Journal article Open Access

Replacing Dietary Maize with Kolanut Husk Meal can Influence Growth Performance and Apparent Nutrient Digestibility of Rabbits

Eburu P. O.; Ozung P. O; Edem R. O.

This study was carried out to investigate the growth performance and nutrient digestibility of weaned rabbits fed different levels of dietary kolanut husk meal (KHM).  The feeding trial lasted for 8 weeks and was carried out using 40 crossbred rabbits with the sex ratio of 1:1 (male:female). The rabbits were randomly allotted to five treatments containing maize replaced with KHM at 0, 20, 40, 60 and 80% levels and designated as T1, T2, T3, T4 and T5 respectively, in a completely randomized design (CRD). Data were collected on feed intake, weight gain and nutrient digestibility and subjected to one – way ANOVA. Results indicated that there were significant (P<0.05) differences in final body weight (725 – 950 g/rabbit) and total weight gain (188.75 – 426.25 g/rabbit) across the treatments. The total feed intake (438.49 – 439.93 g/rabbit) did not record any significant difference between dietary treatments. The growth parameters were adversely affected at levels beyond 40% KHM. The digestibility of all nutrients (digestible crude protein, crude fibre, ether extract, dry matter, NFE and ash) were significantly (P<0.05) reduced compared to the control, especially at levels >40% KHM. This study concludes that replacing dietary maize with ≤40% KHM may not adversely influence growth performance and nutrient digestibility of rabbits. However, levels beyond 40% are not recommended in view of the apparent danger on the animals.

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