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American Journal of Experimental Agriculture

American Journal of Experimental Agriculture, ISSN: 2231-0606,Vol.: 4, Issue.: 2 (February)


Original Research Article


Dietary Influences of Aspilia africana on Litter Traits of Breeding Female Rabbits



NseAbasi N. Etim1*, Joseph S. Ekpo1 and Glory E. Enyenihi2

1Department of Animal Science, Akwa Ibom State University. P.M.B. 1167, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria.
2Department of Animal Science, University of Uyo, P.M.B. 1017, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria.




The study examined the effect of feeding Aspilia africana on litter traits of breeding does in a replicated completely randomized design at College of Animal Science and Animal Production, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Abia State, Nigeria, between March 2009 and June, 2009. Thirty dutch breed rabbit does aged 5 to 6 months were used for the experiment. The treatments consisted of mixed forages (Centrosema pubescens (200g)), Ipomea batatas leaves (100g) and Panicum maximum (200g) without Aspilia africana (T1; control), fresh Aspilia africana (500g/doe/day) and wilted Aspilia africana (500g/doe/day). The rabbits were fed the same concentrate diet (300g/animal/day) throughout the study and mixed forages from the commencement of the experiment till the does kindled. After parturition, fresh and wilted Aspilia africana forages were introduced in Treatment 2 (T2) and Treatment 3 (T3) respectively while the control continued on mixed forages throughout the study. The result of the study revealed no significant differences (P > .05) in the litter sizes at birth and at weaning among the various treatment groups, though T1 had the highest numerical mean value at birth (5.60) and lowest at weaning (3.70). Litter weight at birth revealed significant differences (P <.05) in which T1 recorded the highest mean litter weight (261.50g) while T2 and T3 weighed 116.50g and 175.00g respectively. At weaning, T2 recorded significantly higher (P < .05) litter weight (736.30g), followed by T3 (621.30g) while the control group (T1) weighed the least (410g). The weekly litter weights from birth to weaning showed no significant differences (P > .05) in week 1 but from weeks 2 to 4 there were significant differences (P < .05) in which litters in T2 had the highest values, 534.38g, 690.60g and 736.30g while T1 recorded the lowest mean values of 297.50, 405g and 410g respectively indicating the Aspilia africana groups had superior growth rate to the control group. This study revealed that Aspilia africana has the potential for increasing body weights of litters during lactation.


Keywords :

Aspilia africana; rabbit does; litter traits; forage process.


Full Article - PDF    Page 153-161    Article Metrics


DOI : 10.9734/AJEA/2014/5933

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