Effect of cocoa on growth and reproduction of Rattus tiomanicus

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C. H. Lee

Abstract

Growth and reproduction of Rattus tiomanicus  was studied in the laboratory on a diet of rat pellet, coconut meat, with and without fresh wet cocoa beans (Diet I and Diet II). On both diets, a linear relationship between growth and body weight until the 20th week was noted with the males growing slightly faster than the females. The rat was polyoestrus with nine litterings in a year and averaging 4 youngs/litter. Better growth, fertility age and pregnancy rates were found on a diet supplemented with cocoa beans. This reflects the potential of a rapid build-up of rat population in a cocoa field thereby causing severe losses.

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