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African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development
Rural Outreach Program
ISSN: 1684-5358
EISSN: 1684-5374
Vol. 10, No. 9, 2010, pp. 4032-4046
Bioline Code: nd10094
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development, Vol. 10, No. 9, 2010, pp. 4032-4046

 en Effects of dietary replacement of maize with malted or unmalted sorghum on the performance of Weaner rabbits
Aderemi, F. & Wuraola, A.

Abstract

This study was carried out at the teaching and research farm of Bowen University, Iwo Nigeria. It was designed to evaluate the performance of weaner rabbits fed concentrate and plantain leaf at ratio 50:50. Thirty six crossbred weaner rabbits obtained by crossing Newzealand and Chinchilla breeds purchased from Agrited farm Ibadan, Nigeria were used for this study .They were divided into nine groups such that each dietary treatment was replicated thrice. Three dietary treatments were formulated as the concentrates such that T1 which had maize and other ingredients served as the control while T2 and T3 had their maize portion replaced separately with malted and unmalted sorghum. Thirty six weaned eight week old rabbits were fed for a period of forty nine days which was the duration of the experiment. The feed intake, weight gain, digestibility, blood parameters and economics of raising weaner rabbits on the experimental diets were determined. The dry matter intake varied from 86.64 to 37.16g, the feed conversion ratio (FCR) from 4.09-7.71g.Similar feed intake of rabbit on T1 and T2 indicated that malted sorghum could actually replace the maize portion. The nutrient digestibility of dry matter, crude protein and ether extract were similar between dietT1 and T2 but higher in T3. The blood analysis indicated that white blood cells (WBC) were significantly affected by the dietary treatment while red blood cell (RBC), packed cell volume (PCV), glucose, total protein and Albumin were not significantly (P>0.05) affected. Assessment of the carcass characteristics of the weaner rabbit indicated similar carcass weight and dressing percentage for all the dietary treatments. Final liveweight, kidney weight, head and fur were similar for T1 and T2 but were significantly higher in T3.However, the heart and the lungs were similar among the treatments. Mortality rate of 33.33% was, however, recorded in T3 unmalted sorghum in combination with plantain leaf at 50:50. Market weight of 2.5kg/rabbit was attained by 6.46 months for rabbit fed control which was earlier than the other diets which were 8.23 and 9.18 months, respectively.

Keywords
Sorghum, concentrates, rabbit performance

 
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