GROWTH AND HAEMATOLOGICAL RESPONSE OF GROWING RABBITS TO DIETS CONTAINING GRADED LEVELS OF SUN DRIED BOVINE RUMEN CONTENT

ABSTRACT

The growth and haematological response of growing rabbits to diets containing graded levels of sun dried bovine rumen content (SBRC) were studied. Five diets containing 0 (control), 10, 20, 30 and 40 % sun dried bovine rumen content coded as T1,T2,T3,T4 and T5, respectively, were compared. Twenty growing rabbits were randomly assigned to the treatments; each treatment had four experimental units. The rabbits were fed and watered ad libitum.

The parameters measured were feed consumption, water consumption, body weight gain, mortality, feed conversion ratio, feed cost per kg gain, feed cost per kg feed, live weight, dressing percentage, initial body weight, weight of internal organs and haematological parameters. Data collection was done for a period of nine weeks, but the experiment lasted for ten weeks. Statistical analysis was carried out on the data for daily feed consumption, daily water consumption, and daily bodyweight gain, feed conversion ratio, feed cost per kg gain, and feed cost per kg feed, dressing percentage, weight of internal organs and haematological parameters.

There was no significant difference (p> 0.05) amongst the treatment means. Numerically, however, the rabbits on T5 recorded the best water and feed consumption, body weight gain, feed cost per kg feed, weights of internal organs and White Blood Cell count (WBC), while those on T4 had the best feed cost per kg gain and feed conversion ratio. The bestPacked Cell Volume (PCV) and Red Blood Cell count (RBC) were obtained with the rabbits fed T3 while T1 had the best dressing percentage. No mortality was recorded throughout the study.