Reproductive performance of local rabbit does on sweet potato concentrate meal to forage combinations under tropical condition
Defang H.F., Kana J.R., Ngoula F., Keambou T. C., Teguia A., and Emene N
Date : 2013-06-06 Volume : 5

An experiment was carried out to evaluate the potential of sweet potato concentrate meal (SPCM) in replacement of maize base diet and forage combinations by breeding does during gestation and lactation periods. 20 (primiparous) local rabbit does (7-8 months of age and 2.7-2.9 kg weight as well as 8 fertile local rabbit bucks 9-10 months of age and 3.2-3.4 kg weight) were used. The does were randomly allocated to 4 dietary treatments. Each treatment having 5 does with 5 replicates in a completely randomized design. The treatments comprised the following concentrate and forage combinations respectively: (R1) Sweet potato concentrate meal (SPCM) and Echinochloa pyramidalis (E. pyramidalis), (R2) SPCM and Leersia hexandra (L. hexandra), (R2) SPCM and Imperata cylindrical (I. cylindrica) and (R3) SPCM and Panicum maximum (P. maximum). The SPCM was offered in the morning (08:00 hours) and evening (17:00 hours) ad-libitum while forage and clean water were also served ad-libitum. The does were mated to intact bucks after two weeks adjustment period. Results showed that the mean feed intake and live body weight during lactation period was significantly (P<0.05) higher for does fed diet (R1) containing SPCM and Echinochloa pyramidalis compared to the rest of the treatments. Mean body weight gain and feed conversion ratio were comparable (P>0.05) in all treatments during gestation and lactation periods. Receptivity was significantly (P<0.05) higher for does fed diet R1, R2 and R4 compared to does fed diet R3. Kindling rate was significantly (P<0.05) lower for R4 treatment compared to the rest. Stillbirth and gestation length were comparable in all the treatments. No significant differences (P>0.05) were observed among the treatments with respect to litter size at birth, at weaning and litter weight at birth and at weaning. Litter weight at 21 days (milk yield) was significantly (P<0.05) higher for R2 diet compared to the rest. It was concluded from this study that does fed diet R1 and R3 combination had overall better performance in terms of feed intake, kindling rate and litter weight at weaning 1348673774.php