Feeding Rabbits in Traditional System With Improved Forage Legumes in South-Kivu. D. R. Congo

D. M. M. Katunga, J. B. Muhigwa, J. C. K. Kashala, Y. Mbuyi, V. Okombe, K. F. Balemirwe


To investigate for an efficient feeding of rabbits in the traditional system essentially with some improved high yield forage legumes. Two animal nutrition trials were conducted from September 2011 to February 2012 in Mugwahi farm in Nyangezi, South-Kivu, D. R. Congo. Five female rabbits replicated three times were fed essentially in traditional system with supplements of improved forage legumes; first with Leucaena diversifolia from the selection of CIAT in Colombia and second with Desmodium intortum. Five others as local controls were fed only on local forages.

The palatability evaluation showed that Calliandra calothyrsus was most appreciated by rabbits; Desmodium intortum and Leucaena diversifolia had a moderate palatability. The weight gain showed that rabbits which received a supplement of Leucaena diversifolia grew better than those fed on local forages.

In term of palatability, the various forages supplied to female rabbits only C. calothyrsus performed significantly with a high RIP during the first trial and the improved forages D. intortum and L. diversifolia had a moderate one during the second trial. Regarding the weight gain of rabbits, the introduced forages; L. diversifolia performed better than the local ones. The cropping of improved legumes constitutes an alternative to avoid long walks to collect fodder which is scarce in villages. These good forages on farm could remain available even in the dry season. Studies to determine the constraints of adoption of forage crops by the farmers will improve forage production.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/jab.v3i1.6549


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