Alternative tropical energy feed resources in rabbit diets: growth performance, diet's digestibility and blood composition


  • A.A. Onifade University of Ibadan
  • O.O. Tewe University of Ibadan



The grain replacement value in rabbit diets of three tropical alternativa feed resources, namely maize offal (MO), unpeeled cassava root meal (UCRM) and cassava peel meal (CPM) was investigated in a ten week feeding tria! with growing rabbits, in comparison with maize. The introduction ratas were 30.8% of the diets, and the initial age of the 24 rabbits was 5-6 week. The criteria for assessment were growth performance, nutrient digestibility and blood composition at the end of the experimental period.

Average daily gain and daily feed intake of the rabbits variad from 13.0 g on CPM diet to 14.2 g on MO diet, and 60. 7 g on UCRM diet to 71.4 g on CPM diet respectively. However, both MO and CPM were significantly consumad (P < 0.05) more than the other diets. Feed conversion and protein efficiency ratios were significantly inferior (P < 0.05) on CPM diet than on others. The dry matter, cruda protein, gross energy, ether extract and cruda fibra digestibilities were numerically highest in the control diet, but statistically comparable for rabbits on UCRM diet; both were however significantly higher (P < 0.05) than records for rabbits fed on MO and CPM basad diets. The analysed blood parameters showed the rabbits fed on the control diet to be superior in haematocrit, haemoglobin concentration, red and white cells numbers. The mean corpuscular volumes and mean corpuscular haemoglobin were highest in the cassava root diet followed by cassava peel basad diet, while the mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration values were statistically similar in all the diets. Serum total protein variad between 6. 75 g/100 mi in rabbits fed on maize offal to 5.81g/100 mi on cassava roots without any significant difference. A similar pattern was repeated for albumin and globulin fractions. Both creatinine and uric acid concentrations were respectively uniform amongst the rabbits on different treatments. However, a significantly lower (P < 0.05) level of urea-nitrogen was determinad in the serum of rabbits fed on cassava peel diet. Serum glucosa level ranged between 125 mg/100 mi in rabbits fed on the control diet to 192 mg/100 mi for their counterparts on cassava roots diet showing a significantly lower content (P < 0.05) on the control and cassava peel basad dietary treatments. Cholesterol values were statistically higher (P < 0.05) in rabbits on the control and cassava roots diets than on the 2 others which have a higher fiber content.


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