Received Date: 27 January 2018 | Accepted Date: 29 March 2018 | Published Date: 31 December 2018
Keywords: growth performance, rabbits, Chinchila, mix-sexed, New Zealand White, phenotypic correlation
The study was conducted to examine the post – weaning performance of F1 progeny of rabbits fed pawpaw (Carica papaya) leaves as feed supplement. Twenty-four (24) cross bred (New Zealand White X Chinchila) weaned rabbits of four (4) weeks of age (average weight of 208.41 g) of mixed sex were used. The rabbits were divided into two dietary treatment groups comprising of twelve rabbits each. Treatment groups were designated as T1 and T2 for rabbits fed fresh pawpaw leaves and wilted pawpaw leaves respectively. In addition to pawpaw leaves formulated concentrate containing crude protein level of 14.75% and energy level of 2488.68 KCal/kgME was used. The feeding trial lasted 6 weeks. Feed and water were provided ad libitum. T-test was used to compare the means of both treatments. Results obtained revealed an average final body weight of 1483.73 g (T1) and 1000.28 g (T2) at the end of 6 weeks. Average total feed intake values were 189.34g (T1) and 189.06g (T2), average pawpaw leaves intake for T1 was 94.24 g and T2 94.20 g with feed conversion ratio of 0.94 and 0.84 for T1 and T2, respectively. These parameters were not significantly (P > 0.05) affected by dietary treatments, except for final body weight, average weekly and daily weight gains. Final body weight, average weekly and daily weight gains were significantly higher (P < 0.05) for rabbits served fresh pawpaw leaves. Results obtained from this study have shown that fresh pawpaw leaves can be utilized by weaner rabbits as feed supplement with concentrates compared with wilted pawpaw leaves.
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