Performance of Weaned Rabbits Fed Graded Dietary Levels of Composite Cassava Meal

  • SN Ukachukwu
  • CC Ekwe
  • GS Ojewola
Keywords: Alternative feedstuff, micro livestock, weaned rabbit, nutrient utilization, profitability

Abstract

Thirty-six crossbred (New Zealand White x Chinchilla) weaned rabbits of both sexes averaging 1.03 kg in liveweight and aged 6 – 8 weeks were used in a completely randomized design experiment to evaluate the effect of graded levels of composite cassava meal (CCM) at 0%, 10%, 20% and 30% (designated as Treatments 1, 2, 3 and 4) on the growth performance, digestibility coefficient, nitrogen retention and economics of production of weaned rabbits for 84 days. There were no significant (P>0.05) differences among all the treatments in final live-weight (2.06 – 2.34 kg), daily weight gain (12.30 – 15.71 g), feed conversion ratio (2.58 – 3.19), and protein efficiency ratio (1.62 – 1.80). Average daily feed intakes of the 10% (Treatment 2, 39.70 g), 20% (Treatment 3, 40.51 g) and 30% (Treatment 4, 40.62 g) CCM-based diets were similar but significantly higher than that of the control (Treatment 1, 36.47 g). Crude fibre digestibility coefficients of 0% (56.43%), 10% (59.55%) and 20% (58.29%) CCM diets were higher than that of 30% (52.88%) CCM diet. Crude protein digestibility (Treatment 1 = 79.12%, Treatment 3 = 82.37%, Treatment 4 = 85.50%), nitrogen retention (Treatment 2 = 51.18%, Treatment 3 = 73.43%, Treatment 4 = 85.29%) and gross margin (Treatment 2 = ₦41.37, Treatment 3 = ₦38.42 and Treatment 4 = ₦35.93) increased as the CCM inclusion increased, while cost per kilogramme feed (Treatment 2 = ₦135.0, Treatment 3 = ₦173.5 and Treatment 4 = ₦220.6) and cost per unit weight gain (Treatment 2 = ₦132.0, Treatment 3 = ₦111.9 and Treatment 4 = ₦92.82) decreased as CCM inclusion increased.
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