Substitution value of a mixture of rice milling by-products for maize in diets of weaner rabbits.
A 12 - week feeding trial involving 64 weaner rabbits in a completely randomized design was carried out to determine the substitution value of a mixture of rice milling by-products (in the ratio of 1:1:1:2 respectively for straw, husk, hull, and bran) for maize in the diets of New Zealand white type weaner rabbits at four substitution levels: 0%, 50%, 75% and 100%. Rabbits on the experimental diets recorded higher feed intake of 68.83, 68.11 and 66.97gm respectively for 50%, 75% and 100% as against 52.71gm for 0%. The difference in feed intake between the group on 0% and the group on experimental diets became significant (P < 0.05) at 50% dietary substitution level, but there was no significant (P> 0.05) difference among the group on the experimental diets. Rabbits on 50% substitution level recorded the highest feed intake (68.83gm) while the group on 100% recorded the highest feed conversion ratio (15.72). Body weight gain of the groups showed significant difference (P < 0.05). The mixture of rice milling by products used for this study contained 9.10% crude protein, 30.4% erode fibre, 0.29% calcium, 0.19% phosphorus and 2.01 kcal/kg metabolizable energy levels. The results of this trial suggest that a mixture of rice milling by products could substitute maize in weaner rabbits diets up to 50% with good results.
Keywords: rice, by-products, maize substitute, weaners, Rabbits.