Influence of graded levels or toasted Bambara groundnut meal on rabbit carcass characteristics
The effect of feeding graded levels of toasted bambara ground nut meal on rabbit weaners was investigated. A total of fifty white rabbit weaners of 6 - 8 weeks with an average weight of 366.7g were fed the graded level of Bambara nut meal at 0, 5, 15, 25 or 35% inclusion level in a complete randomized design experiment for a period of six weeks.
The final live weight, daily feed intake were not influenced (P>0.05) by the level of bambara nut meal in the diet. However, positive influence of the graded level of bambara nut meal was observed on the rabbit daily weight gain, feed efficiency dressed carcass, dressing percentage and meat: bone ratio. Rabbits on the 25 and 15% bambara nut inclusion levels were found to have similar (P>0.05) daily weight gain and dressing percentage with the control ration. Rabbit on the 5% bambara nut level diet had the least feed efficiency (0.22) and meat: bone ratio (3.6), while the dressed weights of rabbit fed the diet containing 25% bambara nut meal had the highest dressed carcass weight (501.6g).
Rabbits carcass cut-up parts as well as internal organs (liver, heart, kidneys and lungs) were not influenced by the dietary levels of bambara nut meal. But the pelt weight, empty gut weight, lipid and moisture contents were significantly (P<0.05) influenced by the levels of bambara nut meal in the diet.
Keywords: Bambara groundnut, toasting, rabbit carcass.