Genital tract morphometry and haematology of male rabbits fed graded levels of cassava leaf meal
A study was conducted to investigate the effects of feeding graded levels of cassava leaf meal (CLM) on genital tract morphometry and haematology of twenty 8-week old male rabbits weighing between 815 to 910g. The rabbits were randomly assigned to four dietary treatments viz: T (control), T , T and T with CLM inclusion levels of 0%, 9%, 18%, and 1 2 3 4 27%, respectively after balancing for liveweight. Each rabbit was individually caged and served as a replicate in a completely randomized design. The feeding trial lasted for sixteen (16) weeks. Three (3) rabbits per treatment were slaughtered and evaluated for genital tract morphometry and haematological characteristics. The results showed that CLM had no significant effect (P>0.05) on testes, corpus, cauda, ductus and tunic weights. Positive relationships were observed between CLM in the diets and testes weight (r = 0.42; P<0.05) as well as cauda weights (r = 0.96; P<0.01). No significant effect (P>0.05) of diets were observed on packed cell volume, haemoglobin, mean corpuscular haemoglobin, mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration, mean corpuscular volume, platelets, white blood cells, neutrophils, lymphocytes, monocytes basophils and eosinophils. However negative relationships between levels of inclusion of CLM in diets and red blood cell, packed cell volume and haemoglobin were observed. It was concluded that the inclusion of up to 27% of CLM in bucks' diets is not detrimental to good health and normal reproductive tract development. It is recommended that further studies on the feeding potentials of cassava leaf meal at higher levels of inclusion and actual reproductive performance be investigated.
Keywords: Cassava leaf, rabbit, dietary treatments, reproductive tract, morphometry,