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