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One of the challenges facing farmers today is to ensure adequate integration of natural resources into animal feeds. The aim of the present study is to evaluate the effects of Khaya senegalensis (KS) leaves on the performance of growing male rabbits, carcass traits and biochemical as well as hematological parameters. Thirty New Zealand White male growing rabbits were randomly divided into 3 groups (10 rabbits per group). Group I (control) received standard rabbit diet. Rabbits in group II and group III were fed standard rabbit diet supplemented with 35 % and 65 % KS leaves, respectively. All rabbits were fed daily for 25 days. The performance parameters and carcass criteria, including daily body weight gain, final body weight, and the percentage of dressing, were increased in rabbits fed 35 % KS when compared to the control group. Kidney and liver weight ratios increased significantly in group II but dropped in group III. Furthermore, liver enzymes - alanine aminotransferase and aspartate transaminase and kidney function parameters - urea, and creatinine - increased in both group II (significant P<0.05) and in group III (significant P<0.01) when compared to the control group. Moreover, KS leaves induced a significant increase (P<0.05) in the total white blood cell count, the percentage of granulocytes and the platelet count; whereas, the percentage of lymphocytes, red blood cell count, hemoglobin content, mean corpuscular hemoglobin, mean corpuscular volume and mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration were not statistically significantly changed. This study demonstrates that the performance parameters and carcass traits are improved by the replacement of rabbit's diet with KS leaves. However, KS leaves may adversely affect liver and kidney function in a dose-dependent manner. Therefore, further studies are required to elucidate the maximum tolerable and toxic, as well as lethal doses, and to isolate the pharmacologically active components from KS leaves.
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