Effect of feeding some evergreen tropical browse plant leaves on performance, digestibility and economic analysis of growing rabbits
A feeding trial was conducted with thirty (30) weaner rabbits to investigate the nutritive potentials of some evergreen tropical browse plant leaves (Ficcus thoningii, Vitex doniana, Daniela oliveri, Sarcocephalus latifolia). Mixed breed rabbits were used and randomly assigned to five (5) treatments (T1 - T5). The rabbits in Treatment 1 were fed concentrate only (control), while those in T2 - T5 were fed as follows; Treatment 2: Ficcus thoningii + concentrate of 3% weekly body weight, Treatment 3: Vitex doniana + concentrate of 3% weekly body weight, Treatment 4: Daniela oliveri + concentrate of 3% weekly body weight, Treatment 5: Sarcocephalus latifolia + concentrate of 3% weekly body weight. The rabbits were fed and given drinking water ad-libitum for the twelve-week experimental duration during which their performance, nutrient digestibility, and economic analysis were evaluated. Experimental diets depressed all the growth parameters measured; average daily feed intake was in the range of 62.67 to 90.17g while average final weight range was 1440.83-1766.67g. Coefficient of digestibility by rabbits was significantly depressed. The diet also affected the economics of production such that feeding of dietary treatments resulted in positive net revenue of N 459.56 to N 628.59 per rabbit. The cost per kg of each treatment feed (N70.61 to N71.11) was lower in the control diets (N70.61) than the browse plant diet (N71.11). The study had shown that the control diet was better in all the parameter measured.
Key words: Digestibility, Economic Analysis, Browse Plant, Performance and Rabbits