THE EFFECT OF FEEDING DECREASING LEVELS OF PELLETED CONCENTRATE AND AD LIBITUM FORAGES ON REPRODUCTIVE PERFORMANCE OF RABBITS: EFFECT ON DOE WEIGHT CHANGES, LITTER CHARACTERISTICS AT BIRTH AND AT WEANING
Keywords:Reduced pelleted concentrate, ad libitum forage, reproductive performance, rabbit
Twenty five does were randomly allocated to five feeding levels in groups of five, in order to determine the minimum level of pelleted concentrate (Pc) that would be required to sustain acceptable level of litter performance at birth and at weaning. while making Aspilia africana and Ipomea baitata vines freely available. The feeding levels were Ad libitum commercially compounded rabbit pellet (Ad libitum PC), 100% PC Ad libitum Aspillia Sp (100% PC + F). 50% PC + F and 25% PC + F. The does were maintained on these ratios through five successive pregnancies had no effect on doe's weight gain over pregnancy, gestation length and litter characteristic (P>0.05). In effect does can be maintained on 25% of their ad libitum intake of PC or an average 33 grams per day without adverse effects on performance. Results also indicated that lactating does should not be supplied less than 50% of their Ad libitum intake of PC or 15 gram/doe and kid/day provided forage was freely available.