Effect of different processing methods on the utilization of Jatropha curcas (Linn) kernel meals on weaner rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus)
There is great competition between the usage of most grains as food or feed hence there is need to identify more livestock feed resources that are not directly consumed by human being. Jatropha curcas kernel is one of such options that can replace some protein sources in livestock diets. Twelve weaner rabbits (Oryctolagus
cuniculus) housed individually in cages were used to appraise the effect of different processing methods (cooked once and cooked twice) on the utilization of Jatropha curcas kernel meals (JKM) based diets by weaner rabbits. The experimental animals were allocated to three dietary treatment groups marked T1 (control), T2 (cooked once) and T3 (cooked twice) in a completely randomized design. The preliminary determination of the chemical compositions of processed Jatropha curcas kernel meals revealed that the double cooked sample had higher crude protein (38.20%), and energy (1238Kcal/kg) values over the cooked once which had (32.29%) and (1126Kcal/kg), respectively. It was also shown that the anti-nutritional factors in the sample of the double cooked were lower in value over the cooked once that had higher values. There were significant (p<0.05) differences among the treatment means in terms of daily weight gain and average final weight. The apparent crude protein, crude fiber, ether, and ash digestibility were not significantly affected by the dietary inclusion of the test ingredient irrespective of the processing method did not impose any ill-effect on the experimental animals.
Keywords: Jatropha curcas, weaner rabbits, processing methods