Growth and Haematological Response of Growing Rabbits to Diets Containing Graded Levels of Sun Dried Bovine Rumen Content.


The growth and haematological response of growing rabbits to diets containing graded levels of sun dried bovine rumen content (SBRC) were studied.

Five diets containing 0 (control), 10, 20, 30 and 40 % sun dried bovine rumen content coded as T1,T2,T3,T4 and T5, respectively, were compared.

Twenty growing rabbits were randomly assigned to the treatments; each treatment had four experimental units. The rabbits were fed and watered ad libitum.

The parameters measured were feed consumption, water consumption, body weight gain, mortality, feed conversion ratio, feed cost per kg gain, feed cost per kg feed, live weight, dressing percentage, initial body weight, weight of internal organs and haematological parameters.

Data collection was done for a period of nine weeks, but the experiment lasted for ten weeks. Statistical analysis was carried out on the data for daily feed consumption,

Daily water consumption, and daily body weight gain, feed conversion ratio, feed cost per kg gain, and feed cost per kg feed, dressing percentage,

Weight of internal organs and haematological parameters. There was no significant difference (p> 0.05) amongst the treatment means.

Table Of Contents

Title page                                 i

Declaration                               ii

Certification                                 iii

Dedication                                     i v

Acknowledgement                       v

Abstract                                    vi

Table of Contents                      vii

List of Tables                          viii


  • Introduction 1
  • Aims and Objectives of the Study 3
  • Justification and Significance of the Study 4


  • Literature Review 5
  • Reviews on Rumen Content Related Diets 5
  • Origin and Distributions of Rabbits 10
  • Breeds of Rabbits in Nigeria 11
  • Productive Qualities of Rabbits 11
  • The Digestive System of the Rabbit 13
  • Digestibility of Nutrients by rabbits 16
    • Fiber 17
    • Protein and Amino acid Requirement 18


  • Materials and Methods 20
  • Location 20
  • Management of Experimental Animals 20
  • Experimental Procedures 20
  • Experimental Diets 23
  • Experimental Design 24
  • Experimental Analysis 24


  • Results 25
  • Discussions 29


5.0 Conclusion and Recommendations         31

References       32


Background of Study

The need to improve rabbit production in Nigeria for increased supply of animal protein is no longer in doubt due to the high cost of Chicken, Pork and beef.

Bamgbose, et al (2004) also supports the necessity of exploring other less common but potential sources of animal protein such as rabbits. Recently, there has been increased awareness in rabbit production.

The advantages projected include the high reproductive rate, rapid maturity, high genetic potential, efficient feed utilization, limited competition with humans for food and high quality nutritious meat (Cheeke, et al, 1986).

Also rabbits have been introduced into West Africa as farm animals of economic value, low in fat, succulent, nicely flavoured and providing a palatable change for chicken and other meats, (Owen, 1976; Aduku and Olukosi, 1990).

It has also been reported by Aduku and Olukosi (1990) that rabbit meat plays an important role in the prevention of vascular disease due to its extremely low cholesterol and sodium levels.

This makes rabbit meat a good source of animal protein for coronary heart patients and people on low sodium diet. Rabbit meat also has no religions taboos regulating its consumption.

Rabbits are able to thrive on non-conventional feed stuffs (Omole, 1982) and forages (Aduku and Olukosi 1990). Rabbits are being maintained solely on all forage diets with encouraging weight gains (Selepov, 1964; Perez and San Sebastrain, 1970).


Abubakar M.M. and Imam A. (1995): 35th annual Conference of Nigeria Geographical Association.

Adegbola, J.A., Tibi, E.U. and Adogwa, D.C. (1985) Feed intake and digestibility in Rabbita and all forage plus concentrate and all concentrate diet. Journal of Anim. Prod. Research 5(2): 15-16.

Adeniji, A.A. and Balogun O.O. (2002) Utilization of flavour treated Blood- rumen content mixture in the dkiets of laying hens. Nig. J. Anim. Prod. 29(1): 34-39.

Adeniji, A.A. and Balogun, O.O. (2001) Evaluation of blood-rumen content mixture in the diets of starter chicks, Nig. J. Anim. Prod. 28(2): 153- 157.

Adeniji, A.A. (1996) the value of bovine blood-rumen content meal as a feedstuff for pullets. Ph.D Thesis, Department of Animal Produciton, University of Ibadan.

Aderemi F A, Ladokun O A and Tewe O .O (2004) Study on haematological and serum biochemistry of layers fed biodegraded cassava root sieviate. Bowen Journal of Agriculture, 1 (1): 79 – 83.

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