Abstract: This study investigated the feed value of dried sweet orange (Citrus sinesis) peel as a replacement for maize in rabbit diet. Twenty mixed breed male rabbit were used and randomly assigned to diets T1 (0%), T2 (20%), T3 (30%), T4 (40%) in which sweet orange peel replaced maize at 0, 20, 30 and 40%, respectively at the rate of five rabbits per dietary group. The rabbit were fed and provided drinking water ad libitum for the 8 weeks experimental duration. Feed intake and live weights were recorded weekly for each replicate and the relative cut-up parts were also determined. Feed conversion ratio from the data as quantity of feed per unit weight gain over the same period. At the end of the trial, the animals were slaughtered by the cut-throat method and dressed to determine the dressing percentage. During slaughtering 4 mL of blood sample was collected into bijou bottles containing the anticoagulant, disodium salt of ethylene diaminetetra-acetic acid at the rate of 2 mg mL-1 of blood for the determination of Packed Cell Volume (PCV), Haemoglobin concentration (Hb) total erythrocyte count and total leucocyte count and erythrocyte osmotic fragility. The performance indices, feed intake, body weight and feeds conversion ratio was not affected significantly (p<0.05) except water consumption and water feed ratio. None of the haematological parameters were significantly (p>0.05) affected. The performance and haematology of rabbits fed on sweet orange were not depressed. The study has shown that sun dried sweet orange peel can be used as a replacement feedstuff for maize in the ration of grower rabbit at a level of 40%, its optimal replacement level can only be determined by evaluating its effect at higher level of maize replacement in subsequent studies.
L.D. Ojabo, A.Y. Adenkola and G.I. Odaudu, 2012. The Effect of Dried Sweet Orange (Citrus sinesis) Fruit Peel Meal on the Growth Performance and Haematology of Rabbits. Veterinary Research, 5: 26-30.