Nutritional potentials of Ipomea, Centrosema, Pueraria, Emilia and Tridax forages in mixed feeds for weaner rabbits
Five forage species Ipomea batata, Centrosema pubescens, Pueraria phaseoloide, Emilia sonchifolia and Tridax procumbens were evaluated for growth promotion in a mixed feeding regime comprising 50g of rabbit pellet plus forage (ad libitum). Thirty weaner rabbits (6 weeks old) were randomly assigned in a completely randomised design in equal groups of six rabbits (2 bucks and 4 does) to the forages during a 12 -week feeding trial at the University of Calabar Livestock Research Farm. Results showed significant (P < 0.05) differences in mean daily forage consumption among the species with the values 247 .92g (I. batata), 161.95 (C. pubescens), 167.28g (P. phaseoloicle) .274.14g (E.sonchifolia), and 291.93g (T. procumbens). No significant (P > 0.05) differences were observed in the mean daily dry matter intake, the values of which ranged between 75.26 and 80.30g. While the initial body weights were not significantly different, the forages had significant effect on the final bodyweight of the rabbits with the values of 2365.20g (lpoemea), 2179.74g (Centrosema), 1662.45g (Pueraria), 1862.02g (Emilia) aad 2352.72g (Tridax).
Key wonds:- Forages, pellet, mixed feeding, growth, rabbit weaners.