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Caecal Fermentation, Blood Biochemical Profile and Histopathological Changes in Broiler Rabbits Fed Graded Levels of Neem (Azadirachta indica) Seed Kernel Cake

  • Vasanthakumar, P. (Division of Animal Nutrition, Indian Veterinary Research Institute) ;
  • Sharma, K. (Division of Animal Nutrition, Indian Veterinary Research Institute) ;
  • Sastry, V.R.B. (Division of Animal Nutrition, Indian Veterinary Research Institute) ;
  • Sharma, A.K. (Division of Animal Nutrition, Indian Veterinary Research Institute)
  • Received : 2000.03.16
  • Accepted : 2000.06.27
  • Published : 2001.01.01

Abstract

The expediency of promoting rabbit production on underutilized by-product feedstuffs prompted the current investigation of caecal fermentation pattern, blood biochemical profile and histopathological changes of vital organs in 48 broiler rabbits fed diets containing 0, 5, 10 and 20% level of neem seed kernal cake (NSKC) for 6 weeks and subsequently sacrificed. The NSKC incorporation in the diet did not exert any adverse effect on caecal fermentation although the weight of caecum and its contents was significantly (p<0.01; p<0.05) lower in rabbits fed the diet containing 20% NSKC. Except for blood glucose concentration, none of the blood biochemical constituents (serum urea nitrogen, creatinine, total protein, haemoglobin) and the activities of different enzymes (alanine aminotransferase, asparatate aminotransferase, alkaline phosphatase) varied significantly due to NSKC feeding. A histopathological examination of the vital organs (liver, kidney, heart, spleen, lungs, intestine and stomach) revealed a variable degree of villus atrophy in the intestine and degenerative changes in the liver and tubular epithelium of kidney in some rabbits when NSKC was fed at levels above 10%.

Keywords

Broiler Rabbits;Neem Seed Kernel Cake;Caecal Fermentation;Blood Traits;Histopathology