• O. Y. AYO-AJASA Department of Animal Production and Health
  • C. P NJOKU Department of Animal Production and Health
  • A. O. DARE Department of Animal Production and Health
  • B. BOLANLE Department of Animal Production and Health
  • A. O. DARE Department of Animal Physiology


Growth performance, rabbits, Ficus asperifolia, liver histology


Various pharmacological actions such as anti-ulcer, anti-diabetic lipid lowering and antifungal activities have been described for Ficus asperifolia. It has been widely used in albino rats but with limited use in rabbits. This study was, therefore, conducted to evaluate the effect of aqueous Ficus asperifolia leaf extract (FALE) on the growth performance, blood profile and liver of New Zealand white rabbits raised under tropical conditions.  A total of 36 rabbits consisting of two groups of 18 bucks and 18 does were allotted to six treatment groups after weight equalization on the basis of sex and levels of FALE administration (0ml, 10ml and 20ml of aqueous FALE) in a 2x3 factorial arrangement, with each treatment consisting of 6 rabbits; each treatment was further subdivided into 3 replicates of 2 rabbits per replicate. Data on growth, haematology and serum biochemistry were collected and analysed using analysis of variance (ANOVA). Means, where significant, were separated using Duncan Multiple Range Test at (P<0.05). The livers were dissected and preserved in Bouin’s fluid while routine haematoxylin and eosin method was used to stain them. Aqueous Ficus asperifolia leaf extract significantly (P<0.05) affected total weight gain, total feed intake and feed efficiency while sex effect showed that final weight and total feed intake were significantly reduced in bucks (2011.11g and 1170.11g, respectively) compared to the does (2258g and1474.61g, respectively). Effect of interaction between Ficus asperifolia leaf extract and sex significantly affected total weight gain, total feed intake and feed efficiency. Haematological parameters were not influenced by the main effect of aqueous Ficus asperifolia leaf extract and sex except for white blood cells (WBC) which were significantly higher (7.90x109/L) in bucks. Also, WBC and lymphocytes were significantly influenced by their interactive effect. Total protein, globulin, glucose, Alkaline phosphate and calcium were significantly affected by levels of aqueous Ficus asperifolia leaf extract while cholesterol and calcium were influenced significantly by sex. Haematoxylin and Eosin (H&E) stained sections of liver tissue of rabbit bucks showed no remarkable vascular changes. This study indicated that aqueous Ficus asperifolia leaf extract is anti-hyperglycemic and can support rabbit production without any negative influence on the immune status of rabbit.



Author Biographies

O. Y. AYO-AJASA, Department of Animal Production and Health

Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Nigeria


C. P NJOKU, Department of Animal Production and Health

Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Nigeria



Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Nigeria


A. O. DARE, Department of Animal Production and Health

Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Nigeria


B. BOLANLE, Department of Animal Production and Health

Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Nigeria


A. O. DARE, Department of Animal Physiology

Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Nigeria



Aderemi, F. A. 2004. Effects of replacement of wheat bran with cassava root supplemented or supplemented with enzyme on the hematology and serum biochemistry of pullet chicks. Tropical Journal of Animal Science, 7: 147-153.

Aduku, A. O. 2004. Animal Nutrition in the Tropics. Davcon Computers and Business Bureau, Samaru, Zaria, Nigeria Journal of Advancement in Medical and Life Sciences 1(1): 2348-294X

Alhassan, A. J., Sule, M. S., Aliyu, S. A., Aliyu, M. D. 2009. Ideal hepatoxicity model in rats using carbon tetrachloride (CCl4). Bayero Journal of Pure and Applied Science, 2:185–187.

Amaefule, K.U., Iheukwuemere, F.C., Nwaokoro, C.C. 2005. A note on the growth performance and carcass characteristics of rabbits fed graded dietary levels of boiled pigeon pea seed (Cajanus cajan). Livestock Resources and Rural Development 17:1-6.

