Linear Body Measurements and Growth Performance Characteristics of Female Rabbits Fed Cocoa Bean Shell Meal - Based Diets
Keywords:Linear, Body, Growth, Rabbits, Cocoa bean shell.
The Linear Body Measurements and Growth Performance Characteristics of 40 cross bred (New Zealand White X Chinchilla X Californian breeds) female rabbits weighing between 800 and 847g were determined in this study, which lasted 60 days. After weight equalization, eight (8) rabbits per treatment were randomly divided into five treatments designated as T1, T2, T3, T4 and T5 containing 0, 5, 10, 15 and 20% cocoa bean shell meal, respectively using a Completely Randomized Design (CRD). Results showed that the linear body parameters (body length, tail length, heart girth, ear length, head to shoulder length, forelimb and hind limb lengths) were not significantly (P > 0.05) affected by dietary treatments. While the growth performance characteristics revealed significant (P < 0.05) differences between dietary treatments for the final weight, total weight gain and total feed intake, respectively. Results for the average daily weight gain, average daily feed intake and feed conversion ratio were statistically (P > 0.05) similar across dietary treatments. The results of this study suggest that hot – water treated cocoa bean shell meal can be included up to 20% in diets meant for female rabbits without deleterious effects on Linear Body Measurements and Growth Performance Characteristics.