Biomedical Science and Research Journals | Evaluation of the Feeding Potentials of Amaranthus Stem and F. Thoningii Foliage as Supplements to Concentrate Diet for Weaner Rabbits

This study was carried out to evaluate the feeding potentials of Amaranthus hybridus stem and Ficus thoningii foliage as supplements to concentrate diet for weaner rabbits over 10 weeks period. A total of 18 crossbred weaner rabbits with average initial weight of 630±10g were used for feeding trial in a completely randomized design experiment. The animals were divided into three groups of six animals per treatment and each treatment had triplicates of two animals per replicate. Treatment T1 was fed with concentrate only. Treatment T2 was fed with concentrate and A. hybridus stem while treatment T3 was fed with concentrate and F. thoningii foliage. Nutrient digestibility of the animals differed significantly (P<0.05) between the groups. 

Feed intake and weight gain were higher in T2 than T1 and T3 although feed conversion was better in T1. It is therefore concluded that Amarantus stem can be used as supplement to concentrate diet for weaner rabbits.In recent years interest in rabbit production in Nigeria has increased to improve supply of animal protein from fast growing animals with short gestation period and short generation interval. However, competition between man, animals and industries for conventional feed resources and high cost of compounding concentrate has become a major constraint militating against increased production. The increasing cost of conventional feed ingredients with the resultant increase in the cost of livestock products has necessitated research in the search for cheaper and readily available alternative feed ingredients for livestock feeding.

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