Effects of dietary replacement of maize with malted or unmalted sorghum on the performance of weaner rabbits
Livestock Research for Rural Development
Animal Production Programme, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, PMB 0248, Bauchi, Nigeria; VeterinaryHospital, Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria
A feeding trial was conducted using twenty-one, 8 to 9 weeks old weaner rabbits allotted to three groups of seven animals each in a completely randomized design. The study which lasted for six weeks was undertaken to investigate the effects of dietary replacement of maize as a source of energy with malted or un-malted sorghum on the performance of the animals. The rabbits fed malted sorghum based diet had a similar dry matter intake to those on the maize based diet, but significantly higher than those on the unmalted sorghum based diet. All the animals gained weight, at rates similar across the treatments, indicating that the intake of energy and proteins were well above maintenance requirements. The best feed efficiency was recorded for rabbits fed on the malted sorghum based diet. The financial analysis revealed that feed cost per kg body weight gain was lowest for animals on the malted and unmalted sorghum based diets. It is concluded that malted or unmalted sorghum could effectively replace maize as a source of energy in diets for weaner rabbits without any adverse effects on performance and with reduced cost of feed per kg body weight gain.
Animalia; Oryctolagus cuniculus; Zea mays