The Linear Body Measurements (LBMs) and Growth Performance Characteristics of Fourty (40) cross bred (New Zealand White X Chinchilla X Californian breeds) female rabbits weighing between 800.00 and 847.00g were determined in this study, which lasted Sixty (60) days. After weight equalization, eight (8) rabbits per treatment were randomly divided into five dietary treatments designated as T1, T2, T3, T4 and T5 containing 0, 5, 10, 15 and 20% cocoa bean shell meal in corn â€“ soybean meal basal diets, respectively using a Completely Randomized Design (CRD). All data obtained in this study were subjected to one â€“ way analysis of variance (ANOVA) and significant means were separated using the New Duncan Multiple Range Test (NDMRT). Results showed that all the LBMs (body length, tail length, heart girth, ear length, head to shoulder length, forelimb and hind limb lengths) were not significantly (P > 0.05) affected by dietary treatments. While the growth performance characteristics revealed significant (P < 0.05) differences between dietary treatments for the final weight, total weight gain and total feed intake, respectively. Results for the average daily weight gain, average daily feed intake and feed conversion ratio were statistically (P > 0.05) similar across dietary treatments. The results of this study suggest that hot â€“ water treated cocoa bean shell meal can be included up to 20% in basal diets meant for rabbits without deleterious effects on Linear Body Measurements and Growth Performance Characteristics.
Keywords: Linear, Body, Growth, Rabbits, Cocoa bean shell