By-Products as Protein Source for Lactating Grasscutters

  •  G. S. I. Wogar    
  •  A. A. Ayuk    


The potential of grasscutters (Thryonomys swinderianus temminck) as a source of animal protein can be exploited with better understanding of its nutrient requirement. An experiment was conducted to determine the protein requirement of lactating grasscutters fed agro-industrial by-products namely; wheat offal and soybean meal. Sixteen 13 months old lactating grasscutters, in groups of four, were randomly allotted to four treatment diets formulated to respectively supply 10, 14, 18 and 22% crude protein (CP). Performance in respect of weight of does at end of lactation, daily weight gain of pups, daily weight gain of doe and litter, weaning weight of pups, feed conversion ratio, and cost to gain ratio, were significantly (P<0.05) higher on the 22% CP diet. The daily weight loss of does and percentage mortality among pups were significantly lower on the 22% CP diet. Though the percentage mortality among pups was significantly (P<0.05) higher, the litter size weaned was significantly (P<0.05) higher on the 18% diet. Given the overall economic importance of low mortality rate in the expansion of farm animal populations and profitability thereof, these results suggest that 22% is the optimum crude protein level for lactating grasscutters, when industrial by-products, soybean meal and wheat offal, are used as dietary supplements.

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