Performance of growing rabbits fed graded levels of sugarcane peel diets
Twenty five growing rabbits of mixed breeds and average weight of 894g were used in a seven week feeding trial. Five experimental diets were formulated in which sugarcane peels (SCP) was included at 0, 10, 20, 30 and 40% levels to replace maize offal. The rabbits were balanced for weight and allotted to the treatments (n=5 rabbits/treatment) in a completely randomized design. Water was supplied ad libitum. Results obtained showed that final live weight was not significantly affected by sugarcane peel level. Feed intake decreased as the level of sugarcane peels increased in the diets. Dry matter intake per body weight or metabolic weight was similar for all the sugarcane peel levels. At 30% inclusion, sugarcane peels gave weight gain that was comparable to the control, 10% and 20% SCP. Weight gain decreased (P<0.05) on 40% diets compared to 10% SCP. There was no significant effect of sugarcane peels on metabolic body weight and feed efficiency. The trend showed that the cost of feed per kilogram live weight gain was linearly reduced as the level of sugarcane peel increased. Percent savings of 29.67 to 46.30 was obtained with sugarcane peel inclusion in the diet. Inclusion of sugarcane peels at 30% level improved (P<0.05) thigh and head percentage, while the meat composition (crude protein, ether extract, moisture and ash) were not significantly affected by the inclusion level. Based on savings per kilogram gain of ₦125.9 (33.06%) with comparable weight gain on 30% SCP diet compared with the control, it was concluded that sugarcane peels inclusion at 30% of the diet was adequate for growing rabbits without compromising performance, carcass characteristics and composition.
Keywords: Performance, sugarcane peels, carcass characteristics, meat composition, rabbits
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