Comparative Studies of Growth Performance of Rabbits (Ornyctolagus cunniculus) Fed on Rabbit Feeds and Diverse Foodstuff in Captivity
Asian Journal of Research in Zoology,
The study was carried out to ascertain ways to increase protein for the teeming population of Nigerians. The specific objectives were to determine the growth performance of rabbits fed on rabbit feed and combination of agricultural by-product with forages and compare their feed utilization. It investigated the growth performances of rabbits; (Orynctolagus cuniculus) fed diverse ration (types A and B) in captivity for 12 weeks. A total of eighteen (18) weaner rabbits with an average initial weight of 350g – 370g and between 5 and 6 weeks old, were allotted into two treatments. Each treatment had three rabbits and three replicate in a completely randomized design. Rabbits in treatment one (A) were fed rabbit feed while the treatment two (B) were fed forage and diverse foodstuffs. Proximate analysis of these food ration types A and B showed that the ration type B was high in crude protein (23.88%), carbohydrate (53.29%) and fat (8.60%) and ration type A had the lowest crude protein (20.76%), carbohydrate, (52.49%) and fat (3.15%). Studies on the indices of ration utilization and growth performances showed that feed intake was highest in rabbit fed ration type A (94.28g) and lowest in ration B (90.98g). The diverse ration types although portrayed good weight gain, the highest was in rabbit fed ration type B (760.00g) and lowest in ration A (681.00g) and ration type B was significantly (p<0.05) different from ration A. The percentage weight gain and specific growth rate were highest in ration type B (210.50%), (4.097) and lowest in ration A (189.10%), (3.841). The best food conversion ratio was recorded for the rabbit fed ration type B (10.07g) and least in ration A (11.64g) and ration type A was significantly (p<0.05) different from ration B. Digestibility was highest in rabbit fed Ration A (93.33g) and lowest in ration B (92.67g) and were significantly different (p<0.05) from each other. The protein intake of ration B (21.73) was higher than those of ration A (19.57). The result also showed that the protein efficiency ratio of ration type A and B was not significantly different (p>0.05) from each other. Looking at the proximate composition of the diverse rations and indices of ration utilization, ration type B portrayed optimal nutrient content for rabbit growth.
- growth and agricultural by-products
How to Cite
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