NUTRIENT INTAKE, GROWTH PERFORMANCE AND CARCASS YIELD OF WEANER RABBITS FED GRADED LEVELS OF DRIED CITRUS (C. sinensis) PULP
A study was conducted to investigate the response of weaner rabbits to graded dietary replacement of
wheat offal with dried citrus pulp (DCP) at 0, 10, 20 and 30% (weight/weight) respectively .A total of
Sixty-four, male and female weaner rabbits of 56 days old, were randomly assigned to four dietary
treatments with sixteen rabbits each and consisting of four rabbits per replicate in a completely ran-
domized design. The study lasted for 112 days during which data was obtained on nutrient intake,
performance characteristics and carcass yield. The crude protein intake of the rabbits decreased
(P<0.05) significantly as the DCP inclusion in the diets increased. There were significant (P<0.01)
differences in the values obtained for the final weight, total weight gain, average weight gain, meta-
bolic weight gain and growth rate across the treatment groups. The growth rate was 10.29 g/d in the
control fed rabbits but further decreased with increasing level of DCP in the diets with values of 11.29,
6.30 and 5.80g/d obtained respectively for rabbit fed with 10%, 20%, and 30% DCP inclusion level.
The lowest feed conversion ratio was obtained at the 0% level of DCP inclusion. The retail cut parts
indicated a significant (P<0.05) difference in the values for rack and ranged from 11.92 to 18.06g. It
was concluded that although, rabbits fed with control diet had the highest overall performance, 10%
dietary inclusion of DCP supported improved growth and better carcass yield.