CARCASS CHARACTERISTICS AND HAEMATOLOGICAL ESSAY OF WEANER RABBITS FED VARING LEVELS OF NEEM (Azadirahcta indica) LEAF MEAL

J. A. Edache, A. G. YISA, U. R. MUDUUDTAI,, D. O. EDACHE, M. GAMS

Abstract


A feeding trial of 8 weeks duration was conducted to determine the effect of feeding varying levels of neem leaf meal of CP; 5.03% and ME; 3080.94kcal/kg on the carcass values and haematological assay of weaner rabbits. Twelve rabbits aged between 6 and 7 weeks were randomly allocated to four diets in a completely randomized design at three rabbits per diet. Each group of rabbits was fed one of four diets containing either 0.00, 3.00, 7.00 or 10.00% of neem leaf meal. Each diet was replicated three times. The diets were isonitrogenous (16.00% CP) but varied in energy levels from 2,837.77 (Diet A) to 2,793.79kcal/kg ME (Diet D). Diets B (2,824.48) and C (2,807.02) were lower than diet A. Live weight, bled weight, singed weight and
prime cuts (forelimbs, hind limbs, breast, back, head, neck and stomach) and internal organs (liver, heart, lungs, kidney and intestine) did not vary significantly between the diets. However, carcass weight was significantly higher (p˂ 0.05) on diet B (668.00g) than on diets C (531.67g) and D (452.00g). However, diet A (628.67g) was similar (p˃ 0.05) to the other diets in carcass
weight. Haematological values differed significantly between the diets but did not follow any particular trend except for WBC, Hb and PCV. White blood cell (WBC x109ml) values were significantly higher on diet C (10.62) than on the other diets. Haemoglobin concentration (Hb g/l) was higher on diet C (14.41) than on the other diets. Packed cell volume (PCV %) was significantly higher on diet C (39.60) and on diet D (39.40) than on the other diets. Therefore, weaner rabbit diets could contain as high as 10% neem leaf meal for profitable performance.
Key words: Neem leaf meal, Carcass values, weaner rabbits.

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