Reproductive traits of rabbits fed Ipomea asarifolia Leaf Meal (IALM) levels in Semi-Arid Zone of Nigeria
Purpose: This study aimed to determine the reproductive traits of rabbit fed varying levels of Ipomea asarifolia leaf meal in the semi-arid zone of Nigeria.
Research methodology: Fourty (40) nulliparous composite grower rabbits of 10 - 12 weeks with an average body weight of 1,320 g + 20 g were used for the study. The rabbits were allocated to five dietary treatments. The research used a Completely Randomized Design in allocating the experimental animals with eight rabbits in each treatment.
Results: The results obtained in this study indicated that inclusion Ipomoea asarifolia leaf meal at 10% in rabbits' diet had a negative effect as it increased the gestation length. Rabbits fed a 7.5% IALM based diet yielded the best results on litter size (LS) and conception rate (CR). The post-partum performance revealed that kittens on treatment three (5% IALM) performed better in weight at day 7 (61.47 g) and day 21 (235.33 g), respectively. Whereas kittens in treatment five (10% IALM) were reported with the highest daily weight gain (10.09 g) and pre-weaning mortality (38.84%). Does fed 10% IALM based diet performed better (720.10 g) in milk yield. The results of the morphometric traits were mostly not affected by an increased level of MGLM except for tail length (TL), length of the front leg (LFL), and shoulder to tail drop (STT) that have the highest value in rabbits fed 5% MGLM based diet, and nose to shoulder (NTS) and length of the back leg (LBL) that had highest figures in rabbits fed 10% MGLM.
Limitations: This research only focused on the effect of the test material on reproductive traits and body Morphometry, yet there might be an effect on blood parameters and serum hormones concentration.
Contribution: This research will help the farmers involved in Animal production.
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