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Articles by I.V. Ezenwa
Total Records ( 1 ) for I.V. Ezenwa
  M.A. Bamikole , M.I. Ikhatua , U.J. Ikhatua and I.V. Ezenwa
  The potential of mulberry leaves in rabbit production was investigated in a 12-week long experiment where feed intake, weight gain and nutrient digestibility of the rabbits were monitored. Thirty weaner rabbits (19 females and 11 males; mean weight = 450 ± 0.05 g) of mixed breeds were sorted by weight and randomly allocated to five experimental diets. The percentage of concentrate in the rations was incrementally replaced with mulberry leaves: 100:0, 75:25, 50:50, 25:75, 0:100 and were fed in a completely randomized design. Total dry matter (DM) intake of the concentrate: mulberry diet remained at the level of that of the all-concentrate ration (~38 g/d) until mulberry leaves comprised >50% of the ration before it declined significantly. The intakes of crude protein (CP) and crude fiber (CF) increased significantly while those of ether extract (EE), ash and nitrogen free extract (NFE) decreased significantly with increasing level of mulberry leaves in the diets, following the trends of the concentrations of the nutrients in the materials. The nutrient digestibilities of the diets were high and there were no significant differences among the means for DM (75.67 - 82.33%), organic matter (OM: 77.33 - 86.67%), CP (76.33 - 84.00%), CF (79.67 - 88.67%), and ash (52.00 - 62.67%). Digestibility of EE (55.65 - 86.00%) and NFE (76.00 - 87.33%) significantly declined with increasing level of mulberry leaves in the rations. Weight gain of rabbits on diets containing 25 and 50% mulberry leaves (5.14 and 4.72 g/d, respectively) was not significantly different (P=0.05) from that of the all-concentrate ration (5.72 g/d), but these were significantly higher than those of 25:75 and 0:100 concentrate: mulberry diets (3.43 and 2.27 g/d, respectively). Thus, mulberry leaves can support good feed intake, digestibility and satisfactory weight gain in rabbits, and could reduce reliance on and cost of expensive concentrate diets. However, some level of concentrate feeding is necessary to reach potential weight gains.
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