Effect of replacing peanut meal by neem (Azadirachta Indica) seed kernel cake on nutrient intake, digestibility and retention, and on body weight of broiler rabbits


  • P. Wasanthakumar Indian Veterinary Research Institute
  • K. Sharma Indian Veterinary Research Institute
  • V.R.B. Sastry Indian Veterinary Research Institute
  • D.K. Agrawal Indian Veterinary Research Institute




Performance of broiler rabbits was assessed on equi­nitrogenous and equi-caloric composite diets (25 roughage: 75 concentrate) incorporated with graded levels (O, 5, 1 O and 20%) of neem seed kernel cake (NSKC) in order to replace peanut meal (PNM) moiety of reference diet. Twenty-four Soviet Chinchilla and 24 White Giant rabbits were assigned to treatments in a randomized block design between 6 and 12 weeks of age. Dietary variation did not significanlly influence the digestibility (8 rabbits /diet) of most of the nutrients except ADF (from 20.6% in the control down to 17.7% with 20% of NSKC). Though rabbits fed NSKC beyond 10% retained lesser (P<0.01) nilrogen, all the animals on various NSKC diets relained less DE and DCP, but ME content was significantly lower (P<0.01) in the NSKC containing diets (2.17 a 2.17 Mcal/kg DM) as compared to control (2.57 Mcal) The intake of DM, protein (CP and DCP) and digestible energy per unit metabolic body size (kgLWº75), though lower than the stipulated requirements, was similar on all the diets. The rabbits utilized the nutrients with similar efficiency irrespective of dietary treatment. Thus, NSKC can be incorporated up to 10% in rabbit diets without any adverse effect on palatability and performance to spare costs in the developing countries.


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