Weaned rabbits fed with a maize based diet supplemented with Guatemala grass were used in a factorial experiment to compare the effects of stocking rate (5 vs 10 per m²) and feeder type on production parameters and mortality over an 8 week period under Cameroon conditions. Stocking rate did not affect (p>0.05) feed intake, feed conversion efficiency or mortality rates. Increasing the number of animals from 2 to 4 in a cage resulted in a significant decrease in daily weight gain (P<0.05) and final body weight (p<0.01) and a significant (P<0.01) increase in the amount of feed wasted. The type of feeder had no significant (P>0.05) effect on feed intake, growth rate, feed conversion efficiency or mortality rate. However, feed wastage was significantly (P<0.01) affected by feeder type and was greatest with the metallic J-feeder. The sex of the animal did not affect (P>0.05) any of the parameters measured. The interaction between sex, feeder type, and cage density had a significant (P<0.01) effect only on feed wastage. The results of the study showed that rearing rabbits in pairs per cage and using a cylindrical metallic tin feeder would enhance faster growth and reduce the amount of feed wasted.
stocking density; feeder type; feed intake; growth; weaning rabbits