Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Animal Production , Faculty of Agriculture, Minoufiya University, Minoufiya, Egypt.

2 Environmental Studies and Research Institute, Sadat City University, Minoufiya, Egypt.


A total number of 42 growing crossbred rabbits of both sexes at 6 weeks of age (with an average body weight 750±50g) were randomly divided into 7 equal groups to evaluate the growth performance as affected by medicinal plant wastes. Rabbits were fed control (AH) diet and 6 experimental diets contained the wastes of moringa(M), cassava (C) and tartofa (T) hay meal at two levels (10 and 15%) for each for a period of 8 weeks. Digestibility of nutrients and nitrogen balance were also evaluated. The results obtained showed that chemical composition of moringa hay meal (M), cassava hay meal (C), tartofa hay meal (T) and alfalfa hay (AH) were; DM 93, 91, 87 and 92% for M, C, TandAH, respectively. The corresponding values of OM were 89, 90.8, 91.25 and 84.42%. The hays of the medicinal plant wastes had less CP than AH being 7.63, 7.7, 6.75 vs. 17.51%. Moringa hay contains more CF (20.75%) than both cassava (10.18%) and tartofa (7.15%); alfalfa hay, however, contains the highest value of CF (24.1%). The proximate analysis of the experimental diets showed iso-caloric and almost iso-nitrogenous values of these diets. No significant differences on average body weight. Total body weight gain was 1505, 1665, 1536, 1703, 1552, 542 and 1525 for the same respective groups; average daily gain followed the same pattern with average values of 26.9, 29.7, 27.4, 30.4, 27.7, 27.5 and 27.2g/d. Total feed per rabbit during the 8-week experimental period was 5.77, 6.31, 6.51, 6.16, 5.99, 5.77 and 5.75 kg for AH,M10, M15, C10, C15, T10andT15, respectively. Feed conversion (kg feed/kg gain) during the period of the study was not affected by the dietary treatments. Feed conversion ratio was 3.83, 3.79, 4.24, 3.61, 3.86, 3.75 and 3.77 for AH, M10, M15, C10, C15, T10 and T15, respectively. The highest PIvalue was significantly (P<0.05) recorded with group fed C10 diet (68.59%) followed by those T10 (66.30%), M10 (62.51%), C15 (61.14%), T15 (59.41%); and AH (58.31%) the least was recorded for M15 (55.21%). Using hay of such medicinal plants diets causes improvement in the digestion coefficients and feeding values than alfalfa hay. Replacing alfalfa hay with either one of the medicinal plant wastes increased nitrogen balance and biological values. Differences were significant (P<0.05).