Meat attribute of rabbit fed inclusion of sunflower (Tithonia diversifolia) in their diet

Fakolade Patience, Akanbi Lydia


Rabbit consumption and production in Nigeria cannot be compared with poultry and beef consumption and production. Inclusion of rabbit meat in our diet could help to solve the problem of shortage of protein consumption by alternating Sunflower (Tithonia diversifolia) in rabbit diet. Thirty – two male growing (weaners) rabbit at 6 weeks old of 9.5 -10kg were reared for 10 weeks. They were randomly allocated to four treatments containing; T1 (100% tridax), T2 (100% compounded feed), T3 (50% compounded feed and 50% Tithonia diversifolia) and T4 (100% Tithonia diversifola), to evaluate for proximate, minerals and palatability status in a completely randomized design. Results shows that T3 had the highest protein content (36.54%) and least significant moisture content (52.80%) (p<0.05) than T1, T2 and T4, for proximate composition. Mineral composition had no significant difference (p>0.05) for all the treatment evaluated. When the shoulder and the thigh nutrients are compared, the shoulder was observed to have the higher protein content of 33.68%, ash content of 1.11% and lower moisture content of 51.55% than the thigh with, 32.67% protein content, 0.97% ash content and highest (p<0.05) 58.21% moisture content. When samples were processed, grilled products had the highest protein content of (45.50%), ash (1.54%) and ether extract (9.69%) with least moisture content of (36.17%) compared with the fresh and boiled samples significantly, (p<0.05). For acceptability, the panellists rated T1 for both boiled and grilled products highest, followed by T3 for both products and T2 for only grilled product, significantly and also rated boiled (6.03) to grilled products (5.79). Rabbit fed 50% inclusion of Tithonia diversifolia in their diets performed better in proximate composition and palatability status.

Key words: Tithonia diversifolia, shoulder muscle, thigh muscle, boiled and grilled products

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