Evaluation of carcass quality of growing rabbits (Oryctolagus cunniculus) fed soybean (Glycine max), cowpea (Vigna unguiculata) and pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan)

DM Chisowa,, JP Mtimuni,, RKD Phoya,, MGG Chagunda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Rabbit responses to Pigeon pea (PP), Cowpea (CoP) and Soybean (SB) as sources of protein for growing rabbits were determined. Flemish Giant (FG), California Black (CB) and New Zealand White (NZW)) were fed Soybean (Glycine max), Pigeon pea (Cajunus cajan) and Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata) as protein sources in the ration. Eighteen rabbits weaned at six weeks of age were used for each breed (a total of 54 rabbits) out of which six of them were assigned to Ration 1 (containing 31.6 % sSoybean), six rabbits to ration 2 (containing 72 % Cowpea) and the last six to Ration 3 (containing 70.18 % Pigeon pea). The rabbits were randomly assigned to fifty four cages in a 3 x 3 factorial experiment. The three legume grains were roasted before rations were compounded. Raw Legume Grains (RaLG), Roasted Legume Grains(RoLG) and the three Rations (1, 2 and 3) were analyzed for tannin content (TC). TC was significantly (p<0.05) higher in CoP and Ration 3. Average daily feed intake (ADFI) was significantly (p<0.05) higher for FG. Rabbits fed SB based ration had significantly (p<0.05) higher growth rate than rabbits fed either CoP or PP based rations. Rabbits offered PP based ration demonstrated a significantly (p<0.05) higher growth rate than rabbits consuming the CoP based ration. Dressing-out percentage was significantly (p<0.05) higher for the FG than for either NZW or CB. The study revealed that SB and FG were superior legume and breed, respectively in terms of carcass quality.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)594 - 602
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Academic Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPrint publication - Aug 2013
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note



  • Dressing-out
  • Feed intake
  • Legume grains
  • Rabbit
  • Tannin content
  • Weight gain


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