Advances in Animal and Veterinary Sciences

Research Article
Adv. Anim. Vet. Sci. 8(10): 1091-1099
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Moses Teye1*, Victor Y.A. Barku2, Julius K. Hagan1

1Department of Animal Science, School of Agriculture, University of Cape Coast, Ghana; 2Department of Chemistry, School of Physical Sciences, University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana.

Abstract | This study was conducted to test the fatty acid profile and some meat quality attributes of local breed of rabbits which were given diets formulated with palm kernel oil residue (PKOR), a by-product from manual extraction of palm kernel oil by cottage industries. The feed was compounded with or without PKOR replacing wheat bran at 0% (T1, control), 25% (T2), 50% (T3) and 100% (T4) in rabbit rations. At the end of the feeding trial, 48 (equal number of males and females) out of 144 rabbits fed, were selected and slaughtered. Data obtained were analysed using the Analysis of Variance (ANOVA). Rabbits fed with diets containing PKOR (T2 and T3) had higher liveweights, dressing percentages, warm and chilled carcass weights, than those fed conventional rabbit diets. Moreover, rabbits fed PKOR-based diets (T2 and T3) had higher fat contents and higher muscle weights than those fed on the conventional diets. Sensory evaluation indicated that meat of rabbits on the PKOR-based diets were juicier, more tender, and had better acceptability. The n – 6/n – 3 fatty acid ratios were higher, but saturation (S/P) and Atherogenic Index (AI) significantly decreased (p < 0.05) in meat of animals on T2 and T3 diets. In addition, the polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) contents were significantly higher (p < 0.05) in the PKOR-fed, than rabbits fed with diets without PKOR. It can be concluded that PKOR could be used to replace up to 50% of wheat bran in rabbit diets to improve carcass and meat quality characteristics.

Keywords | Fatty acid profile, Palm kernel oil, Wheat bran, Sensory evaluation, Rabbit meat, Local rabbit