**ABSTRACT**

A ten-week experiment using twenty four (24) weaner rabbits (Chinchila x New Zealand White) aged 8 to 9 weeks with an average initial body weight of 431.20__+__0.74g were randomly allocated to four treatment diets of T_{1}(control), T_{2}(5% NLM), T_{3}(10% NLM) and T_{4}(15% NLM) in a completely randomized design. They were fed for 10 weeks during which data on growth and haematology were collected and analysed using analysis of variance (ANOVA) and means separated using Duncan Multiple Range Test. The results showed that the average total body weight gains were 739.60g (T_{1}), 717.85g (T_{2}), 740.18g (T_{3}) and 729.45g (T_{4}).There was no significant difference (p>0.05) when T_{1} and T_{3 }as well as T_{2 }and T_{4} were compared but significant (p<0.05) when T_{1} and T_{2} as well as T_{3} and T_{4} were compared. Also the average weekly feed intake showed that T_{1, }T_{2, }T_{3 }and T_{4 }consumed 313.91g, 313.24g, 312.48g and 314.69g respectively. However, there was significant difference (p<0.05) when all the treatments were compared in this respect. The feed conversion ratio (FCR) showed that T_{3 }(4.22) was the best followed by T_{1 }(4.24), T_{4 }(4.31) and T_{2}(4.36) with significant differences (p<0.05) among them except (p>0.05) between T_{1} and T_{3}. The haematological indices showed that though all the parameters fell within the normal physiologic ranges, the PCV was 37.62% (T_{1}), 38.42% (T_{2}), 39.60% (T_{3}) and 39.03% (T_{4}) and when compared, were all significantly different (p<0.05) except (P>0.05) for T_{3} and T_{4} while the haemoglobin concentration showed that T_{1}(13.47g/dl) was significantly different (p<0.05) from T_{2}(14.18g/dl), T_{3}(14.34g/dl), and T_{4}(13.97g/dl). The white blood cell count showed that T_{3 }(10.62 x10^{9}/L) had the highest value followed by T_{1 }(10.12 x10^{9}/L), T_{4 }(9.34 x10^{9}/L) and T_{2 }(9.18 x10^{9}/L) with a significant difference (p<0.05) occurring when T_{1} and T_{3} were compared to T_{2} and T_{4} while the red blood cell counts indicated that T_{1} had the highest value of 4.92 x10^{6}/L followed by T_{3}(4.89 x10^{6}/L), T_{2}(4.73 x10^{6}/L) and T_{4}(4.65 x10^{6}/L) without any significant difference among the treatments. All the values fell within the normal range. It is therefore recommended that inclusion of neem leaf meal in the diets of rabbits up to 10% is not detrimental since it improved feed conversion ratio (FCR), growth performance and had no negative effect on haematological values.

**References**

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