Response of rabbits to varying levels of cassava and Leucaena leucocephala leaf meal diets

  • O.A. Fasae
  • B.O. Oladeji
  • B.A. Onabekun
  • O.C. Fasae
  • N.E. Odiakaose
Keywords: Rabbits, cassava, Leucaena, leaf meal, performance, haematology, carcass

Abstract

An experiment was carried out to determine the performance, haematology, carcass characteristics and sensory evaluation of meat from rabbits (n = 30) fed varying levels of cassava and Leucaena leaf meal diets. Rabbits were randomly allocated to five dietary treatments of 0, 10, 20, 30 and 40% CLM replaced with LLM for treatments 1 to 5, respectively. Results showed that rabbits fed dietary treatment 30%CLM and 10%LLM had the highest (p<0.05) feed intake (94.49±3.63g/day), body weight gain (12.65±0.62g/ day), with those fed 40%LLM having the lowest values of 58.37g/day and 5.22±0.62g/day, respectively. Best (p<0.05) nutrient digestibility values were observed in 30%CLM and 10%LLM diets. Data on carcass characteristics shows significant (p<0.05) differences across dietary treatment. Dressing percentage ranged from 52.28% to 56.49% with rabbits fed 30% CLM having the highest (p<0.05). The sensory properties of the meat samples from loin of rabbits ranked the same (p>0.05) across dietary treatments. There were no significant differences (P<0.05) among groups for the haematological parameters, except for mean cell haemoglobin and mean cell haemoglobin concentration. It was therefore concluded that 30% of cassava and 10% Leucaena leucocephala leaf meals can be best incorporated in the diet of rabbits to achieved optimum production without any adverse effects on the animals.

Keywords: Rabbits, cassava, Leucaena, leaf meal, performance, haematology, carcass

Published
2017-01-24
Section
Articles

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eISSN: 0378-9721