ISSN: 0041-3216

ISSN: 0041-3216 (Online), 0041-3216 (Print)
Volume 93 Number 3
Research Papers
Feeding value of cassava products supplemented with earthworm meal in diets of growing rabbits. (197)
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An eight week feeding trial was conducted to evaluate the effect of earthworm meal supplementation in various cassava based products in growing rabbit diets. Nine isocaloric and isonitrogenous diets were formulated such that each diet contained a constant amount of Soybean Meal, SBM (50%) and Cassava Leaf Meal, CLM (25%) as part of the protein component. The remaining 25% protein of animal origin was supplied by Fish Meal (FM) and Earthworm Meal (EWM) in varying proportions as follows: Diet 1 (100% whole cassava root meal (WCRM), 12.5% FM protein, 12.5% EWM protein); Diet 2 (50% WCRM, 50% cassava peel meal (CPM), 12.5% FM protein, 12.5% EWM protein); Diet 3 (50% WCRM, 50% cassava chaff meal (CCM), 12.5% FM protein, 12.5% EWM protein); Diet 4 (25% WCRM, 75% CPM, 12.5% FM protein, 12.5% EWM protein); Diet 5 (25% WCRM, 75% CCM, 12.5% FM protein, 12.5% EWM protein); Diet 6 (50% WCRM, 50% CPM, 6.25% FM protein, 18.75% EWM protein); Diet 7 (50% WCRM, 50% CCM, 6.25% FM protein, 18.75% EWM protein); Diet 8 (25% WCRM, 75% CPM, 6.25% FM protein, 18.55% EWM protein); Diet 9 (25% WCRM, 75% CCM, 6.25% FM protein, 18.55% EWM protein). Twenty seven (27) growing rabbits of mixed breeds and sexes were allotted to the nine dietary treatments such that each was replicated three times and were fed and watered ad libitum. Data collected included feed intake, weight gain, feed conversion ratio, as well as carcass characteristics, organ weights and gut dimension. Results showed that feed intake was not significantly (P>0.05) affected by dietary treatments but weight gain and FCR were both enhanced (P<0.05). Treatment effects on carcass characteristics, organ weights and gut dimensions were not significant. The results suggested that EWM protein can replace 50% of FM protein in rabbit diets without any adverse effects.
Keywords: Cassava products, growing rabbit, performance, carcass characteristics, fish meal, earthworm meal Livestock