Performance of Gestating Grasscutters (Thryonomys swinderianus) Fed Cassava-based Diets with Graded Protein Levels
Asian Journal of Animal Sciences,
2011, 5(6), 373-380.
This study was conducted to determine the performance of gestating grasscutters on graded crude protein diets formulated from by-products of agricultural production. The aim of the study was to determine the protein requirement and performance of gestating grasscutters on diets formulated from wheat offal and soybean meal. Cassava was used as a source of energy, while its starch served as a binding agent in the pelleted diets. Sixteen 8 months old pregnant grasscutters of equal weight were allotted to four treatment groups with four animals per group. Each group was randomly allotted to one of four treatment diets formulated to supply 10, 14, 18 and 22% Crude Protein (CP), respectively. The gestating grasscutters were assessed for growth and reproductive performance. Data was collected for the twenty (20) weeks of gestation. The performance of gestating grasscutters on the 14% CP diet in respect of weight at end of gestation and daily weight gain was significantly (p<0.05) higher than on other diets. The results also showed that feed intake and average litter size were highest on the 14% diet. Performance in respect of feed conversion ratio, cost to gain ratio and average birth weight of pups was not significantly different between the 14% and 22% CP diets. These findings suggest that the optimum dietary crude protein level for rearing gestating grasscutters is 14%, which level of crude protein could be supplied from the locally available and low-cost agro-industrial by-products used in this study.
Cited References Fulltext