Sweetpotato [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam] tuber meal as a substitute for maize (Zea mays L.) grain in rabbit ration
Keywords:Sweetpotato, Tuber, Maize substitution, Performance, Blood characteristics
AbstractThirty weanling rabbits of mixed breed and sexes were randomly allotted to five groups of six rabbits each and placed in groups of three in cages on the basis of equal body weight. A group of six rabbits were fed on each of the five diets containing 0, 25, 50, 75, and 100% dried sweetpotato [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam.] meal as a replacement for maize (Zea mays L.) in isocaloric and isonitrogenous diets. Feed intake, body weight gain, and feed efficiency were not significantly (P > 0.05) affected by the replacement with sweetpotato tuber meal. Blood analysis showed no significant differences (P > 0.05) among the treatments on mean cell haemoglobin, packed cell volume, mean cell volume, and red blood cell counts. However, the production cost was significantly (P < 0.05) reduced by replacing maize with sweetpotato tuber. The results indicate that sweetpotato tuber meal can profitably be used in place of maize grain in rabbits' diets without any adverse effect on the performance and blood characteristics of rabbits.