mimosine and tannin toxicity on rabbits fed processed
Leucaena leucocephala (Lam) De Wit. leaves
Fayemi, P. O.1*, Onwuka, C. F. I.2,
Isah, O. A.2, Jegede, A. V.2, Arigbede,
O. M.3 and
of Livestock and Pasture Science, University of Fort Hare,
Alice 5700, Eastern Cape, South Africa.
of Animal Nutrition, University of Agriculture, P.M.B. 2240,
Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria.
of Pasture and Range Management, University of Agriculture,
P. M. B. 2240, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria.
*Corresponding author. E-mail:
Accepted 21 June, 2011
A sixteen-week study was conducted to investigate the
effects of mimosine and tannin toxicity on rabbits (Orytolagus
cunniculus) fed processed Leucaena leucocephala
leaves (LLL). Thirty-six growing rabbits (mixed breed) of
average weight of 625 g were used for the experiment. The
rabbits were randomly allotted to nine experimental groups
of four rabbits each in a 3 x 3 factorial arrangement. LLL
were either sun dried (SDLLL), hot water processed (HWLLL)
or ensiled (ELLL) for six weeks and included in three diets
at 0, 10 and 20% levels respectively. Data were collected on
feed intake, weight gain, feed conversion ratio and other
performance characteristics of the fed rabbits. The data
collected were subjected to analysis of variance (ANOVA)
while the significant means were separated using Duncan’s
multiple range test. The anti-nutritional analysis showed
that SDLLL contained highest tannin (1.20%) and mimosine
(1.64%) contents but HWLLL had the least tannin (0.77%) and
mimosine (1.25%) respectively. The best feed conversion
ratio (FCR) of 4.41b and the highest (P < 0.05)
weight gain were recorded by rabbits fed diets containing
ELLL. The interaction effects showed that rabbits fed diets
containing 20% SDLLL had alopaecia, necrotic spots, liver
congestion, edema and highest percentage mortality. It was
concluded that diets containing more than 1% of mimosine and
tannin impaired the growth performance and had deleterious
effects on liver of the rabbits.
Leucaena leucocephala, processing methods,
rabbits and toxicity, anti-nutritional factors.