A 9-week feeding trial was carried out to evaluate the performance, nutrients digestibility and economics of production of rabbits fed poultry litter with or without nutrase xylase (exogenous enzyme) supplementation. 60 cross-breed rabbits with group mean weight (515 to 530 g) were randomly distributed to 10 dietary treatments at 6 rabbits to a treatment group in complete randomization. Results on chemical composition showed improvement in nutrient status of enzyme supplemented diets over diets not supplemented with exogenous enzyme. The better nutrient density in enzyme supplemented diets was manifested in performance response data as rabbits fed enzyme supplemented diets recorded higher weight gain over rabbits fed non-enzyme supplemented diets, except at 40% level of inclusion, which recorded no significant influence (P>0.05) between rabbits fed enzyme supplemented diet and non-enzyme supplemented diet. Apparent digestibility results showed improved nutrients digestibility by rabbits fed enzyme supplemented diets over those not supplemented with enzyme (P<0.05), except the dry matter digestibility that was statistically similar (P>0.05) at 0 to 20 and 30 to 40% poultry litter inclusion levels. Economics of production showed that enzyme supplementation gradually reduced the cost of feed
N/kilogram weight gain ( N223.61 to 228.47) up to 30% poultry litter-based diets. Above this level, a loss was incurred as evidenced in the cost differential ( N25.08) and relative cost benefit/kilogram gain (-10.35%).
Key words: Nutrase xylase, digestibility, rabbits, litter, costs.
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