Ameen, S. A., Adedeji, O. S., Akingbade, A. A., Olayemi, T. B., Oyedapo, L. O., Aderinola A. 2007. The effect of different feeding regimes on haematological parameters and immune status of commercial broilers in derived savannah zone of Nigeria. Proceedings of 32nd Annual Conference of the Nigerian Society for Animal Production. pp 146–48.

Bamishaiye, E. I., Muhammad, N. O., Bamishaiye, O. M. 2009. Haematological parameters of albino rats fed on tiger nuts (Cyperus esculentus) tuber oil meal-based diet. The International Journal of Nutrition and Wellness, 10(1). Retrieved from /IJNW/10/1/9293.

Bello, A. A., Tsado, D. N. 2013. Haematological and biochemical profile of growing Yankasa rams fed sorghum stover supplemented with varying levels of dried poultry droppings based diet. Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences, 16: 1922-1928. DOI: 10.3923/pjbs.2013.1922.1928 URL:

Charles, J. 2001. Immunobiology. (5th. ed). Garland Publishing. ISBN 0-8153-3642-X.

Chineke, C. A., Ologun, A. G., Ikeobi, C. O. N. 2006. Haematological parameters in rabbit breeds and crosses in humid tropics. Pakistan Journal of Biological Science, 9: 2102-2106.

Dangarembizi, R., Erlwanger, K. H., Moyo, D., Chivandi, E. 2013. Phytochemistry, pharmacology and ethnomedicinal uses of Ficus thonningii (Blume Moraceae): A review. African Journal of Traditional Complementary Alternative Medicine, 10:203–212.

Douglas, J.W., Weiss, K. and Wardrop, J., 2010. Schalm's veterinary hematology. 6th edition. Wiley-Blackwell, Iowa 50014–8300, USA, p. 1181.

Doyle, D. William H. 2006. The father of haematology. British Journal of Haematology, 133(4), 375-381.

Drabo, S., Khatry, S. 2012. Neem: Healer of all ailments. Research Journal of Pharmaceutical, Biological and Chemical Sciences, 3: 120

Egbo, M. L., Doma U.D., Lacdaks, A.B. 2001. Characteristics of small scale rabbit production and management in Bauchi metropolis. Proceedings of the 26th Annual Conference of Nigerian Society for Animal Production, March 18-21, 2001, ABU Zaria, pp: 160-162.

Esonu, B. O., Emenalom, O. O., Udedibie, A. B. I., Herbert, U., Ekpor, C. F., Okoli, I. C., Ihukwumere, F. C. 2001. Performance and blood chemistry of weaner pigs fed raw Mucuna beans (Velvet bean) meal. Tropical Animal Production Investment, 4:49-54.

Etim, N. N. 2010. Physiological and reproductive responses of rabbit does to Aspilia africana. M.SC. Thesis, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Abia State. 110.

Etim, N. N., Enyenihi, G. E., Akpabio, U., Offiong E. A. 2014. Effects of nutrition on haematology of rabbits: A review. European Scientific Journal, 10 (30): 413-424.

Frandson, R. D. 1981. Anatomy and physiology of farm animals. Lea Febiger publishers, Philadelphia, 1st edition.

Ghasemi, P. Momeni, M, Bahmani, M, 2012. Ethnobotanical study of medicinal plants used by Kurd tribe in Dehloran and Abdanan Districts, Ilam Province, Iran. African Journal of Traditional Complementary Alternative Medicine. 10(2):368-385.

doi: 10.4314/ajtcam.v10i2.24.

Google earth. 2019.

Hakim, F.L., Girija, S., Kumar, R.S., Jalaludeen, M.D. 2007. Effect of aqueous and ethanolic extracts of Cassia auriculata L. flowers on diabetes using alloxan induced diabetic rats. International Journal of Diabetes Metabolite, 15:100-106.

