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08.12.2015 | Review Article | Ausgabe 2/2017

Comparative Clinical Pathology 2/2017

Alternative feedstuffs and their effects on blood chemistry and haematology of rabbits and chickens: a review

Comparative Clinical Pathology > Ausgabe 2/2017
I. P. Ogbuewu, O. O. Emenalom, I. C. Okoli


The demand for meat in developing countries is on the increase, and this trend is expected to continue over the years. The ability of poultry and rabbit to meet the animal protein demand in developing countries cannot be overemphasized. However, the main constraint limiting effective and efficient use of these choice animals is the high cost of traditional feed ingredients such as maize, soybean meal, fish meal and groundnut cake which are in strict competition with man’s dietary need. However, it is also becoming clear that the requirements for the traditional feed ingredients cannot be met, even according to optimistic forecasts. The gap between local supply and demand for these traditional ingredients is expected to widen over the coming decades, providing a compelling reason for exploring the usefulness of locally available, alternative feedstuffs in feed formulations. Alternative feedstuffs include, but not limited to, agro-industrial by-products and leaf meals of some common tropical plant species. They are good nutrient sources, but their use in animal production has been limited owing to constraints imposed by anti-nutritional and socio-economic factors. Protein from the leaf and seed meals of tropical plants is perhaps the most naturally abundant and cheapest source of plant protein. Several studies regarding the nutritive values of alternative feedstuffs and their usefulness in animal nutrition have been published. The effect of alternative feedstuffs based diets on some physiological parameters of rabbits and chickens have been reported by several authors. The use of alternative feedstuffs in rabbit and poultry diets and their effects on blood chemistry and haematology was reviewed. The review also covered their chemical compositions, economics and availability.

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