Rabbitry as an economic activity is fraught with significant challenges which include; lack of knowledge in rabbit husbandry, the high cost of rabbit feeds and are out of reach for many farmers. The objective of this study was to determine the ideal forage for rabbits which can substitute expensive concentrates that make rabbit farming unsustainable in Elgeyo Marakwet and Kakamega Counties in Kenya. The experiment was carried out on 40 weaned New Zealand rabbits that were randomly selected and put into commercial cages and assigned to five dietary treatment groups with each treatment group having four rabbits. Data on weekly weight gain were recorded and monitored for six weeks. Faecal samples from each experimental unit were collected from the animals and bulked and analyzed for proximate contents. The results showed that all the performance indices of growth performance (weight gain, growth, feed intake and FCR) were statistically significant (p<0.05) indicating that different treatment regimes affected the growth performance of New Zealand White rabbits. In particular, the rabbits under the sweet potato and soy bean supplementation achieved desirable growth rate and weight gain while sweet potato vines were the most effective feed supplement in terms of conversion of nutrients into animal protein. The study recommends that small scale farmers can use a mix of sweet potato vines and soybean because the feed is easily available on the farms.
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RUFORUM Working document series
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