Ironkwe and Ukanwoko
Greener Journal of Agricultural Sciences Vol. 6 (10), pp. 312-315, November 2016.
Manuscript Number: 102616172
The Evaluation of Concentrate and Forage Combination on the Performance and Litter Weight of New Zealand Rabbit
Monica Ogochukwu Ironkwe and *Anthonia Ijeoma Ukanwoko
Department of Animal Science, University of Port Harcourt. P. M. B. 5323 Choba, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria.
Twenty sexually matured New Zealand white rabbits were used to study the effect of concentrate and forage (Calopogonium mucunoides and Panicum maximum) combination on the productive and reproductive performance of the rabbits. The treatments comprised the following concentrate and forage combinations (%): A = 100:0, B = 50:50, C = 25:75 and D = 0:100. The sixteen does were randomly allotted to the four treatment diets in a Completely randomized design. The does were housed singly, served with feed twice daily and portable water provided ad libitum. Results showed significant (P<0.05) differences in the final weight, body weight gain, daily feed intake, feed conversion ratio and feed cost of the treatment diets. Final weight was 3075.0g for does on diet A, 2943.75g for does on diet B, 2875.0g and 2887.5g for does on diets C and D respectively. Daily feed intake was highest for does on diet D (500.9g) and the least for does on diet A (88.32g). Diet A had the best feed conversion ratio (0.84), followed by diets B (2.41), C (3.29) and D (6.93). Cost of feed was highest in diet A (N2077.6) and was decreasing as the percentage of forage in the diets increased. There were also significant (P<0.05) differences in the litter size at birth and weaning, average litter weight at birth and weaning. Litter size at birth and weaning were 6.75, 6.72; 7.75, 7.75; 7.25, 7.21 and 5.75, 5.69 for diets A, B, C and D respectively. Diet B proved superior and hence recommended
Keywords: Body weight gain, feed conversion ratio, final weight, litter size at birth, litter size at weaning.
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