T. A. Adeosun, G. T. Iyeghe-Erakpotobor


Twenty five growing rabbits of mixed breeds (New Zealand White x Chinchilla) and average weight of 894g were used in a seven week feeding trial. Five experimental diets were formulated in which sugarcane peels (SCP) was included at 0, 10, 20, 30 and 40% level to replace maize offal. The rabbits were balanced for weight and allotted to the treatments (n=5 rabbits/treatment) in a completely randomized design. Feed and water were supplied ad libitum. Regression analysis was conducted using feed intake and daily gain as dependent variables regressed against nutrient intake and digestibility (dry matter, crude protein, crude fibre, ether extract, ash, nitrogen free extract and acid detergent fibre). The results obtained showed that feed intake of the rabbits was better defined by the intake (R2=0.70, P<0.0002) and digestibility of all the nutrients (R2=0.50, P=0.02). Dry matter intake (R2=0.59, P<0.0001) and crude protein intake (R2=0.50, P<0.0001) were also good predictors of feed intake. Intake of all nutrients was a poor predictor of daily gain (R2=0.03, P<0.40). Dry matter intake gave better prediction of daily gain (R2=0.18, P=0.02) as well as crude protein intake (R2=0.17, P=0.03). Average daily gain was reasonably predicted by the digestibility of all the nutrients (R2=0.40, P=0.06). Regression of nutrient digestibility against daily gain  shows dry matter digestibility (R2=0.33, P=0.005), acid detergent fibre digestibility (R2=0.39, P=0.002) and ether extract0zwww digestibility (R2=0.28, P=0.02) to be good predictors of daily gain. This suggests that sugarcane peel meal could be used to replace maize offal in rabbit diets as a non-conventional fibre source.


Regression equations, sugarcane peels, rabbit.

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