Thirty two, 6 to 8 weeks old rabbits of mongrel origin, balanced for sex and weighing averagely 0.92 kg were allotted to four dietary treatments in a complete randomized design (CRD) with 8 rabbits per treatment. The diets contained groundnut haulms (GH) at 40, 50, 60 and 70% levels of inclusion with a crude protein content of 16%. The rabbits were fed for eight weeks with 6 weeks of preliminary feeding and 2 weeks of faecal collection. Data collected were subjected to analysis of variance (ANOVA). The results obtained indicated an increase in feed conversion ratio (FCR), acid detergent fiber digestibility (ADFD), crude protein digestibility (CPD) and feed cost (=N=) / kg weight gain (FC/WG), and a decrease in dry matter intake (DMI), dry matter digestibility (DMD), daily weight gain (DWG), crude protein digestibility (CPD) and digestible dry matter intake (DDMI) with increasing fibre level. There was a significant difference (P<0.01) among the mean values for acid detergent fibre intake (ADFI) and digestible acid detergent fibre intake (DADFI) indicating that these variables were affected by fibre levels. All the rabbits fed on the four diets gained weight. Taking into consideration feed cost and the availability of grains as a limiting factor to increase animal production, it can be concluded that GH, a potential crop residue can be included in the diet of growing rabbits at up to 70% level, since this did not cause any significant deleterious effect on the growth and performance of the rabbits.
Key words: Groundnut haulms, growth, performance, rabbits.
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