Harper, A. F., Rodwell, V. W., Mayes, P. A. 1979. Review of Physiological Chemistry. 17th Ed. Lang. Medical, Los Atlos, California p. 9422.

Isaac, L. J., Abah, G., Akpan, B., Ekaette, I. U. 2013. Haematological properties of different breeds and sexes of rabbits. Proceedings of the 18th Annual Conference of Animal Science Association of Nigeria, 24-27.

Iwuji, T. C., Herbert, U. 2012. Haematological and serum biochemical characteristics of rabbits bucks fed diets containing garcimiola kola seed meal. Proceedings of the 37th Annual Conference of Nigerian Society for Animal Production, 87-89.

Janieri, A. 2003. Nutritional quality of rabbit meat. Italian R.V. Agriculture, 24: 275.

Kabir, M., Akpa, G. N., Nwagu, B. I., Adeyinka, I. A. Bello, U. I. 2011. Sexual dimorphism, breed and age characteristics of rabbits in Zaria Nigeria. Proceedings of the 16th Annual Conference of Animal Science Association of Nigeria, 133-137.

Kim E. E, Wycoff, H. W. 1991. “Reaction mechanisms of alkaline phosphatase based on crystal structures. Two- metal ion catalysis”. Journal of Molecular Biology, 218 (2): 449-64.

Kudair, I. M., Al-Hussary, N. A. J. 2010. Effect of vaccination on some biochemical parameters in broiler chickens. Iraqi Journal of Veterinary Science, 24: 59–64. do?recordID=DJ2012047668

Lazzaroni, C., Biagini, D. 2002. Meat production in the Carmagnola Grey rabbit: different housing and sex effect. Action 848 Multi-facetted research: a model to develop a healthy and safe production in respect of animal welfare. 2nd meeting of the working group in meat and meat safety. 11-14th April, 2002. Agricultural University of Athens, Greece.

Lazzaroni, C., Biagini, D., Redaelli, V., Luzi, F. 2012. Technical Note: Year, season, and parity effect on weaning performance of the Carmagnola Grey Rabbit breed. World Rabbit Science, 20: 57-60.

Lukefahr, S.D., Ozimba, C. E. 1991. Prediction of carcass merit from live body measurements of rabbits of four breed types, Livestock Production Science,29:323.

Mahgoub O., Kadim I.T., Al-Saqry N.M., Al-Busaidi R.M. 2005. Potential of Omani Jebel Akhdar goat for meat production under feedlot conditions. Small Ruminant Research, 56 (1/3), 223-230.

Mansi, K. Lahham, J. 2008. Effects of Artemisia sieberi besser (a. herba- alba) on heart rate and some hematological values in normal and alloxan-induced diabetic rats. Journal of Basic Applied Science, (4)2:57-62.

Martínez-Silvestre, A., Lavín, S., Cuenca, R., 2013. La bioquímica sanguínea en clínica de reptiles (in Spanish). Consulta Difusión Vet. 200, 31–40.

Mbanosor, U. U. Anene, B. M., Chiniezie, A. B., Nnaji, T. O., Eze, J. I., Ezekwe, A. G. 2003. Haematology of normal trypanosome infected muturu cattle in South-Eastern Nigeria. Nigeria Journal of Animal Production, 30: 236-241.

Noboru, H. 2001. Garcinia kola extract inhibits lipid droplet accumulation without affecting adipose tissue conversion in 3T3 – L1 cells. Pytother, Res., 15:172 – 173.

Ojo, O. A., Akintayo, C. O. 2014. Assessment of antioxidant activity of Ficus asperifolia Miq aqueous extract – in vitro studies. The Journal of Phytopharmacology, 3(1): 16-21.

Ojo O.A., Ojo A.B., Ajiboye, B., Fadaka, A., Imiere, O.D, Adeyonu, O.,Olayide, I. 2016. Protective Influence of Ficus asperifolia Miq Leaf Extract on Carbon Tetrachloride (CCL4)-Induced Testicular Toxicity in rat’s Testes. Journal of Applied and Pharmaceutical Science 6 (06): 037-041.

