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The nutritive value and potential use of two varieties of sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) (LAM.) composite meal for growing rabbits was studied by comparing seven diets containing an increasing incorporation rate of Composite Sweet Potato Meal (CSPM) in replacement for maize. The composite sweet potato meal contained 65 % of whole root tubers and 35 % of the leaves and vines. The rabbits were randomly allocated into seven treatments. The two varieties of sweet potato i.e CIP440293 (Orange-Flesh) CSPM and TIS87/0087 (White-Flesh) CSPM replaced maize at graded levels 25, 50, 75 % respectively. The seven treatments are: T1 − 0 % Control, T2 − 25 % Orange Flesh, T3 − 50 % Orange Flesh, T4 − 75 % Orange Flesh, T5 − 25 % White Flesh Sweet potato, T6 − 50 % White Flesh Sweet potato and T7 − 75 % White Flesh Sweet potato. The treatments were performed in four replicates, each in a Completely Randomized Design (CRD) experiment. The diets contained 10.6 − 12.6 % of crude fibre, 16.4 − 17.6 % of crude protein and 10,9275 − 11,6728 MJ.kg-1 of metabolizable energy ad libitum. Eighty-four rabbit does, at twelve rabbits per treatments, were fed the seven diets from weaning (35 days, mean weight: 570.76 ± 42.09 g) to 98 d of age. The faecal digestibility of the diets was measured between 92 and 97 days of age in 6 rabbits per treatment. CSPM can be considered high-fibre roughage, as it contained 42.45 − 54.30 % of NDF (38.30 − 40.35 % of ADF and 13.30 − 20.40 % ADL) and 9.80 − 17.45 % of CP. The crude fibre digestibility was reduced with CSPM incorporation. Dietary incorporation of CSPM impaired the rabbit growth (18.08 vs. 14.66 g.day-1 during the period 77 − 98 days without CSPM). However, feed conversion was undermining with the high incorporation rate in feed. The dressing-out percentage of rabbits fed on diets containing the CSPM were comparable to the dressing-out percentage of rabbit fed the control diet. Health status or main slaughter traits were not affected by CSPM incorporation rate. Thus, CSPM had a comparable nutritive value for growing rabbits and it can successfully serve as a high-fibre feedstuff through its potential to supply low digested fibres (cellulose) and lignin. The two composite sweet potato meals could be considered as a high fibre source with a considerable high crude protein for the growing rabbits. The comparable dietary potential of the composites makes it an excellent replacement for maize, which is the conventional feed stuff, especially for hind gut fermenters like rabbits.
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