used in a competely randomized design with ve treatments and four animal replicates per treatment. The trial lasted for 8 weeks. Parameters measured were feed intake, weight gain, feed conversion ratio and feed cost per kg. It was observed that there was no significant difference (P > 005) in the average dailyfeed intake of the rabbits fed diets 3 4 and 5 However, diets 3 4 and 5 had sgnificantly higher (P< 0.05) intake than dets 1 and 2. Similarly rabbits on dets 3, 4 and 5 had higher (P < 005) growth rates than those fed the control diet and det 2 Feed cost per kg (N/kg) decreased from N3533 in the control det to N19.75 in det 5. Cost of feed/kglive weight gain (N/day) decreased from N3.21 in the contro diet to N1.29 in diet 5. It was concluded that maize supplementation in the diets of weaner rabbits could be replaced by cassava peels up to 100 % without any adverse effect. However, 75% cassava peel replacement was found to be the optimum and therefore recommended.
Keywords: Cassava peel, Nutrient digestibility, Growth rate, Feed intake, Rabbit