Effects of feeding different sorghum varieties on the haematological parameters and carcass measurements of growing rabbits

  • G Mohammed
  • J.U. Igwebuike
  • S.B. Adamu
  • L.G. Asheikh
  • A.S. Maru
  • J Yalma
  • U.M. Kolo


An eight-week feeding trial was conducted to investigate the effect of different sorghum varieties on the blood parameters and carcass measurements of cross-bred (Dutch x New Zealand) growing rabbits aged between five and seven weeks. Twenty five rabbits were randomly allocated to five dietary treatments; T1 (100% maize), T2 (50% maize and 50% “Chakalare” sorghum), T3 (100% Chakalare” sorghum), T4 (50% maize and 50% “Jigare” sorghum) and T5 (100% “Jigare” sorghum). The “Chakalare” and “Jigare” are low-tannin and high- tannin sorghum varieties respectively. The haematological parameters were Packed Cell Volume (PCV), Haemoglobin (Hb), Red Blood Cell (RBC), White Blood Cell (WBC), Mean Corpuscular Volume (MCV), Mean Corpuscular Haemoglobin (MCH), Mean Corpuscular Haemoglobin Concentration (MCHC), Monocytes (%) basophils (%), Neutrophils (%), Eosinophils (%) and Lymphocytes (%). The carcass parameters were Slaughter weight (g), Dressed weight (g), Dressing percentage %, (As % of slaughter weight) of Shoulder/forelegs, Rack, Loin, Thighs/Hind legs, Skin/pelt, Tail, Head, Feet, Heart Liver, Lungs, Kidneys, Kidneys Caecum, Stomach, Large intestine, Small intestine, Caecum length (cm), Stomach length (cm), Small intestine length (cm) and Body length (cm). The response showed that most of the haematological parameters were significantly affected (P<0.05) by the different varieties of sorghum in the diets except packed cell volume, mean corpuscular volume, mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration and basophils which were not significantly affected (P>0.05) by the different varieties of sorghum in the diets. However, most of the haematological values fell within the normal ranges PCV (37.33 to 40.67 %), Hb (13.37- 156.73 %), RBC (5.57-6.93%) and WBC (12.67-14.83) of growing rabbits. The carcass measurements and organs expressed as percentage of slaughter weight were not significantly (P>0.05) different among the treatment groups except slaughter weight, dressing percentage, rack, loin, liver, caecum weight and stomach length which were significantly (P<0.05) different. The study indicated that the two varieties of sorghum (“Chakalare” and “Jigare”) can be included in the diets of growing rabbits as replacement for maize without adverse effect on haematology and carcass parameters of growing rabbits.

Keywords: Growing rabbits, Sorghum varieties, Haematological parameters and carcass measurements, Nigeria


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2220-184X
print ISSN: 2073-073X