Effects of feeding bovine rumen content-blood meal (50:50) mixtures on performance and slaughter characteristics of growing rabbits
Journal of Animal and Plant Sciences
Department of Animal Nutrition and Biotechnology, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, PMB 4000, Ogbomoso, Nigeria
The synergistic effects of combining bovine rumen content-blood meal (50:50) (BRC-BM) mixtures on the performance characteristics and nutrient digestibility of growing rabbits was investigated in a 12 week feeding experiment. The mixture replaced palm kernel cake and groundnut cake of the control at 10 and 20% levels. Thirty (30) cross-bred growing rabbits with average initial weights of 521.3-524.5 ±85.10 g were divided into three treatment groups of ten (10) rabbits each. Each rabbit served as a replicate in a complete randomized design experiment. The three groups were assigned to the three dietary treatments as T1 (control) - 0% Rumen content/ blood meal mixture (50:50), T2 (RB 10)- 10% Rumen content/ blood meal mixture (50:50) and T3 (RB 20) -20% Rumen content/ blood meal mixture (50:50). The final weight of rabbits on RB10 (1916g) was higher (P<0.05) compared with the control (1715g) and RB20 (1700.g) treatments. Similarly the average daily weight gain of rabbits on RB10 (16.2) was higher (P<0.05) compared with the control (11.8g) and RB20 (12.4g). The average daily feed intake of rabbits in RB10 and RB 20 (87.29g) and (85.50g) respectively was higher (P<0.05) compared to the control (82.84g). The cost per kg gain was lower (P<0.05) in the RB10 compared with control and RB20 treatments. The digestibility of nutrients was not affected (P>0.05) by the dietary treatment. The dressing percentage, relative heart and spleen weights were not affected (P>0.05) by the dietary treatments; however, liver, lungs and kidney were affected (P<0.05). The relative kidney weights of rabbits on control diet 0.43 was lower (p<0.05) than 0.49 and 0.62 for RB10 and RB20 respectively. In a similar pattern the liver weights increased (p<0.05) as the level of inclusion increases. The relative lung weights of rabbits in RB10 (0.59) and RB20 (0.60) are similar (P>0.05) but higher (p<0.05) than 0.45 of the control. Experiment concluded that bovine rumen content-blood meal mixtures (BRC-BM) can replace 10% of palm kernel cake and groundnut cake in growing rabbit diets without adverse effect on growth performance, reduce the production cost and environmental pollution and the attendant impact on climate.