Growing crossbred rabbits were used to investigate the effect of concentrate and forage types on performance and digestibility of rabbits under sub-humid tropical conditions. The treatments comprised of two concentrate diets (rabbit meal and soybean cheese waste meal) and three forages (groundnut haulms, sweet potato forage and soybean forage) in a 2x3 factorial experiment. The rabbits were given 50 g of concentrate meal, 60 g of grass and 40 g of forage in separate feeders in the morning. Rabbits on soybean cheese waste meal consumed 6% more concentrate than those on rabbit meal. Grass, forage and total feed intake, weight gain and feed conversion efficiency were similar for the two concentrates. Feed cost and cost kg-1 gain were respectively, 27 and 37% lower for soybean cheese waste meal than rabbit meal. Dry matter, ether extract and nitrogen free extractives digestibilities were higher for rabbits fed soybean cheese waste meal than rabbit meal. Concentrate and total feed intake and feed cost were similar for all the forage types. Grass intake was 9% lower for rabbits fed groundnut haulms than those fed sweet potato forage. Forage intake was 6-7% higher for groundnut haulms than sweet potato and soybean forages. Feed cost kg-1 gain was 18-29% higher for sweet potato forage than groundnut haulms and soybean forage. Dry matter, ether extract, crude fibre and nitrogen free extractives digestibility was similar for all the forages. Crude protein digestibility was higher in soybean forage than sweet potato forage. Interaction between concentrate and forage was observed in forage intake and feed cost. There was no interaction between concentrate and forage on nutrient intake and digestibility. Dry matter, crude fibre and nitrogen free extractives digestibility were higher for rabbits at 21 weeks than 19 weeks. It is concluded that soybean cheese waste meal is potential concentrate meal for rabbits while feeding groundnut haulms and soybean forage were more cost effective than sweet potato forage for feeding rabbits.
G.T. Iyeghe-Erakpotobor , 2007. Effect of Concentrate and Forage Type on Performance and Digestibility of Growing Rabbits Under Sub-Humid Tropical Conditions
. Asian Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advances, 2: 125-132.