Determination of the optimal level of inclusion of chickpea (cicer arietinum L.) seed waste in the diets of growing rabbits

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Sokoine University of Agriculture


Studies to determine the optimal level of chickpea seed waste (Cicer arietinum L.) inclusion in the diets for growing rabbits were carried out using two experiments. In Experiment 1, 24 male rabbits were allocated to four dietary treatments in a completely randomized design to evaluate nutrients digestibility and nitrogen balance of diets containing different levels of chickpea seed waste (CSW). Diet T0 was a control, formulated to meet nutrient requirements of growing rabbits, where as treatments T18, T32 and T47 consisted of 18, 32 and 47 percent, respectively CSW substituting sunflower seed cake (SSC) in the control diet. In Experiment 2, 64 growing rabbits (32 males and 32 females) were allocated to the four dietary treatments in a completely randomized block design to evaluate the effect of CSW on growth performance of growing rabbits. Weekly feed intake and weight gain were recorded and feed conversion efficiency (FCE) derived. Chemical analysis of the CSW, compounded diets and faecal samples was performed and digestibility values determined. The crude protein and crude fibre contents (g/kg DM) of CSW were 162 and 304, respectively. Inclusion of CSW in the diets (T0 to T47) decreased (P<0.05) dry matter and crude protein digestibility (g/kg DM) from 620 to 413 and 720 to 334, respectively, but had no affect (P>0.05) on nitrogen retained (0.29 g/d) and nitrogen utilisation (0.25 g/d). Dry matter intake (g/d) increased (P<0.05) from 58.8 to 62.0 and protein intake decreased from 11.7 to 8.9. Similarly, growth rates from 16.3 to 13.3 and FCE from 25.1 to 19.9 percent. Feed cost was reduced from 31.8 to 19.2 percent and gross margin per rabbit increased from 23.5 to 26.0 percent. This implies that the optimal level of inclusion of CSW could be lower than the levels tested in the present study. Further studies are recommended on the substitution based on the protein contents in the two ingredients.



Chickpea, Cicer arietinum, Seed waste, Chickpea seed waste, Rabbits diets, Growing rabbits