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African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development
Rural Outreach Program
ISSN: 1684-5358
EISSN: 1684-5374
Vol. 8, No. 4, 2008, pp. 451-463
Bioline Code: nd08041
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development, Vol. 8, No. 4, 2008, pp. 451-463

 en Performance and haematological evaluation of weaner rabbits fed loofah gourd seed meal ( Luffa cylindrica check for this species in other resources { M.J.ROEM})
Dairo, FAS


Twenty-four weaner rabbits of mean initial body weight of 554.8 ± 55 g, of New Zealand X Chinchilla cross breed were divided into four groups of three replicates with two rabbits each, in a completely randomized design experiment. They were fed experimental diets in which loofah gourd seeds ground into meal (LGSM) replaced soybean meal (SBM) on weight basis at 0%, 5%, 10%, and 15% dietary levels in a 56 day feeding trial. Performance, nutrient digestibility and haematological parameters were monitored. The feed intake though not significantly affected (P>0.05) ranged from 57.1 g at 15% inclusion of LGSM to 60.13 g for 10%. The values for the final body weight (1564.04 g), daily body weight gain (18.46 g), feed conversion ratio (3.26), and protein efficiency ratio (0.52) were similar for 5% and 10% inclusion of LGSM and significantly highest (P<0.05) when compared to 0% and 15% replacement of soybean meal by the test diet. The percent dry matter digestibility at 15% inclusion (57.47%) and nitrogen digestibility values at the same dietary level (55.98%) were significantly lower (P<0.05) when compared to other inclusion levels of LGSM. However, the values were similar for other dietary levels of inclusion. Rabbits fed the control diets had the highest values (P<0.05) for ether extract digestibility (67.28%). Also 5% LGSM inclusion had the highest (P<0.05) crude fibre digestibility (65.51%). The mean corpuscular volume, mean corpuscular concentration and the mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration were not affected (P>0.05) by the inclusion of LGSM in rabbit diet, however the values of the packed cell volume (43.00%) and haemoglobin (12.57 g/dl), were higher for the 5% and 10% replacement of SBM by LGSM. The values recorded for the red blood cell count, white blood cell count, total protein, albumin and globulin were all similar for rabbits on the control diet, 5% and 10% LGSM inclusion levels but significantly higher (P<0.05) than those fed 15% LGSM in the diet. Rabbits fed 15% LGSM gave higher values for the blood urea (7.97 g/100ml) indicating wastage of the dietary protein. The investigation showed that rabbits fed 5% LGSM replacement for SBM exhibited a better performance when compared to other dietary levels of inclusion of the test diet.

Rabbit, performance, Loofah gourd, haematology

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