Performance and economics of production of weaner rabbits fed graded levels of sorghum sprout waste meal-based diets
Keywords:weaned rabbits, health status, sorghum sprout, performance, profitability
The effect of feeding varying dietary levels of sorghum sprout waste (SS) as substitutes for maize on performance, carcass and blood indices of rabbits was investigated. Thirty growing rabbits of nine weeks of age were allocated to 5 dietary treatments of 6 rabbits per replicate in a Complete Randomized Design experiment which lasted 56 days. The diets were formulated with 0 (control), 25, 50, 75 and 100% SS as substitutes weight for weight in place of maize. Results show that daily feed intake, cost per kg feed, cost of feed per kg weight gain, carcass, organs, most serological and haematological indices investigated were significantly (p<0.05) affected by dietary treatments. The trends obtained in these parameters across the treatments were not definite and not depict adverse effects on the experimental rabbits. The highest (p< 0.05) total protein, albumin, packed cell volume, red blood cells and haemoglobin values were obtained in the experimental rabbits fed 100% SS-based diets. Cost/kg feed reduced (p< 0.05) from N69.07 (€0.32), N63.95 (€0.30), N62.88 (€0.29), N59.77 (€0.28) and N55.11 (€0.25) ; and cost of feed/ kg live weight from N582.84 (€2.69), N509.04 (€2.35), N445.30 (€2.06), N433.12 (€2.00) and N403.68 (€1.86) respectively for rabbits fed 0, 25, 50, 75 and 100% SS. Substitution of maize with 100% SS gave the cheapest cost of production of a kg live weight of rabbits with no deleterious effects on carcass and health depicted by normal serological and haematological values; and could be adopted by rabbits farmers to alleviate the problem of high cost of maize.