Growth performance and blood profile of weaner rabbits fed different legume haulms supplemented with concentrate
A study was conducted to evaluate the effect different forage haulms supplemented with concentrate on the growth performance, nutrient digestibility and blood profile of weaner rabbits. Thirty (30) cross bred weaner rabbits (Chinchilla x Newzealand white) were divided into five groups of six rabbits on equal weight basis and the groups allocated to five dietary treatments consisting of Tridax procumbens haulms (T1), Centrosema pubescens haulms (T2) cowpea haulms (T3), soyabeans haulms (T4) and groundnut haulms (T5) in a completely randomized design for eight weeks. Feeding was done at 5% body weight of the animals such that the rabbits were fed forage haulms at 2.5% body weight and concentrate basal diet at 2.5% body weight in the morning at 08.00hr. Results showed that, final body weight and total body weight gain of rabbits fed T1, T4 and T5 diets were higher than those fed T2 andT3 diets. Rabbits fed T2 and T3 diets recorded poor feed conversion ratio and total body weight gain. The dry matter intake of animals fed T2 and T3 diets was significantly (p>0.05) improved compared to those on other treatment diets. Rabbits fed T1, T4 and T5 diets recorded significant (P<0.05) higher crude protein digestibility. The result of the haematological and biochemical indices were not significantly (P>0.05) affected by dietary treatment. It was concluded from the study that Tridax procumbens haulms, soyabeans haulms and groundnut haulms gave better performance than Centrosema pubescens haulms, cowpea haulms when fed to rabbits in addition to concentrate diet.
Keywords: Concentrate, Digestibility, Forage, Growth, Rabbits
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