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2016 | 55 | 51-62
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Effect of neem leaf (Azadirachta indica) meal on growth performance and haematology of rabbits

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A ten-week experiment using twenty four (24) weaner rabbits (Chinchila x New Zealand White) aged 8 to 9 weeks with an average initial body weight of 431.20+0.74g were randomly allocated to four treatment diets of T1(control), T2(5% NLM), T3(10% NLM) and T4(15% NLM) in a completely randomized design. They were fed for 10 weeks during which data on growth and haematology were collected and analysed using analysis of variance (ANOVA) and means separated using Duncan Multiple Range Test. The results showed that the average total body weight gains were 739.60g (T1), 717.85g (T2), 740.18g (T3) and 729.45g (T4).There was no significant difference (p>0.05) when T1 and T3 as well as T2 and T4 were compared but significant (p<0.05) when T1 and T2 as well as T3 and T4 were compared. Also the average weekly feed intake showed that T1, T2, T3 and T4 consumed 313.91g, 313.24g, 312.48g and 314.69g respectively. However, there was significant difference (p<0.05) when all the treatments were compared in this respect. The feed conversion ratio (FCR) showed that T3 (4.22) was the best followed by T1 (4.24), T4 (4.31) and T2(4.36) with significant differences (p<0.05) among them except (p>0.05) between T1 and T3. The haematological indices showed that though all the parameters fell within the normal physiologic ranges, the PCV was 37.62% (T1), 38.42% (T2), 39.60% (T3) and 39.03% (T4) and when compared, were all significantly different (p<0.05) except (P>0.05) for T3 and T4 while the haemoglobin concentration showed that T1(13.47g/dl) was significantly different (p<0.05) from T2(14.18g/dl), T3(14.34g/dl), and T4(13.97g/dl). The white blood cell count showed that T3 (10.62 x109/L) had the highest value followed by T1 (10.12 x109/L), T4 (9.34 x109/L) and T2 (9.18 x109/L) with a significant difference (p<0.05) occurring when T1 and T3 were compared to T2 and T4 while the red blood cell counts indicated that T1 had the highest value of 4.92 x106/L followed by T3(4.89 x106/L), T2(4.73 x106/L) and T4(4.65 x106/L) without any significant difference among the treatments. All the values fell within the normal range. It is therefore recommended that inclusion of neem leaf meal in the diets of rabbits up to 10% is not detrimental since it improved feed conversion ratio (FCR), growth performance and had no negative effect on haematological values.
Physical description
  • Federal College of Animal Health and Production Technology, Moor Plantation, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria
  • Federal College of Animal Health and Production Technology, Moor Plantation, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria
  • Federal College of Animal Health and Production Technology, Moor Plantation, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria
  • Federal College of Animal Health and Production Technology, Moor Plantation, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria
  • Department of Veterinary Animal Health and Production, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria
  • Federal College of Animal Health and Production Technology, Moor Plantation, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria
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