Performance and blood indices of growing rabbits fed diets containing shrimp waste meal as partial substitutes for soybean meal
A total of 96 growing rabbits were used in an experiment to determine the performance and blood indices of rabbits fed shrimp waste meal (SWM) as partial substitutes for soybean meal (SBM). Rabbits were allotted on weight equalization basis to 4 treatment groups having 4 replicates of 6 rabbits each. Four iso-caloric (2240kcal/Kg) and iso-proteinous (15% CP) diets (NRC, 1977) were formulated at 0g/kg (0%), 66.3g/kg (33%), 132.7g/kg (66%) and 201.1g/kg (100%) SWM inclusion levels replacing SBM. Feed and water were offered ad-libitum during the 8 weeks feeding trial. Data on performance were taken and at the 8th week, blood samples collected were assayed for haematology and serum metabolites. Data analysis was done using ANOVA in a Completely Randomized Design. Weight gain and feed conversion ratio indicated that rabbits on 132.7g SWM/kg diet performed better than the control and other substitution levels with those on 201.1g SWM/kg diet having the lowest performance indices. Feed cost per kilogram diet reduced with increasing levels of SWM; also feed cost per unit weight gain. Rabbits fed 132.7g SWM/kg had higher (cubic) mean values for total protein, albumin and globulin and lower (p<0.05) values for urea and creatinine than those on the other diets. There was no significant difference on all haematological indices assayed attributable to the SWM inclusion. It was concluded that SWM can be used as partial substitutes for soybean meal in the diets of growing rabbits up to 66% (132.7g/kg) without adversely affecting their performance, haematology and key serum metabolites.
Keywords: Shrimp waste meal; Soybean; Rabbits; Performance; Blood