Optimum wool harvest interval of angora rabbits under organised farm conditions in East China
Keywords:Angora rabbits, age, daily weight gain, season, wool harvest interval, wool production
AbstractThe present study was conducted to evaluate the commercial lifespan and optimum wool harvest interval of Angora rabbits. One hundred shorn Angora rabbits were housed in an organised farm to describe the wool production curve. It showed that the optimum wool harvest interval was 75 d, when fibre length reached 55.0 mm. Wool production was lower from the 3rd to the 6th mo (young stage) than from 7th to 28th mo and rapidly decreased from 28th to 31st mo and was the lowest from 31st to 33rd mo of age. Feed intake-to-wool production ratio was higher from 3rd to 4th and from 7th to 9th mo of age than during the adult stage, and increased from 31st to 33rd mo of age. Daily weight gain was significantly higher from 3rd to 4th mo of age than in any other periods of the adult stage, and was negative from 23rd to 33rd mo of age. Therefore, the study reveals that the commercial lifespan of Angora rabbits was approximately 28 mo. Furthermore, wool production was higher in spring and winter than in autumn, and was the lowest in summer. Concomitantly, feed intake-to-wool production ratio was lower in spring than in autumn and winter, and was the highest in summer. Finally, daily weight gain was higher in spring and autumn than in winter, and was the lowest in summer. This indicates that wool production was depending on the season, and decreased significantly in summer. Moreover, the spring provided the best conditions for Angora rabbits.
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