Abstract: Five graded levels of dietary methionine supplementation were compared in an isonitrogenous (16.87%CP) and isocaloric (2564.84 kcal kg-1) diets fed twenty (20) matured female rabbits (mixed breed) with mean weight range of 1875g and 1893g. The trial lasted 11 weeks (77 days). The rabbits were randomly allocated to the five dietary treatments in a Completely Randomized Design (CRD). Each treatment was replicated four times with one rabbit per replicate. All the parameters considered were significantly influenced (p<0.05) except the average litter weight at birth. The mean number of matings (1.0 to 2.0) to conception and gestation length followed no discemible pattern. However, premature litters were produced by rabbits fed diet 5. Mean litter size at birth and mean litter weight respectively ranged from 3.17 to 6.00 and 214g to 29lg and followed no definite pattern. Heavier birth weights were obtained in all the diets (1-4) only with the exception of rabbits fed diet 5. The mean litter size at weaning also rose from D1 to D4 only with an exception to rabbits fed Diet 5. The best mean litter weight at weaning was obtained from rabbits fed diet 4. Methionine supplementation at 0.3% therefore, produced a better kit weaning weight, an indication that total dietary methionine content should not exceed 0.61% under a tropical condition. 100% mortality of kits was obtained in rabbits fed D5, an indication that 0.71 dietary methionine content is deleterious to the survival of rabbits.
Ojewola, G.S. , S.F. Abasiekong , M.U. Uko and S. Akomas , 2006. Reproductive Performance of Rabbits Fed Graded Levels of Methionine in a Tropical Environment . Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advances, 5: 118-121.