PERFORMANCE OF WEANER RABBITS FED MAIZE HUSK BASED DIETS WITH AND WITHOUT ENZYME SUPPLEMENTATION

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PERFORMANCE OF WEANER RABBITS FED MAIZE HUSK BASED DIETS WITH AND WITHOUT ENZYME SUPPLEMENTATION

Abstract:

Two experiments were conducted to evaluate the performance of weaner rabbits fed maize husk based diets with or without enzyme supplementation. In the first experiment, thirty six weaner rabbits were used for the study. Maize husk replaced rice offal at 0, 4, 8, 12, 16 and 20% inclusion levels for treatments one to six respectively. Each treatment consisted of six rabbits and each rabbit served as a replicate in a completely randomized design. In the second experiment, each treatment consisted of six rabbits and each rabbit served as a replicate in a completely randomized design. The experimental diets consisted of 20% maize husk supplemented with enzyme at 0.00, 0.02, 0.03 and 0.04% for treatments one to four respectively. Maize husk had significant (P<0.05) effect on final body weight, average daily weight gain, feed conversion ratio and feed cost per kg gain. Packed cell volume (PCV) and haemoglobin level (Hb) were not significantly affected (P>0.05) by dietary maize husk. However, total protein (TP) was significantly affected. Crude protein, crude fibre, ether extract and nitrogen free extract significantly decreased (P<0.05) with increasing levels of maize husk. Thigh, skin, dressing percentage, slaughter weight and dressed weight significantly (P<0.05) declined with increasing levels of maize husk. In all parameters studied, the best results was obtained for rabbits fed 4% maize husk while the poorest result was obtained for rabbits fed 20% maize husk. In the second experiment, twenty four weaner rabbits were used. Rabbits fed diets supplemented with 0.02% enzyme gave the best results in average daily weight gain, feed conversion ratio, and feed cost per kilogram weight gain, nutrient digestibility and carcass evaluation. This performance declined as the levels of enzyme supplementation increased. It was therefore concluded that weaner rabbits can tolerate up to 4% maize husk in their diets. This inclusion level could be increased up to 20% if enzyme is supplemented at 0.02% level.

PERFORMANCE OF WEANER RABBITS FED MAIZE HUSK BASED DIETS WITH AND WITHOUT ENZYME SUPPLEMENTATION

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