ISSN: 0041-3216 (Online), 0041-3216 (Print)
Volume 89 Number 3
Nutritional evaluation of cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) peel meal improved by rumen filtrate fermentation on the performance of growing rabbits. (181)
In an effort to expand the knowledge base on the use of non conventional feedstuff in rabbit nutrition, the nutritional potential and the cost effectiveness of using cassava peels fermented with rumen filtrate (enhanced cassava peel) for 21 days was investigated using twenty four (24) growing crossbred rabbits of mixed sexes and with a mean body weight of 506.8 ± 6.0g (mean ± SD). The rabbits were divided into three (3) treatment groups of eight (8) rabbits each with each rabbit serving as a replicate in a completely randomized design experiment. The control group was fed with a diet containing maize as the energy source while the remaining two groups were fed with diets in which the maize was replaced with 50% and 100% enhanced cassava peel meals(ECPM) respectively. Final weight and daily weight gain were similar (P > 0.05) in rabbits fed maize-based control and those fed diet containing 50% enhanced cassava peel meal (ECPM). The weights of the rabbits on 100%ECPM were also similar (P>0.05) to the control although lower (P < 0.05) than 50% ECPM. Diet 3 (100% ECPM) had the least cost (204.44) per kilogramme weight gain while the control had the highest (301.97). All the relative organ weights, except the heart, were significantly (P<0.05) affected by the dietary treatments. It was concluded that fermenting sun dried cassava peels with rumen filtrate for 21 days had a high potential as a possible replacement for maize in rabbit diet. The use of this agricultural by-product can reduce the cost of rabbit production, increase the availability of cheaper animal protein for the populace, generate higher profit margins for the livestock farmer and reduce environmental pollution.
Keywords: Rabbits; rumen filtrate; cassava peels; fermentation; performance