Feeding studies with 21 day albino rats (Wistar strain) fed ad libitum for twenty eight days with Nutrend (a commercial weaning food used as reference diet) and processed sweet potato-crayfish-soyabean/bambara groundnut mixtures were carried out to assess the suitability of the mixtures as substitutes for Nutrend. Result showed feed consumption of rats on Nutrend to be highest (244.92±45.56g) followed by rats on Diet 3; sweet potato + bambara groundnut mixtures (236.5934.70g). The same trend was observed for weight gain. The organ weight measurements showed liver weight range of 1.33 4.80g, kidney 0.41-1.80g, pancreas 0.16-0.49g, and heart 0.17-0.42g. The result also showed that the PER of diets ranged between 0.64 1.90, NPU 86.60 91.40% BV87.92 92.86%, NPR 1.17 1.82, FCR 0.05 0.32 and T.D 98.51 99.49%. The results obtained with diet 3 (sweat potato bambara groundnut mixture) and diet 5 (sweat potato soya bean mixture) compared favourably with the reference diet (Nutrend) in all the parameters examined except for corn starch (diet 7), which recorded lowest values although it contained higher carbohydrate and energy values. Diets 3 and 5 are therefore recommended as substitute diets to the expensive commercial weaning food.
Journal of Applied Sciences and Environmental Management Vol. 10(1) 2006: 55-61