Growth response, nutrient digestibility and carcass analysis of weaned rabbit fed graded levels of toasted sunflower (Helianthus annus) based diets
Graded levels of toasted Sunflower seed meal on growth response, nutrient digestibility and carcass yield of six weeks old weaned rabbits were investigated for 56 days with thirty-six (36) unsexed mixed breed rabbits of average weight 0.50kg. The rabbits were randomly assigned to four treatments with nine (9) rabbits per treatment and replicated thrice in a Completely Randomized Design. Four diets were formulated containing TSSM at 0%, 25%, 50% and 75% as Diet 1(control), 2, 3 and 4 respectively. Parameters measured include feed intake, growth rate, feed conversion ratio and nutrient digestibility while a rabbit/ replicate were selected and severe for carcass evaluation. Results obtained showed no significant (P>0.05) difference in all growth parameters measured. Nutrient Digestibility of diet showed significant (P<0.05) differences in crude protein, ash content and nitrogen free extract across the dietary treatments. The crude protein (59.62-86.91%), ash (36.76-73.87%), nitrogen free extract (81.48-96.18%) values obtained ranged significantly across the dietary treatments with rabbits on D3 recording the highest values. Carcass and organ weight showed significant (P<0.05) difference in skin, liver, heart and lungs among all parameters evaluated. Conclusively, inclusions of TSSM at 50% in rabbit’s diet presented a better result on growth, digestibility and carcass yield.
Keywords: Sunflower seed meal, Weaner rabbit, Digestibility, Performance, Muscle cuts
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