Comparative Effect of Sole Forage and Mixed Concentrate-Forage Feeding Regimens on the Growth Performance of Weaner Rabbits
The response of weaner rabbits to two dietary treatments, sole forage and mixed concentrate-forage was evaluated in a completely randomized design (CRD) for a trial period of 10 weeks. The concentrate used was poultry growers mash while the forage was Tridax procumbens.Thirty two (32) New Zealand White (NZW)-Chinchilla crossbred weaner rabbits were used for the study, with 16 rabbits of mixed sexes randomly assigned to each treatment with four rabbits per replicate. Treatment 1 was first fed concentrates in the morning (800hrs – 1100hrs) daily and thereafter, the forage, while forage only was given every morning to animals solely on forage (Treatment 2). Feed intake was recorded daily, while body weight gain was taken at weekly intervals throughout the period of the trial. Results showed significant (P<0.05) differences in both mean daily weight gain with the values; 15.76 g (Treatment 1) and 12.46 g (Treatment 2) and the average final body weight of 1631.55 g (Treatment 1) and 1388.87 g (Treatment 2). There was no statistical (P>0.05) difference in average intake of forage between the two treatment groups. Economically, Treatment 1 proves to be better for the enhancement of body weight in growing rabbits than Treatment 2.
Key words: Weaner rabbits,Poultry grower mesh, Tridax procumbens, Feed intake,Body weight gain