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2014, vol. 30, iss. 4, pp. 717-729
Genotype, gestation length, season, parity and sex effects on growth traits of two rabbit breeds and their crosses
aDepartment of Animal Production, Federal University of Technology,Minna, Niger State, Nigeria
bDepartment of Animal Science, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna State, Nigeria
Keywords: Genotype; gestation; season; parity and sex
One hundred and thirty rabbits were used to evaluate the effect of genotype, gestation length, season, parity and sex on growth traits of two breeds of rabbit and their crosses. The rabbit used for the experiment were breeds of the New Zealand White (NZW) and Chinchilla (CH) breed. Six breeding bucks (three/breed) and eighteen breeding does (nine/breed) served as the foundation stock. Traits measured include: body weight (BW), nose to shoulder length (NTS), shoulder to tail length (STL), heart girth (HG), trunk length (TL) and length of ear (LE). Results revealed that, BW of the rabbits were influenced (p<0.05) by genotype, gestation length and season. CH x (CH x NZW) progenies had better BW at 35-d and 49-d of age while NZW x CH progenies had better BW at 21-d of age. Kittens born late (32-34 days) had better BW at 21-d, 35-d and 49-d while kittens kindled during early dry season had better BW at 21-d, 35-d and 49-d. Genotype affected (p<0.05) all the body measurements at 21-d, 35-d and 49-d. Gestation length affected (p<0.05) all the body measurements except for NTS at 21-d and HG at 49-d respectively. Season of birth also influenced (p<0.05) all the body measurements except for LE 21-d. Parity and sex had no effect (p>0.05) on BW, NTS, STL, HG, TL and LE. It was concluded that genotype, gestation length and season influenced BW and body dimensions of the two breeds of rabbit and their crosses while parity and sex had no effect.
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article language: English
document type: Original Scientific Paper
DOI: 10.2298/BAH1404717E
published in SCIndeks: 15/05/2015

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