Effect of Alchornea cordifolia leaf meal inclusion and enzyme supplementation on performance and digestibility of rabbits


  • S.O. Ayodele The Federal Polytechnic
  • O.D. Oloruntola The Federal Polytechnic
  • J.O. Agbede The Federal University of Technology




Alchornea cordifolia, enzyme supplementation, health status, performance, slaughter traits, rabbits


A feeding trial was conducted to study the performance, digestibility and health status of weaner rabbits fed diets including Alchornea cordifolia leaf meal (ALM: 18% crude protein [CP] and 12.9% crude fibre) and supplemented with a multi-enzyme additive (cellulase, xylanase, β-glucanase, α-amylase, protease, lipase). Six experimental diets were arranged factorially: 3 levels of ALM (0, 5 and 10% substituting palm kernel cake: 16.3% CP and 39.1% neutral detergent fibre) combined with 2 levels of enzyme supplementation (0 and 0.35 g/kg). One hundred and eighty healthy, 5-wk-old weaner rabbits of cross-breeds were randomly allotted to 6 dietary treatments (30 rabbits/treatment, 3 rabbits/replicate). Growth rate was not affected (P>0.05) by the main factors (exogenous enzyme and ALM inclusion) and their interactions (13.5 g/d on av.). Daily feed intake and feed conversion ratio decreased (P=0.01) with the ALM inclusion by 8%, but did not affect faecal digestibility. However, enzyme supplementation improved crude protein and crude fibre digestibility (P<0.001) by 6%. In conclusion, ALM inclusion and enzyme supplementation had no adverse effect on the performance and digestibility of rabbits.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

S.O. Ayodele, The Federal Polytechnic

Department of Agricultural Technology

O.D. Oloruntola, The Federal Polytechnic

Department of Agricultural Technology

J.O. Agbede, The Federal University of Technology

Department of Animal Production and Health. School of Agriculture and Agricultural Technology


Agbede J.O., Aletor V.A. 2003. Comparative evaluation of weaning food from Gliricidia and Leucaena leaf protein concentrate and some commercial brands in Nigeria. J. Sci. Food Agric., 84: 2-30.

Agbor G.A., Leopold T., Jeanne N.Y. 2004. The antidiarrhoeal activity of Alchornea cordifolia leaf extract. Phytother. Res., 18: 873-876. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ptr.1446

Ajao A.O., Shonukan N.O., Femi-Onadeko B. 1985. Antibacterial effect of aqueous and alcohol extracts of Spondias mombin and Alchornea cordfolia, two local antimicrobial remedies. Int. J. Crude Drug Res., 23: 67-72. http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/13880208509069004

Alikwe P.C.N., Akinbosola P.J., Ohimain E.I. 2014a. Performance characteristics of Wistar rats gavaged with aqueous extract of Alchornea cordifolia leaf meal. American J. Exp. Agric., 4: 971-977. http://dx.doi.org/10.9734/AJEA/2014/8855

Alikwe P.C.N. Ohimain E.I., Kester A.E. 2014b. Performance evaluation of New Zealand white rabbits fed Alchornea cordifolia leaf meal as replacement for soya bean meal. American J. Agric. Forestry, 2: 51-54. http://dx.doi.org/10.11648/j.ajaf.20140202.16

AOAC. 2000. Official Methods of Analysis. AOAC International. Washington, DC, USA.

Barton M.D. 2000. Antibiotic use in animal feed and its impact on human health. Nut. Res. Rev., 13: 279-299. http://dx.doi.org/10.1079/095442200108729106

Bhatt R.S., Bhasin V., Bhatia D.R. 1996. Effect of Kemzyme on the performance of German angora weaners. In Proc.: 6th World Rabbit Congress, July 9-12, 1996 Toulouse, France, 97-99.

Blasco A., Ouhayoun J., Masoero G. 1993. Harmonization of criteria and terminology in rabbit meat research. J. World Rabbit Sci., 1: 3-10. http://dx.doi.org/10.4995/wrs.1993.189

Bolis S., Castrovilli C., Rigoni M., Tedesco D., Luzi, F. 1996. Effect of enzyme addition in diet on protein and energy utilization in rabbit. In Proc.: 6th World Rabbit Congress, July 9-12, 1996 Toulouse, France, 111-115.

de Blas C., Mateos G.G. 2010. Feed formulation. In: Nutrition of the Rabbit. 2nd Edition (eds C.de Blas and J. Wiseman).

CAB International. United Kingdom. pp. 229. http://dx.doi.org/10.1079/9781845936693.0222

Ehinobu N.G., Utim A., Gwaza S.D. 1997. Some observation on reproductive performance of rabbits obtained in semi-humid tropical conditions in Nigeria. World Rabbit Sci., 5: 47-49. http://dx.doi.org/10.4995/wrs.1997.317

Eiben C.S., Gippert T., Godor-Surmann K., Podmaniczky B., Kustos K. 2008. Effect of dietary phosphorus reduction and phytase supplementation on growth of rabbits. In Proc.: 9th World Rabbit Congress, June 10-13, 2008, Verona, Italy, 201.

