Growth performance, nutrient digestibility and nitrogen retention in female rabbits fed Sorghum almum: Lablab purpureus forage mixtures
A study was conducted to determine the effect of varying inclusion levels of Sorghum almum and Lablab purpureus mixtures on growth performance, nutrient digestibility and nitrogen retention in female rabbits. A total of 20 female rabbits of different cross breeds with initial live weight range of 450g-500g were fed rations with inclusion levels of 100%Sorghum almum (SA), 75:25%Sorghum almum-Lablab (SL), 50:50% Sorghum almum-Lablab (SL) 25:75% Sorghum almum-Lablab (SL) and 100%Lablab (LL), respectively in a completely randomized design (CRD). The rabbits were allotted into 5 dietary treatments with 4 rabbits per treatment which served as replicates. The result shows that final live weight, dry matter intake and feed conversion ratio were significantly (P<0.05) influenced by the treatments. Female rabbits supplemented with 50:50%SL and 25:75%SL had higher (P<0.05) final weight gain (1665.73g vs. 1617.36g) and average daily weight gain (19.62g vs.18.96g) than the others. The highest feed intake (95.75g/d) was recorded in rabbits fed 50:50% Sorghum almum-Lablab (SL) forage mixture. The least feed conversion ratio (3.83) was recorded in the 75:25%SL inclusion levels of Sorghum almum and Lablab (SL) in the diets. There were significant effects (P<0.05) on nutrient digestibility, nitrogen retention and nitrogen absorbed by the female rabbits among the treatments. From the study carried out, it was concluded that Sorghum almum: Lablab forage mixture of 50:50%SL in the feed of female rabbits would be optimum for improved productive performance. However, further research could be carried out to ascertain the effect of Sorghum almum: Lablab forage mixtures on growth performance of male rabbits in Nigeria.
Key words: Sorghum almum, Dolichos lablab, feed, mixture, Nigeria, rabbit
Copy right of all published material rests with the Nigerian Journal of Animal Science.