GROWTH PERFORMANCE OF RABBIT (ORICTOLAGUS CUNICULUS) FED LEGUME (STYLOSANTHES GUINENSIS), GRASS (BRACHIARIA DECUMBENS) AND THEIR COMBINATION

M. H. Bot, A. B. Tiffi, C. C. Tok, A. D. Udokainyang., E. J. Kpanja, O. D. Olaiya, H. W. Kehinde

Abstract


Sixteen mongrel weaner–rabbits averagely six weeks, of mixed sexes were used to assess their performance when fed legume singly and in combination with grass. The animals were allotted into four dietary treatments with two replicates containing two rabbits each in a completely randomized design (CRD) which lasted for seven weeks. The forage materials used were Stylosanthes guinensis (legume) and Brachiaria decumbens (grass). 100g of concentrate and 200g of test forages were given per rabbit in treatments 2 – 4.The animals in treatment one (the control group) was fed with100g of concentrates and 200g of lettuce and spinach forages. The animals in treatment two were given legume; treatment three was given grass while treatment 4 was given the two forages at a 50:50 combination. The experiment took place at the rabbitry section, Federal College of Animal Health and Production Technology (FCAH&PT), National Veterinary Research Institute (NVRI), Vom, Nigeria. There was no significant difference observed across the treatment groups in final weight and weight gain. The concentrate, forage, total feed intake (TFI) and Feed Conversion Ratio (FCR) were observed to be significantly (P<0.05) different across the treatments. Mortality was observed to be higher in treatment 3. The anti-nutritional properties found in legume and grass is: tannins, saponin, oxalate, cyanide and nitrate. It can be concluded that legume/grass could be fed to rabbits with concentrate as supplemental diet (T4) without any deleterious effect on their performance.

Keywords: Rabbit, legume, grass, Anti-nutritional factors, forage, concentrate


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