Growth response and organ weights of young rabbits fed graded levels of dietary raw soybean in the hot humid tropics
Graded levets (0%, 5%, 10%, 15%, 20% and 25%) of raw soybean (RSB) were incorporated into six formulated isocaloric and isonitrogenous diets and fed ad libitum to 48 young rabbits of the New Zealand and Californian stra1ns. Diet A (0% RSB) containing toasted soybean meal served as the control. The rabbits were aged between 6-8 weeks. The experiment lastad 56 days. Feed intake and feed conversion showed no significant difference (P>0.05) between the treatment groups and the control. However, average daily feed intake appeared to increase non signiflcantly as the level of raw soybean in the diets increased, from 5% to 25%. There was atso no significant difference (P>0.05) in live weight gain between the treatment groups and the control. Nevertheless, animals in the 15% RSB diet showed superior numerical value for average daity live weight gain (14.0g/day vs 11. 7 for 5% RSB diet). The dietary incorporation of raw soybean had no significant effect (P>0.05) on weight of spteen, kidney, heart, testes and liver. However, RSB inctusion at 25% level led to gross morphological alterations in soma organs, particutarly inflammat1on as watt as necrosis of hepatocytes with infiltration by tymphocytes, in the liver. Toe results indicated that rabbits, unlike other monogastrics such as pigs and poultry do not show growth depresslon to dietary raw soybean which can be incorporated in their ration up to 20% level for short periods under tropical conditions.
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