Reproductive Performance of Rabbits (Oryctolagus cunniculus) fed Diets Containing Varying Levels of Dried Bovine Rumen Digesta

Iyabode Comfort Alemede, Ayo Aremu, Isaac Oriade, Abdulmojeed Tunji1 Ijaiya


Sixteen female  and four male growing rabbits of mixed breed, aged 18 weeks, with average initial body weight of 1750.00 g were used in a completely randomized design experiment to evaluate the nutritive values of Dried Bovine Rumen Digesta (DBRD)  in rabbit diets for  reproductive performance. The levels of inclusion of  DBRD were 0 , 25 , 50  and 75 % for diets T1 (control), T2, T3 and T4, respectively. The reproductive performance  showed significant (P<0.05) differences for most of the parameters measured except for gestation length, litter weight at weaning and litter weight gain. The values obtained for litter size at birth (LSB) were 5.25, 3.75, 6.75 and 4.24, respectively, while values obtained for litter size at weaning (LSW) were 3.75, 3.00, 5.50 and 4.00, respectively. The highest value 5.50 was obtained from animals on diet T3 (50 % DBRD), while the lowest value 3.00 was obtained from animals on diet T2 (25 % DBRD . The values obtained for survival rate to weaning (SRW) were 64.58 %, 70.00 %, 64.30 %, and 54.00 % for rabbits on diets T1, T2, T3 and T4 respectively. Rabbits on diet T2 had the best survival rate and showed significant (P<0.05) difference among others.  The does on diet T3 (50 % DBRD) recorded the highest (P<0.05) 6.75 litter size at birth (LSB), while the lowest 3.75 LSB was obtained from does on diet T2 (25 % DBRD). The values obtained for neo-natal mortality (NNM) were 16.67 %, 18.75 %, 20.73 % and 21.25 % for animals on diets T1, T2, T3 and T4, respectively. The results of the co-efficient of milking capacity (CMC) were 0.17, 0.15, 0.17 and 0.14 for diets T1, T2, T3 and T4, respectively.   The overall performance of Rabbits on diet T3 (50 % DBRD) was better  than those in the other treatment  groups. Therefore, it was concluded that up to 50 % level of DBRD can be included in the diets of breeding rabbits for better reproductive performance without any deleterious effect. 

Key words : Reproduction, Response, Rabbits, Diet, Dried Bovine Rumen Digesta.

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ISSN (Paper)2224-7181 ISSN (Online)2225-062X

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