Effect of replacing maize with a mixture of rumen content and blood meal on the performances of growing rabbits: initial study with mash feed.
Keywords:rumen content, blood meal, performance, growing rabbits
AbstractA total of 24 cross-bred male weaner rabbits, between 6-8 weeks of age, were fed diets which included a mixture (50:50) of rumen content (RC) and blood meal (BM), containing a crude protein content of 37.6% and crude fibre content of 9.0%, at 0 (control), 10 and 20% levels. The mixture replaced maize and maize bran in the control diet. The 3 experimental diets were restricted to 100 g daily in mash form for a period of 8 weeks to the individually housed rabbits. The inclusion of RC+BM mixture in diet 1 at 10% (RB10) significantly (P<0.05) worsed final live weight, daily feed intake, daily weight gain and feed: gain ratio while its inclusion at 20% (RB20) only reduced daily feed intake. Weight gain in controls, RB 10 and RB 20 was 483, 273 and 422 g, respectively. Kidney, spleen and lungs, but not the liver, were observed to be significantly (P<0.05) affected by dietary treatment. Carcass yield followed a similar response pattern as final live weight, since it was a product of the final live weight. However, left thigh muscle components were not affected by the dietary treatments. This preliminary study indicated that more research is necessary to reduce the negative effect on feed intake when RC-BM mixture (50:50 ratio) is included in growing rabbit diets, which was probably due to the presentation form applied.
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