Turkish Journal of Veterinary & Animal Sciences




The present work was devised with an objective to assess growth performance and carcass quality attributes of male weanling rabbits of 5 different rabbit breeds (Dutch, New Zealand white rabbit, American black, wild, and dwarf brown) under a conventional housing system. Male weanling rabbits (n = 50; 10 per breed), weaned at about 4 weeks of age were studied for growth performance and carcass quality attributes at the 19th week of experimentation. The initial and slaughter weights of the animals were significantly (P ≤ 0.05) different for all breeds, with the highest values noticed in wild rabbits (940.1 ± 48.2 and 1971.0 ± 632.0 g) followed by New Zealand white rabbits (792.1 ± 35.0 and 1594.0 ± 469.0 g) respectively. A similar trend was noticed inslaughter weight and daily weight gain per animal. Wild rabbits had significantly (P ≤ 0.05) higher values for live weight, chilled carcass weight, reference carcass weight, and dressing?out percentage (2500 ± 676.1 g, 2070 ± 445.0 g, 67 ± 3.2%, and 48 ±1.9% respectively) as compared to their counterpart breeds. The results for mean values ofweight percentages of tissue showed that only the hind limb percentage and bone percentage were found to be significantly (P ≤ 0.05) different among the 5 study breeds. It is concluded that breed is the main determinant of growth performance and carcass quality attributes in rabbits. In order to attain increased slaughter weight, heavier genotypes (wild and New Zealand white) are recommended.

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