ISSN: 0041-3216 (Online), 0041-3216 (Print)
Volume 77 Number 3
Utilisation of raw and autoclaved whole pods of Samanea saman (Jacq Merril) by the domestic rabbit. (194)
The utilisation of raw and autoclaved whole pods of Samanea saman (Jacq. Merril) (SS) by growing rabbits was investigated. There were three dietary treatments containing either 0 g kg-1, 100 g kg-1 raw, or 100 g kg-1 autoclaved whole pods of SS. Thirty-six growing rabbits were used for the experiment and 12 animals were allotted on weight equalization basis to each of the three dietary treatments. The mean final live weight and daily feed intake of rabbits fed the 100 g kg-1 autoclaved SS diets were higher than those of their counterparts fed 100 g kg-1 raw SS diet (P < 0.05). There were no significant differences between the animals on the various treatments for daily weight gain, feed efficiency, and protein efficiency ratio. No significant difference (P > 0.05) was observed for the digestibility coefficients of crude protein, crude fibre, ether extract, ash, and nitrogen-free extract. Rabbits on the control diet (0 g kg-1 SS pod) had the highest values of digested Ca and P. Although not significantly reduced, the packed cell volume, haemoglobin, red blood cell, white blood cell, mean cell volume, mean cell haemoglobin, and the mean cell haemoglobin concentration were lower for rabbits fed the raw SS pods in their diets. The highest (P < 0.05) level of blood urea was obtained for the latter group of rabbits. The carcass traits studies showed that there was an enhanced efficiency of tissue deposition and higher carcass yield by animals fed the autoclaved SS pod diets. It was concluded that SS pods can be included in rabbit diets and that autoclaving eliminated the negative effects of anti-nutritive factors which appeared to impair proper feed utilisation in the raw SS pod diets.
Keywords: Samanea saman pods; Domestic rabbit; Utilisation