||Effect of inclusion of Propopis juliflora pods on diets fed to New Zealand weaner rabbits
- To determine the effectiveness of substituting commercial rabbit fed diets with P. juliflora seed pods on weight feed intake, weight gain and feed efficiency.
- To contribute information on the optimum inclusion level of P. juliflora pods in practical rabbit feeding
- To develop management strategies that are environmentally friendly and economically viable to bring the Propopis species under control
||A study was conducted to examine the effects of replacing commercial rabbit pellets with ground Propopis juliflora pods on feed intake, feed efficiency and growth of New Zealand weaner rabbits. Sixty four (64) New Zealand weaner rabbits were selected and individually caged for the period of the experiment (6 weeks). During the acclimatization period, minevita a multivitamin was used to prevent stress of immediate change of diet from the conventional rabbit pellets that the animals were used to and to improve their appetite. The experimental diets were offered at the rate of 100 grams per animal/day with the refuse being weighed the following day before replacing the feed. Four treatment diets consisting of the control diet with 0% propopis and three other diets with the levels of propopis replacing the total diets at 25%, 50% and 75%, respectively were used. All 64 rabbits were fed the respective treatments and data for the following parameters taken. Daily feed intake (feed offered minus feed remains from 8am to 5 pm). Weekly feed conversion efficiency was calculated as the ratio of feed intake per bird to the body weight gain per bird (average daily feed conversion efficiency per week). Weight was taken weekly throughout the experimental period from 60 day to 90 days of age. Weight gain was calculated as the current weight minus previous weight. The refusals were weighed each morning before fresh feed is offered each day. Results showed that rabbits on treatment 2, 25% partial replacement with P. juliflora had significantly more weight as compared to other treatments. Rabbits fed T1 (control) had the lowest weight, while rabbits fed T3 and T4 had relatively same weight. There was significant difference (p=0.0001) on weight measured with time and treatment being the source. Sex did not confer any significant difference. However, the female rabbits had numerically more weight compared to males. It is concluded that commercial rabbit pellets can be replaced by up to 25% ground Propopis juliflora pods without adverse effect on performance.
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