Evaluation of the nutritive potential of pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan) grain and leaf meals on growth performance of pre-pubertal rabbits
The study investigated the effect of including pigeon pea grain and pigeon pea leaf meals in the pre-pubertal rabbit diets that had maize offal as the main energy source. Eighteen pubertal rabbits of age range 5-6 weeks and weight range 482-486 gm at the commencement of the experiment were randomly allocated to experimental diets 1, 2 and 3 respectively containing 0% pigeon pea, 15% Pigeon pea grain meal and 15% Pigeon pea leaf meal, in replacement of maize offal. The final live weight (1375.1g for diet 1,1487.5g for diet 2 and 1347.38g for diet 3), daily weight gain (11.6g for diet 1, 13.00g for diet 2 and 11.21g for diet 3) and feed: gain: ratio 6.50 vs. 5.20 vs. 5.31 for diets 1,2 and 3 respectively were not significantly (P > 0.05) affected by the dietary treatments. However, the daily feed intake 65.3g vs. 59.50 g for Diets 2 and 3 respectively ware similar but significantly (P < 0.05) lower than 73.3g for diet 1. The same trend was observed in the daily crude protein intake. Diet 2 compared favourably with diet 1 in Crude Protein contents of the muscle, heart, liver and kidney of pre-pubertal rabbits. All hematological parameters were within the normal range and did not differ significantly (P>0.05) among the dietary groups. It was concluded that 15% Pigeon pea grain meal inclusion in rabbit diet with maize offal rather than maize, as the main energy base, resulted in better performance of weaner rabbits.
Keywords: Pigeon pea leaf meal; grain meal, pre-pubertal rabbit, haematology , muscle composition
Bowen Journal of Agriculture Vol. 5 (1&2) 2008: pp. 102-108