Falcão-e-Cunha L., Castro-Solla L., Maertens L., Marounek M., Pinheiro V., Freire J., Mourao J.L. 2007. Alternatives to antibiotic growth promoters in rabbit feeding: a review. World Rabbit Sci., 15: 127-140. http://dx.doi.org/10.4995/wrs.2007.597

Falcão-e-Cunha L., Reis J., Freire J.B., Castro-Solla L. 2004. Effects of enzyme addition and source of fiber on growth and fibrolytic activities of growing-finishing rabbits. In Proc.: 8th World Rabbit Congress, September 7-10, 2004, Puebla, Mexico, 1532-1537.

Fernández C., Merino M.J., Carabaño R. 1996. Effect of enzyme complex supplementation on diet digestibility and growth performance in growing rabbits. In Proc.: 6th World Rabbit Congress, July 9-12, 1996, Toulouse, France, 163-166.

Fernández-Carmona J., Blas E., Pascual J.J., Maertens L., Gidenne T., Xiccato G., García J. 2003. Recommendations and Guidelines for Applied Nutrition Experiments in Rabbits. World Rabbit Sci., 13: 209-228. http://dx.doi.org/10.4995/wrs.2005.516

García-Ruiz A.I., García Palomares J., García-Rebollar P., Chamorro S., Carabaño R., de Blas C. 2006. Effect of protein source and enzyme supplementation on ileal protein digestibility and fattening performance in rabbits. Spanish J. Agric. Res., 4:297-303. http://dx.doi.org/10.5424/sjar/2006044-207

Goering H.K., Van Soest P.J. 1970. Forage Fiber Analysis. Agricultural Handbook, No. 379, ARS, USDA.

Gutiérrez I., Espinosa A., García J., Carabaño R., De Blas J.C. 2002. Effects of starch and protein sources, heat processing, and exogenous enzymes in starter diets for early-weaned rabbits. Anim. Feed Sci. Technol., 98: 175-186. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0377-8401(02)00028-7

Kemeseiyefa O.T., Philip N.C.A., Josiah I.A., Elijah I.O. 2014. Haematological characteristics and organ weights of rabbits fed Alchornea cordifolia leaf meal. Int. J. Farm. Alli. Sci., 3: 754-759.

Kiarie E., Romero L.F., Nyachoti C.M. 2013. The role of added feed enzymes on promoting gut health in swine and poultry. Nutr. Res. Rev., 26: 71-88. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0954422413000048

Manga H.M., Brkie D., Marie D.E.P., Quetin-Leclereq J. 2004. In vivo anti-inflammatory activity of Alchornea cordifolia (Schumach. & Thonn.) Müll. Arg. (Euphorbiaceae). J. Ethnopharmacol. 92: 209-214. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2004.02.019

Moir K.W. 1953. The determination of oxalic acid in plants, Queensland J. Agric. Sci., 10: 1-3.

Nodu M.B., Okpeku M., Abezi A.E. 2014. Haematological characteristics of young rabbits fed a mixture of Alchornea cordifolia/Pawpaw leaf meal. J. Agric. Vet. Sci., 7: 92-96.

NRC. 1977. Nutrient requirements of Rabbits. National Academy of Science, National Research Council, Washington, DC, USA.

Ogungbamila F.O., Samuelsson G. 1990. Smooth muscle relaxing flavonoids from Alchornea cordifolia. Acta Pharm. Nord., 2:421-422.

Ogunsipe M.H. 2014. Effect of poultry litter with or without enzyme supplementation on the growth performance, nutrient digestibility and economy of rabbit production. Int. J. Livest. Prod. 5: 23-29. http://dx.doi.org/10.5897/IJLP12.017

Okuda T., Kimura Y., Yoshida T., Hatano T., Okuda H., Arichi S. 1983. Studies on activities of tannins and related compounds from medical plants and drugs. Inhibitory effect on lipid peroxidation in mitochondria and macrodones of liver. Chem. Pharm. Bull., 31: 1625-1631. http://dx.doi.org/10.1248/cpb.31.1625

Oloruntola O.D., Daramola O.T., Omoniyi S.O. 2015. Effect of forages on performance, carcass cuts and haematological profile of weaner rabits. Arch. Zootec., 64: 87-92.

Osadebe P.O., Okoye E.C. 2003. Anti-inflammatory effects of crude methanolic extract and fractions of Alchornea cordifolia leaves. J. Ethnopharmacol., 89: 19-24. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0378-8741(03)00195-8

Owen J.E. 1976. Rabbbit production in tropical developing countries. Trop. Sci., 18: 203-210.

Perchellet E.M., Gali H.U., Makkar H.P.S., Perchellet J.P. 1996. Ability of tannins extracted from the leaves of various trees and shrubs to inhibit the biomarkers of tumor promotion in mouse skin in vivo. Int. J. Oncology., 9: 801-809. http://dx.doi.org/10.3892/ijo.9.4.801

Tewe O.O. 1991. Detoxification of cassava products and effect of residual toxins on consuming animals. In: Feeding Proceedings of the Expert Consultant. Colombia. 21-25 January. 16.

Timibitel K.O., Alikwe P.N.C., Ayakural J.I., Ohimain E.I. 2014. Haematological characteristics and organ weights of rabbits fed Alchornea cordifolia leaf meal. Int. J. Farm. Allied Sci. 3(7): 754-759.

Wheeler V.F., Ferrel F.E. 1971. Method of Phytic acid determination in wheat fraction cereal. Chemistry. 48: 312- 316.