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Response Of Rabbits Fed Diets Supplemented With Neem Seed Meal, Processed By Different Methods
A feeding trial using 20 young rabbits and weights ranging between 360-600g, to evaluate the effect of processing methods (coldwater soaking, hot water soaking, saline solution soaking and potash solution soaking) of Neem seed cake on growth performance parameters was conducted which lasted for 56 days. The treatment diets (T1, T2, T3, T4, and T5) were formulated with the same composition and quantity of ingredients but different processing methods for the cake. The rabbits were randomly allotted to the treatments with four rabbits per treatment. Processing improved the oil content of the cake and reduced the level of anti nutritional factors. From the result obtained, rabbits fed with unprocessed cake T1, all died. There was a significant (p<0.05) difference in daily feed intake, daily weight gain, total feed intake and final weight between treatments. On the haemotological parameters, significant (p<0.05) differences were observed only in total plasma protein (TPP) among the treatments. The study concluded that rabbits cannot withstand 20% inclusion level of unprocessed neem seed cake and processing with hot water reduces the bitter taste thereby enhancing feed acceptability and better performance.