Comparative Evaluation on Carcass Yield in Rabbits Fed Under Four Different Diets

  • Sergon P University of Eldoret, Eldoret, Kenya
  • Kitilit J. K University of Eldoret, Eldoret, Kenya
  • Omega J. A University of Eldoret, Eldoret, Kenya
Keywords: Forages, New Zealand White Rabbit, hot carcass weight


Rabbits (Oryctolagus Cuniculus) are non-ruminant forage consumers with high growth potential and fecundity. They require small rearing space and are preferred in rural households for improved nutrition and income generation, and eventual poverty reduction. The current study assessed the effect of supplementing Rhodes grass hay with four different forages. A Completely Randomized Design experiment was used with nine New Zealand White grower rabbits in 5 treatments as; (a): 40% Sweet potato vines (SPV)  + 60% Hay(H), (b) 40% Mulberry(M) + 60% H, (c) 40% Sesbania (S) + 60% H, (d) 13.3% SPV + 13.33% S + 60% H,  (e) H 100%. The rabbits were pre-treated with anthelmint: Aliseryl WSP ™.A Hydro-soluble, a mixture of antibiotics and vitamins.  Seventy-seven days after the start of the study, two rabbits from each treatment were randomly selected, sacrificed, eviscerated and weighed. The results showed that formulating of rabbit feed using field forages played a major role towards improving hot carcass weights of the animals. The most effective forage that gave the highest (p<0.05) results of hot carcass yield consisted of treatment b (40% Mulberry leaves and 60% Hay). Hot carcass weights were: 0.43kg, 0.55kg, 0.36kg, 0.44kg, and, 0.31kg for treatments a, b, c, d and e respectively. Rabbits under treatment b had the highest (p<0.05) hot carcass weight of 0.55kg while treatment e had the lowest of 0.31kg. The nutritive value of Mulberry leaves in terms of digestible crude protein was fairly good as compared to the other forages such as sesbania and sweet potato vines. In conclusion, the dressing yield was highest when mulberry leaves were used in supplementation with Rhodes grass hay than when the other three feed supplements were used.

Article Views and Downloands Counter

Download data is not yet available.


Abonyi, F. O., Iyi, E. O. & Machebe, N. S. (2012). Effects of feeding sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) leaves on growth performance and nutrient digestibility of rabbits. African Journal of Biotechnology Vol. 11(15), pp. 3709-3712

Bamikole, M. A., Ikhatua, M. I. Ikhatua, U. J., Ezenwa, I. V. (2005). Nutritive value of mulberry (Morus Spp.) leaves in the growing in Nigeria. Pakistan Jouurnal of Nutrition 4:231-236.

Blasco, A., & Ouhayoun, J. (1996). Harmonization of criteria and terminology in rabbit meat research. Revised proposal. World Rabbit Sci.; 4:93–98. Google Scholar.

Cheeke, P. (2003). Feeding systems for tropical rabbit production emphasizing root, tubers and bananas. Food and Agriculture Organisation.

Dalle Zotte, A. (2002a). Perception of rabbit meat quality and major factors influencing the rabbit carcass and meat quality. Livestock Production Science, 75(1), 11-32.

FAO, (2001). Dietary protein quality evaluation in human nutrition. Report of an Expert
Consultation. ISSN: 0254-4725. Accessed from a686a57aa4593304ffc17f06.pdf

Genstat. (2014). VSNI. GenStat for Windows. 14th Edition,VSN. International, Hemel Hempstead.

Gidenne, T., & Garcia, J. (2006). Nutritional strategies improving the digestive health of the weaned rabbit. Recent Advances In Rabbit Sciences, 229-238.

Kandylis, K., Hadjigeorgiou, I., & Harizanis, P. (2009). The nutritive value of mulberry leaves (Morus alba) as a feed supplement for sheep. Trop Anim Health Prod 41:17–24

Kiptarus, J. K. (2005). Focus on livestock sector: supply policy framework strategies status and links with value addition. Paper Presented at a Workshop on Value Assess Food and Export Investment, held at Grand Regency Hotel, Nairobi, Kenya.

Linga, S. S., Lukefahr, S. D. & Lukefahr, M. J., (2003). Feeding of lablab purpurens
forage with Molasses, blocks or sugarcane stalks to rabbit fryers in Sub-Tropical South Texas. Livestock Production Science, 80, 201–209

Lukefahr, S. D. (2007). Strategies for the development of small- and medium-scale rabbit
farming in South-East Asia. Livestock Research for Rural Development, 19 (138). http://www.cipav. lrrd/ lrrd19/9/luke19138.htm

Maertens, L. (2009). Possibilities to reduce the feed conversion in rabbit production. Giornate di Coniglicoltura ASIC 2009, (pp. 1-10). Forli, Italy.

MoLD. (2004). Annual report, department of livestock production. Nairobi; Ministry of Livestock Development document number.

Raharjo, Y. C., Cheeke, P. R., & Yuhaeni, S. (1988). Evaluation of tropical forages and by-product feeds for rabbit production. PhD. Dissertation. Evaluation of Tropical Forages and By-product feeds for Rabbit Production, 108.

Sánchez, M. D. (2002a). Mulberry: an exceptional forage available almost worldwide. SÁNCHEZ, MD Mulberry for animal production. Roma: Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of United Nations, 271-289.

Sánchez, M. D. (2002b). World distribution and utilization of mulberry and its potential for animal feeding. Animal production and health paper, (147), 1-8.

Shayo, C. M. (1997). Uses, Yield and nutritive value of mulberry (Morus Alba) trees for ruminants in the semi-arid areas of Central Tanzania. Tropical Grasslands, 31, 599-604.

Stokes ,W. S. (2002). Humane endpoints for laboratory animals used in regulatory testing. ILAR Journal, Vol. 43(1).

Wanjala, F. N. (2015).Performance And Cost of Production of New Zealand White, California White Rabbit (Oryctolagus Cuniculus) Breeds and Their Cross Under Two Feeding Regimes. Msc. University of Nairobi.

Xiccato, G., & Trocino, A. (2010). Feed and energy intake in rabbits and consequences on farm global efficiency. 6th International Conference on Rabbit Production, (pp. 1-18). Assiut, Egypt.
How to Cite
P, S., J. K, K., & J. A, O. (2020). Comparative Evaluation on Carcass Yield in Rabbits Fed Under Four Different Diets. Africa Journal of Technical and Vocational Education and Training, 5(1), 166-174. Retrieved from