Cassava as new animal feed in Egypt 3 - pelleted complete cassava feed for growing rabbits.
Forty New Zealand White rabbits (20 males and 20 females) aged 5 weeks, of 735g in average weight, were divided into two groups on basis of weight and sex. A pelleted complete rabbit feed containing 45 % cassava products (CCF diet) as 30 % root meal + 15 % leaf meal, was formulated to be fed in comparison with a commercial feed (AF diet; Atmida Cº) during the 15 weeks of experiment, divided in 3 stages of 5 weeks. 1 % urea was added to the CCF diet in arder to increase the N-content. The results indicated that CP digestibility and N-balance of CCF were significantly (P<0.05) lower than that in AF diet in the first 5 weeks after weaning (1st stage). But the CP digestibility and N-balance were not significantly different between two Qroups fed CCF and AF diets at 15 weeks after weaning (3rá stage). The CF digestibility was not significantly affected by type of feed and it was improved by advance in age of rabbits fed CCF or AF diets. In contrast N-balance was decreased with advancing of age of two groups of growing rabbits. No significant effect of sex was observed on digestibility or N-balance. The feed intake was significantly (P<0.01) lower with CCF diet than that with AF diet in 1 st and 2nd stages. Daily body gain was significantly (P<0.01) lower with rabbits fed CCF than those fed AF diets in 1 st stage but it was nearly similar between two groups at 2nd and 3rd stages. Feed conversion (feed/gain) was more efficient with rabbits fed AF than those fed CCF diets at 1 st stage but opposite trend was observed in 2nd and 3rd stages of growth. Slaughter and carcass traits showed no significant differences between the two groups fed CCF and AF diets. There were no significant differences in feed intake, feed conversion and daily body gain between male and female rabbits. Conclusively, it could be appear that cassava products (roots and leaves) can be used satisfactorily as the partial substitute for traditional energy and protein supplements to formulating pelleted diet for growing rabbits.
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