Tropical Grasslands (2008) Volume 42, 112–119

Intake of tropical grass, legume and legume-grass mixtures by rabbits


1 National Animal Production Research Institute, Ahmadu Bello University, Shika-Zaria, Nigeria
2 Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Bayero University, Kano, Nigeria


Intake of grass and legume forages by growing rabbits, when offered individually or as legumegrass (50:50) combinations with 50 g concentrate, was measured in 2 experiments. Forage grasses used were: Cenchrus ciliaris (buffel grass), Digitaria decumbens (digitaria, woolly finger grass), Brachiaria decumbens (brachiaria), Sorghum almum (Columbus grass), Andropogon gayanus (gamba grass), Pennisetum purpureum (elephant grass), Chloris gayana cv. Callide (Callide rhodes grass), Chloris gayana cv. Katambora (Katambora rhodes grass) and Pennisetum pedicellatum (kyasuwa); while the forage legumes were: Arachis hypogea (groundnut), Phaseolus aureus (green gram), Vigna unguiculata (cowpea), Lablab purpureus (lablab), Centrosema pascuorum (pascuorum), Centrosema pubescens (centro), Stylosanthes guianensis cv. Cook (Cook stylo) and Macrotyloma uniflorum (horse gram). Horse gram, lablab, cowpea and C. pascuorum were fed in 50:50 combination with the grasses. Overall, intakes of elephant grass, Callide rhodes, buffel, digitaria and Katambora rhodes were high, while those of Columbus grass, kyasuwa and brachiaria were medium. All legumes were consumed at medium levels. Intakes of mixtures did not necessarily reflect the intake levels of the separate components.

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