Effect of Mulberry (Morus alba) and Robinia (Robinia psuedocacia) leaves feeding on the production performance of Angora rabbits
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An experiment was conducted to evaluate mulberry (Morus alba) and robinia (Robinia psuedocacia) leaves as a rabbit feed stuff. Forty-eight adult male German angora rabbits were randomly divided into 3 groups with 16 rabbits in each group. Rabbits of Group-1 (G-I) were given wilted local grass whereas fresh wilted leaves of mulberry and robinia were offered ad lib for Group-2 (G-II) and Group-3 (G-III) rabbits, respectively. The concentrate in all the groups was given @ 150 g/day with a standardized scoop. Initial body weights of rabbits were 2.88±0.07, 3.07±0.08 and 3.04±0.06 kg in G-I, G-II and G-III groups, which increased up to 2.97±0.05, 3.12±0.06 and 3.15±0.05 kg, respectively by the end of experiment. The wool yield per shearing was 115.9±8.4, 151.1±6.0 and 149.6±2.8 g, which when expressed per kgw0.75 came out to be 51.2, 64.4 and 63.3 g in G-I, G-II and G-III groups, respectively. Dry matter intake per day was 152.0±19.8, 123.7±6.2 and 151.7±14.4 g in G-I, G-II and G-III groups, respectively, which was significantly (p< 0.05) lower in mulberry fed group. Proportion of roughage intake was highest in G-I (57.37%) followed by G-III (35.20%) and was lowest in G-II (33.63%). Digestibility of nutrients increased with mulberry leaves supplementation (G-II) where as it decreased (except ether extract and cellulose) with robinia leaves supplementation. Dry matter used per 100 g wool produced was lowest (6.14 kg) in mulberry fed group (G-II), which increased to 7.60 kg in robinia fed group (G-III) and was highest (9.83 kg) in control group. It was concluded that feeding of mulberry and robinia leaves was advantageous for Angora rabbit. However, mulberry leaves were found to be better than robinia leaves for wool production.
Angora rabbit, Digestibility, Feed stuff, Mulberry, Robinia, Wool production.