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HAEMATOLOGICAL PROFILE AND SERUM BIOCHEMICAL INDICES OF WEANED RABBITS FED PAWPAW LEAVES (CARICA PAPAYA) AS SUPPLEMENTS TO CORN – SOYBEAN MEAL BASAL DIET
This study was carried out to determine the haematological profile and serum biochemical indices of rabbits fed pawpaw (Carica papaya) leaves as feed supplement to a corn – soybean mealbasal diet. The study involved thirty six (36) cross bred (New Zealand White X Chinchilla) mixed sex weaned rabbits of five - six weeks old, with average weight of 166.69±0.02 g.The rabbits were divided into two dietary treatments comprising eighteen (18) rabbits each. The dietary treatments were designated as T1 and T2 for rabbits fed fresh pawpaw leaves and wilted pawpaw leaves, respectively. The corn – soybean meal basal diet contained 15% crude protein and 2488.68 Kcal/Kg metabolizable energy. The feeding trial lasted six weeks, during which period feed and water were provided ad – libitum. The studentized t- test was used compare the results from both dietary treatments. Results obtained from this study revealed that the haematological profile and serum biochemical indices of rabbits recorded no significant (P > 0.05) differences between dietary treatments. The study concludes that pawpaw leaves either fresh or wilted when fed as supplements to corn – soybean mealbasal diets will not pose adverse effects on the blood characteristics of rabbits.
Rabbits, Pawpaw leaves, haematology, serum biochemistry
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