Evaluation of haematology and serum biochemistry of weaner rabbits fed diets containing Ficus sycomorus and Parkia biglobosa leaf meals
A study was conducted to investigate the effect of varying levels of Ficus sycomorus and Parkia biglobosa leaf meals based diets on the haematology and serum biochemistry of weaner rabbits. Twenty rabbits of mixed breed and sex were allotted to four treatments with each treatment consisting of five rabbits per treatment. The treatments consisted of diets with zero forage (T1 ; control), 5% Ficus sycomorus leaf meal (T2 ), 5% Parkia biglobosa leaf meal 1 2 (T3 ) and 2.5% Ficus sycomorus + 2.5% Parkia biglobosa leaf meals (T4 ) in a completely randomized design. The diets were iso-nitrogenous and the trial lasted for eight weeks. Haematological parameters measured were PCV, Hb, RBC, WBC, MCV, MCH and MCHC whereas total protein, albumin, globulin, glucose, urea and cholesterol were the biochemical parameters measured. Result of the study showed that Ficus sycomorus and Parkia biglobosa leaves were high in DM, CP, CF, fat and ash contents (94.50% and 92.30%,
18.66% and 19.60%, 9.32% and 7.12%, 9.71% and 8.00%, 10.46% and 12.60%, respectively) but low in moisture (5.50% and 7.70%, respectively). It also revealed significant differences (P<0.05) in all parameters evaluated for haematology [31.93 - 41.90% PCV, 9.50 - 12.10 g/dL Hb, (4.13 - 5.93) x 106/mm3 RBC, (1.71 - 5.80) x 106/mm3 WBC, 70.67 - 77.37 Fl MCV, 20.46 - 23.96 Pg MCH and 29.00 - 30.00% MCHC]. The values of total protein (68.00 - 74.00 g/L), albumin (34.00 - 48.33d/L), globulin (25.67 - 34.00g/L), glucose (3.67 - 4.57 mmol/L), urea (8.73 - 9.67 mg/dL) and cholesterol (1.17 - 2.60 mmol/L) obtained for biochemical parameters in the control and study animals also showed significant (P<0.05) differences except for globulin. It was concluded that inclusion of Ficus sycomorus leaf meal in the diets of weaner rabbits at 5% had no adverse effect on the parameters evaluated. It was therefore, recommended that 5% inclusion level of Ficus sycomorus could be safely incorporated in the diets of weaner rabbits to meet their protein requirements as an alternative to more expensive conventional protein sources.