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Pakistan Journal of Nutrition
Year: 2004  |  Volume: 3  |  Issue: 4  |  Page No.: 258 - 261

Converting Bush to Meat: A Case of Chromolaena odorata Feeding to Rabbits

M.A. Bamikole, U.J. Ikhatua and A.E. Osemwenkhae    

Abstract: The feasibility of using Chromolaena odorata leaf meal (COLM) in the feed of rabbit was investigated in a study that lasted for twelve weeks. Chromolaena odorata leaves were harvested, dried, crumbled and incorporated into five iso-nitrogenous and iso-calorific diets at 0, 10, 20, 30 and 40% levels of inclusion. Feed intake, weight gain and digestibility of the rabbits were monitored using a completely randomized design. Results showed that DM intake (g/d) of 41.42, 32.86, 32.66, 24.65 and 26.72 for 0 (control), 10, 20, 30, and 40% COLM diets respectively were not significantly different among diets that contained COLM, while only those of 10 and 20% COLM diets compared favourably with that of the control diet. Weight gain (g/d) of the rabbits were not significantly different in the control (7.73), 10% (6.30), 20% (6.64) and 30% (4.12) COLM diets, while the least weight gain (3.0g/d) from 40% COLM diet did not show any significant difference from those of other COLM diets. Feed conversion efficiency of the rabbits were found similar in all the diets (range = 0.11 in 40% to 0.19 in 0% COLM). Digestibility values were generally good, and were not significantly affected by diets in DM (58.57 - 74.00%) and NFE (74.77 - 81.94%) digestibilities. It is concluded that COLM can be incorporated into the feed of rabbits up to the level of 30% of the DM fed and still obtain good performance especially weight gain comparable to those fed on standard concentrate.

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