Effect of rations with fresh leaves of Gmelina arborea on growth performance and organ weights of rabbit bucks

O. Pius*, T. Ahemen, P.A. Addass

Department of Animal Breeding and Physiology, College of Animal Science, Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi, Nigeria

(Manuscript received 22 June 2019; accepted for publication 18 September 2019)

Abstract. Thirty rabbit bucks of mixed breeds (New Zealand white x Chinchilla) with average live weight of 852g, aged between 12 and 14 weeks were subjected to a feeding trial for 14 weeks, to determine the effects of diets with different ratio concentrate to fresh leaves of Gmelina arborea (FLGA) on growth performance, relative carcass weight and relative organ weights of rabbit bucks. The rabbits were randomly allo- cated into five treatments: Treatment 1-T1 (100g concentrate /C/: 0g FLGA), Treatment 2-T2 (75g C: 25g FLGA), Treatment 3-T3 (50g C: 50g FLGA), Treatment 4-T4 (25g C: 75g FLGA) and Treatment 5-T5 (00g C: 100g FLGA). The results obtained in this study showed that all the growth performance parameters and relative carcass weights differed significantly (P<0.05) across treatments. Apart from relative liver and lungs weights, which differed significantly (P<0.05) across treatments, other viscera organs were not affected by the dietary treatments. The results revealed that rabbit bucks in T2 and T3 performed better, rabbits in T4 performed the least, while rabbit bucks in T5 could not survive beyond two weeks. Concentrate to FLGA at the ratios of 75g C: 25 FLGA (T2) and 50g C: 50g FLGA (T3) are therefore, recommended as the best combinations for rabbit breeding bucks.