Research Article
Effects of Varying Levels of Groundnut Haulms and Cowpea Shells on Performance of Weaner Rabbits

G.S. Bawa, S.O. Ajide, I.A. Adeyinka and M.K. Ajala

Asian Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advances, 2008, 3(2), 54-61.

Abstract

A study using 72 weaner rabbits, with an average initial weight of 276±2.16 g was conducted to determine the effects of varying levels of groundnut haulms (GNH) and cowpea shells (CPS) on their performance and nutrient utilization. The rabbits were assigned to 6 dietary treatments based on their initial live weights. There were 12 individually caged animals per treatment. The diets designated as diets 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 contained 20% GNH + 0% CPS; 15% GNH + 15 CPS; 5% GNH + 15% CP and 0% GNH + 20% CPS, respectively. Diet 1 without groundnut haulms (GNH) and cowpea shell (CPS) served as the control. Water and feed were provided ad libitum. At the end of the 56 day feeding period, faeces were collected for 7 days for digestibility trial. The results showed that there were significant differences (p<0.05) in final live weight, feed intake, weight gain, feed conversion ratio, cost per kg gain and carcass characteristics across dietary treatments. Nutrients digestibilities were significantly (p<0.05) affected by treatments with diet 2 having the highest nutrients digestibilities and diet 6, the lowest. Based on the overall performance of the animals, the diet containing 20% GNH + 0% CPS is recommended for optimum performance of weaner rabbits. However, it was concluded that where both GNH and CPS are in abundance, especially at harvesting period, a combination of 15% GNH + 5% CPS (diet 3) and or 10% GNH + 10 CPS (diet 4) could be recommended for weaner rabbits.

ASCI-ID: 13-24

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