M.U. Onyekwere1, P.C. Jiwuba1*, U.N. Egu2
1Department of Animal Production Technology, Federal College of Agriculture, P.M.B. 7008, Ishiagu, Ebonyi State, Nigeria 2Department of Agriculture, Abia State University, P.M.B. 7010 Umuahia, Abia state, Nigeria
(Manuscript received 6 August 2018; accepted for publication 16 October 2018)
Abstract. Ninety-six growing New Zealand rabbit bucks (male) and does (female) were randomly assigned to four treatment diets for a period of ninety (90) days. The treatments which contained 0% (T1) control, 5% (T2), 10% (T3) and 15% (T4) raw garlic flour meal were fed to the rabbits in a completely randomized design (CRD) to determine the growth performance, haematology and serum chemistry of the rabbits. The results on growth performance in both sexes showed significant differences (p<0.05) among the treatment groups except for final body weights. T4 recorded the best values in weight gain, feed intake and feed conversion ratio (FCR) for both sexes. Results of hematological parameters (haemoglobin – Hb, Packed Cell Volume – PCV, Red Blood Cell – RBC, White Blood Cell –WBC, Mean Cell Volume – MCV, Mean Cell Haemoglobin – MCH and Mean Corpuscular Haemoglobin Concentration – MCHC) showed significant (p<0.05) difference for all the parameters evaluated except for red blood cells in both sexes. Haemoglobin values for both sexes were higher and better for the treatment groups in comparison with the control. For the serum chemistry (Total serum protein, Albumin, Globulin, Urea, Creatinine and Cholesterol) all the parameters showed significant (p<0.05) difference among the parameters examined except albumin for both sexes. However, globulin was also similar (p>0.05) for the male rabbits. Significant (p<0.05) reduction in blood cholesterol was recorded in rabbits fed the treatment diets. The study indicated that raw garlic floor could effectively be added to rabbit ration to improve the quality of the feed and the physiological condition of the animals.