Effect of dietary inclusion of Pleurotus tuber-regium on performance and intestinal morphology of growing rabbits
The Pleuroteus mushroom has immense growth and health promoting potentials. However, reports on its utilization in the diet of the rabbit is sparse. Therefore, a 56-day feeding trial was conducted to investigate the effects of dietary inclusion of Pleurotus tuber-regium sclerotium powder (PTRSP) in growing rabbits. Forty–eight crossbred rabbits aged between 7 and 9 weeks with average initial weight of 700±25 g were used for the study. The rabbits were allotted to 4 experimental diets containing 0.0, 25.0, 50.0 and 75.0 g/kg PTRSP, respectively. Each treatment had 4 replicates with three rabbits each in a completely randomised design. Growth performance, serum biochemistry and intestinal morphology were determined. The weight gain and feed conversion ratio were better (P<0.05) in rabbits fed diet containing 50.0g/kg PTRSP. Rabbits fed diet containing 75.0 g/kg PTRSP had lower (P<0.05) serum cholesterol, creatinine and alanine transaminase and higher (P<0.05) total glucose concentration compared to those receiving other experimental diets. Rabbits fed diet with 50.0g/kg PTRSP had higher (P<0.05) caecal apical width than those fed diet containing 0.0 g/kg. Inclusion of 50.0 g/kg of PTRSP in the diets of rabbits is beneficial for improved growth, cholesterol metabolism and intestinal morphology without any adverse effects.
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