Evaluation of Detarium microcarpum pulp meal as feed ingredient in the diets of growing rabbits
Journal of Applied Sciences Research
Department of Animal Production, Federal College of Wildlife Management, P.M.B.268, New Bussa, Niger State, Nigeria; Federal University of Technology, P.M.B. 2076, Yola, Adamawa State, Nigeria; Department of Animal Science, University of Maiduguri, Borno
A 12-week study was conducted to investigate response of growing rabbits to diets containing graded levels, 0, 5, 10 and 15%, of dietary Detarium microcarpum fruit pulp meal (DFPM) as replacement for maize. Twenty-four, 5-week-old mixed breed grower rabbits divided into 4 groups of 6 rabbits were randomly assigned to the four dietary treatments in a completely randomized design. The result of the phytochemical assay shows that DFPM contained low level of tannins (0.023%), whereas saponins, phytate, oxalates and hydrogen cyanide were not detected. Feed intake was significantly (P < 0.05) lower in 15% DFPM than in the control diet. Daily weight gains, nutrient intake, protein to gain ratio and feed conversion ratio were not (P > 0.05) influenced by the dietary treatments. Similarly, nutrient digestibility was similar (P > 0.05) among the treatments. Cost of feeding and feed cost per kg body weight gain (BWG) decreased (P < 0.05) with increasing levels of DFPM in the diets. Cost differential per kg BWG, savings of feed cost and relative cost benefit per kg BWG significantly (P < 0.05) varied among the diets; the rank order is: 15% > 10% > 5% > 0% DFPM. The impressive performance, nutrient digestibility and comparative cost advantage of rabbits fed DFPM suggests that DFPM is an economically viable alternative basal feedstuff to maize and can be used up to 15% or replace 37.5% of maize in the diets of growing rabbits. © 2010, INSInet Publication.