Effects of different levels of composite boiled sweet potato meal on performance and nutrient digestibility of growing rabbits
An experiment was conducted to evaluate the effects of different levels of composite boiled sweet potato meal (CBSPM) on performance, nutrient digestibility and economics of production of growing rabbits. Twenty four growing rabbits (New Zealand White x Chinchilla) averaging 1.14kg body weight were fed maize-based control diet (0%) and 10%, 20% and 30% replacement levels of maize with composite boiled sweet potato meal (CBSPM) and were designated Treatment 1, Treatment 2, Treatment 3 and Treatment 4 respectively. The experiment was arranged in a completely randomized design (CRD) replicated three (3) times with two (2) rabbits per replicate. The rabbits were fed ad-libitum throughout the period of the experiment. Data was collected on feed intake, weight gain and feed conversion ratio (FCR). There was significant difference (P<0.05) in feed intake as Treatment 4 had the highest feed intake while rabbits in Treatment 1 (control) had the lowest Feed intake. Treatment 4 also had significantly (p<0.05) higher final body weight, average daily weight gain and better feed conversion ratio followed by treatment 3 and 2 respectively. Weight gain increased as CBSPM increased in the diet. Forage meal mixture with the boiled sweet potato meal in the diets encouraged better digestibility of crude protein and Ether extract. Crude fibre digestibility reduced as CBSPM increased in the diet. Results for economics of production also shows that Treatment 4 had the lowest cost per kg feed, cost of total feed consumed per rabbit and cost per kg weight gain thus, gave the highest revenue and gross margin. It can be concluded that the test ingredients encouraged better performance of the rabbits with 30% replacement of maize with CBSPM recommended as the best as it gave better results in terms of growth, nutrient digestibility and economics of production of rabbits without adverse effects.
Keywords: Rabbits, Composite Sweet Potato meal, nutrient digestibility, bio-economics
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