Use of Lepidium Sativum as Growth Promoter for Rabbitlets.

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Yassir Yousif Hussein Ahmed, Alian
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Twenty four male Baladi rabbits of similar age and weight were purchased from Omdurman and El Hag Yousif markets. They were accommodated in the Animal House, Faculty of Animal Production, Shambat. They were prepared for the experiment and allotted randomly to four groups A,B,C and D of six heads each. Four experimental rations designated A, B, C and D were formulated and fed to the respective groups. A basal ration formulated from dura 25%, groundnut cakes 10%, groundnut hulls 60%, molasses 4% and NaCI 1 %. It had an energy value of about 6.0 MJ/kg and crude protein 12% with P/E ratio of 0.48. The basal ration was fed to the control. Powdered rashad seeds were added and fed to the test groups B, C and D, respectively. Animals were fed the basal ration for six days adaptation period and the experimental ration for 10 weeks before they they were terminally slaughtered for carcass analysis and subjective meat quality. During the experimental period feed intake was recorded daily and live weight on a weekly basis. The control group showed the highest live weight gain and growth rate followed by group D (10% rashad) and group B (2% rashad). Group C (5% rashad) showed the least live weight gain. Growth rates, dry matter intake and energy intake followed the same pattern. Groupn C rabbits were the best feed converters (3.17) followed by group B and D. The control recorded the least value (3.46). Treatment effect on all body components was not significant with group A showing higher values in slaughter weight, empty body weight and hot carcass weight than the test groups. Group C recorded the highest dressing-out percentage (57.91 ± 3.37), although absolute weight and percentage in all cuts (Neck, shoulder and front legs, ribs, rump and legs) showed non significant (P > 0.05) treatment effect. Treatment effect in all subjective meat quality values was not significant (P > 0.05) with mean values in all treatment groups closely similar. The addition of rashad seeds to rabbits rations is acceptable and supports positive and significant growth rates although response is irregular. Growth promotion effect of rashad over the control was not noticed. Rashad is recommended at 2 or 10% inclusion rates with no effect on subjective meat quality values specially the flavor. Further experimentation with rashad for rabbits were suggested.
Lepidium Sativum ,Growth Promoter,Rabbitlets.