Dried Grassmeal in the Diets of Weaner Rabbits: Effect On Growth And Carcass Characteristics

  • Uza, O. Department of Animal Production, University of Agriculture, Makurdi.
  • Ayoade, J. A. Department of Animal Production, University of Agriculture, Makurdi.
  • Shaahu, D.T. Department of Animal Production, University of Agriculture, Makurdi.
  • Ahamefule, F.O. Department of Animal Production, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike.
  • Yusuf, T. Department of Animal Production, University of Agriculture, Makurdi.
Keywords: Grass-meal, Weaner rabbit, Growth, Performance, Carcass


Growth and carcass characteristics of weaner rabbits fed diets containing different levels of dried grass meal were evaluated in a 62-day trial. Twelve weaner rabbits of 4-6 weeks of age, averaging 908 g in weight were randomly divided into three groups of 4 animals each and replicated four times with a rabbit per replicate. These rabbits were assigned three different diets (1, 2 and 3) containing dried grass meal replacing rice offal at 0, 5.5 and 11% in a completely randomized design. Results showed that body weight (g) and ADFI did not differ (P>0.05) among the treatment groups. FCR followed a similar pattern. ADG was significant (P<0.05); diet 3 promoted the best gain (18.17 g), though similar to results obtained for rabbits fed diet 2 (15.08 g) which differed significantly (P<0.05) with daily body gain of animals on control diet (13.30 g). The slaughter weights, unsigned weight and dressed weight of rabbits fed diets 2 and 3 were highest and similar (P<0.05) while rabbit on control had the least values for these parameters. Headless singed weights were superior (P<0.05) for rabbits fed diet 3 (1.13 g) while rabbits on other treatment groups had the least and similar headless singed weights values. Dressing percentage was marginally enhanced for rabbits fed diet 3 but this was not significant (P>0.05). Therefore, dried grass meal can replace rice offal up to 11% in rabbit diet without adverse effect on growth and carcass characteristics of rabbits.


Download data is not yet available.


Aduku, A. O. and Olukosi J. O. (1990). Rabbit Management in the Tropics: Production, Processing, Utilization, Marketing, Economics, Practical, Training, Research, and Future Prospects. Living Books series. G.U. Publication, Abuja, Nigeria.
Agunbiade, J.A., Adeyemi, O.A., Fasina, O.E., Ashorobi, B.O., Adebanjo, M.O. and Wade, A. O. (2000). Cassava peels and leaves in the diet of rabbits: Effect on performance and carcass characteristics. Nigerian Journal of Animal Production, 26:29-34.
Ahamefule, F.O., Ibeawuchi, I. A. and Umunnakwe, D.U. (2007). Performance of weaner rabbits fed diets containing raw and processed pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan) seed meal. Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advances, 6(6): 797-801.
Ahamefule, F.O., Ibeawuchi, J.A. and Nwankwo, D.N. (2005). Utilization of sundried, fermented and ensiled cassava peel-based diets by weaner rabbits. Nigeria Agricultural Journal, 36:52-58
Ahemen, T., Wuanor, A. A. and Madu, H.N. (2012). Performance of male rabbits fed graded levels of Moringa oleifera leaf meal in a Guinea savannah environment of Southern Nigeria. Proceeding of Annual Conference of Animal Science Association of Nigeria, 9 – 13, Sept. 2012, Abuja, Nigeria. Pp 263-267.
A.O.A.C. (2000). Association of Official Analytical Chemists. Official Methods of Analysis 15th edition, Arlington, Virginia, Washington D.C.
Asuquo, B.O. (1997). Nutritional potentials of Ipomea, Centrosema, Pueraria, Emila and Tridax forages in mixed feeds for weaner rabbits. Nigerian Journal of Animal Production, 24: 46 - 50
Duncan, D.B. (1955). Multiple Range and Multiple F test. Biometrics 11: 1 – 42.
FAO (1989): [Food and Agriculture Organisation]. Production Year Book. Volumes 43 United Nation, Rome, Italy. Pp 104.
FAO (2000). [Food and Agriculture Organisation / World Health Organisation]. Energy and protein requirements. Report of joint FAO/WHO, expert consultation, FAO. Food and Nutrition Paper 51, FAO/WHO, Rome, Italy.
Fadipe, A. A. (1996). The Nigerian Livestock subsectors: A keynote address at the 21st Annual Conference of Nigerian Society for Animal Production. University of Uyo, March 24 – 28, 1996.
Ibeawuchi, J. A., Chindo, L. and Ahamafule, F.O. (2000). Milk production characteristics of imported Holstein-Friesian cattle maintained in a tropical high altitude environment. Journal of Sustainable Agriculture and Environment, 2(1): 14 – 19
Leng, R. A. (2006). Digestion in rabbits: A new look at the effect of their feeding and digestive strategies. Workshop-seminar ‘Forages for Pigs and Rabbits’. CelAgrid. Phnom, Cambodia, 22-24 August, 2006. Article 18. Retrieved December 23, 112 from http://www.mekarn.org/proprf/prestonhtm
Obioha, F. C. (1997). A Guide to Poultry Production in the Tropics. ACENA Publishers Ltd. Enugu, Nigeria. pp. 1 – 25.
Salroo, G. M., Prasad, V. S. S. and Gupta, S. C. (1989). Effect of age on carcass traits of Soviet Chinchilla rabbits. Indian Journal of Animal Science, 59(7):890 – 892.
Steel, R. G. D. and Torrie, J. H. (1980). Principles and Procedures of Statistics. 2nd edition. McGraw-Hill Book Company Incorporated, New York.
How to Cite
Uza, O., Ayoade, J. A., Shaahu, D.T., Ahamefule, F.O., & Yusuf, T. (2020). Dried Grassmeal in the Diets of Weaner Rabbits: Effect On Growth And Carcass Characteristics. Nigerian Journal of Animal Science and Technology (NJAST), 3(2), 22 - 28. Retrieved from https://njast.com.ng/index.php/home/article/view/75