Cassava Peel – Blood Meal Mixtures in Rabbit Buck Diets: Effects of Processing Methods and Levels of Inclusion on Performance
This study was conducted to evaluate the effect of feeding ash-treated (ATD), parboiled (PAB), and sun-dried (SUD) cassava peel meal combined with blood meal (mixture) in the ratio of 3: 2 on the performance of sixty cross – bred (New Zealand white X Chinchilla) male weaner rabbits. There were ten dietary treatment groups of six rabbits each. Each rabbit served as a replicate. The dietary treatments included a control diet without cassava peel/blood meal mixture (CPM-BM). Ash treated (ATD-BM.), parboiled (PAB-BM) and sun dried (CPM/BM) were fed at 10, 20, and 30% inclusion levels in a 3x4 factorial arrangement. The experiment lasted for 8 weeks. The main effect of treatment methods on growth performance shows that final weight of the control was comparable with that of PAB-BM and SUD-BM but higher (p<0.05) than ATD-BM. The average daily feed intake of the rabbits on the control diet, PAB-BM and SUD-BM were comparable (p>0.05) but lower than 50.05 g for rabbits on ATD-BM. The cost/per weight gained favoured rabbits fed the PAB-BM and the control diets which had the least cost (P<0.05). The rabbits fed with ATD-BM had the highest cost/kg weight gain followed by the rabbits fed the SUD-BM diets. The percentage organ weights show that the heart, liver, kidney and spleen, lungs and pancreas weights were higher for diets containing cassava peel/blood meal mixture than the control. The main effect of levels of inclusion shows that the optimum inclusion level in this study was 20% in terms of final weight of the rabbits. The daily weight gain followed a similar pattern. The feed cost per Kg was highest (P<0.05) for the control. However, the cost/kg of feed for the diets containing cassava peel/blood meal mixture linearly decreased as the level of inclusion increased. Feed cost per kg gain was least (P<0.05) at 20% inclusion level (N133.68) which was even better than the control (N152.64). The 30% inclusion level had the highest cost/kg gain. 20% appears the optimum inclusion level in this study. The effect of inclusion levels on the organ weights also showed that rabbits feed the cyanide containing diets had all their organs significantly (P<0.05) larger than rabbits feed the control diet. It is concluded that parboiling cassava peels was most effective in reducing cyanide and that 20% inclusion level was optimum.. Inclusion of cassava peel/blood meal mixture in weaner rabbit diet will have positive effect in reducing production cost implying attraction for rabbit production and ultimately more animal protein availability. 20% inclusion level was optimum.
Keywords: ash treated, parboiled, sun-dried cassava peels, blood meal mixture, cyanide contents, rabbit