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