Okunlola, D. O., Olorunisomo, A. A., Aderinola, O. A., Agboola, A. S., Omele, O. G. 2012. Haematology and serum quality of Red Sokoto goats fed Baobab (Adansonia digitata) fruit meal as supplement to guinea grass (Panicum maximum). 17th Annual Conference of Animal Science Association of Nigeria, 427-433.

Olafadehan, C. O., Obun, A. M., Yusuf, M. K., Adewumi, O. O., Olafadehan, A. O., Awofolaji, A. O., Adeniji, A. A. 2010. Effects of residual cyanide in processed cassava peel meals on haematological and biochemical indices of growing rabbits. Proceedings of 35th Annual Conference of Nigerian Society for Animal Production, p.212.

Ologhobo, A. D., Tewe, O. O., Adejumo, D. O. 1986. Haematological and Neutral metabolites in Broilers Fed Soyabean Based Rations. Proceedings of the 11th Annual Conference of Nigerian Society for Animal Production, ABU, Zaria, pp. 101-103.

Omoniwa, B.P., Luka, C.D. 2012. Antidiabetic and Toxicity Evaluation of Aqueous Stem Extract of Ficus asperifolia in Normal and Alloxan-Induced Diabetic Albino rats. Asian Journal of experimental biological sciences.3(4):726-732.

Omoniwa, B. P., Luka, C. D., Soji-Omoniwa, O. 2013. Effect of Aqueous Leaf Extract of Ficus asperifolia on Cardiac Enzymes and Lipid Profile in Male Albino Rats.Journal of Medical Sciences, 13: 373-378.

Ozimba, C.E., Lukefahr, S. D. 1991. Comparison of rabbit breed types for postweaning litter growth, feed efficiency and survival performance traits. Journal of Animal Science, 69:3494-3500.

Pendl, H. 2013. Haematology In birds and reptiles For Beginners. International Conference on Avian, Herpetological & Exotic Mammal Medicine 1, pp. 59–63.

Reilly, J. S. 1993. Euthanasia of animals used for scientific purposes. ANZCCART, Glen Osmand. South Australia, 7 (4).

Research Animal Resource (RAR). 2009. Reference values for laboratory animals.

Sandberg, A. S. 2002. Bioavailability of minerals in legumes. B J Nutr., 88:281–285.

SAS Institute Inc. 2010. SAS/STAT User’s Guide, version 8, Cary, NC:SAS Institute Inc.

Soetan, K. O., Akinrade, A. S. Ajibade, T. O. 2013. Preliminary studies on the haematological parameters of cockerels fed raw and processed guinea corn. Proc. 38th Ann. Conf. Nig. Soc. Anim. Prod. 49-52.

Sofowora, A. 1996. Plantes médicinales et médecine traditionnelle d’Afrique. Paris, France: Edition Karthala, 75013, 375.

Soyebo, K.O. 2006. Constraints against wide spread rabbit keeping among household in Osun and Ogun State. Implications for family economic empowerment. Journal of Applied Science and Research .2 (12) 1244-1247.

Spore 2007. Rearing rabbits. Family farming: the future of world. Spore 131 CTA publication.

Togun, V. A., Oseni, B. S. A., Ogundipe, J. A, Arewa, T. R., Hameed, A. A., Ajonijebu, D. C., Oyeniran, A., Nwosisi, I. Mustapha, F. 2007. Effects of chronic lead administration on the haematological parameters of rabbit—a preliminary study. Proceedings of the 41st Conference of the Agricultural Society of Nigeria, p 341.

Wolfensohn, S., Lloyd, M. 2013. Handbook of Laboratory Animal Management and Welfare. 4th edition. Wiley-Blackwell, p. 390.






Original Manuscript