Effects of Dietary Toasted and Sun-Dried Icacinia Mani (Earth Ball) Meals on the Performance, Serum Biochemical and Haematological Indices of Weaner Rabbits
AbstractAn 8-week feeding trial was conducted to determine the effects of dietary Icacinia mani (earth ball) meal (locally called efik isong by the Ibibios of Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria) on the performance of weaner rabbits. Sun-dried Icacinia mani meal (SIMM) and toasted Icacinia mani meal (TIMM) were analyzed for hydrocyanic acid (HCN) content and proximate composition and then used to make 4 diets at 10% and 20% levels each, respectively. The 5th diet (control) contained no Icacinia mani meal. Thirty weaner rabbits, weighing 720–880 g, were divided into 5 groups of 6 rabbits each and each group randomly assigned to one of the 5 experimental diets in a completely randomized design. Feed and water were provided ad libitum. Forage was provided to them as basal diet. At the end of the trial, the rabbits were slaughtered and their blood collected for determination of haematological and serum biochemical indices. No trace of HCN was detected but SIMM contained 6.13 % CP, 5.0 % EE, 8.62 % CF, 3.8 % ash and 76.5 % NFE which were not significantly affected by toasting. Feed intake, growth rate and feed conversion ratio of the rabbits on the control diet were significantly (P < 0.05) higher than those on Icacinia mani diets. The PCV of the control rabbits was also significantly (P< 0.05) higher than those of the rabbits on Icacinia mani diets but
Icacinia mani groups recorded significantly (P< 0.05) higher white blood cell counts. The SGPT, total protein, albumen, globulins and creatinines of the Icacina mani groups were similar (P> 0.05) and significantly (P<05) higher than those of the control group.