Growth performance, slaughter and carcass compositional traits in rabbits of a local strain and New Zealand white breed raised in Burundi
A total of 77 males rabbits represented the Local rabbits (L) of Burundi and the New Zealand White (NZW) breed were used to evaluate the genetic differences among the two genotypes in live performance, slaughter and carcass compositional traits and to show the possibility of integrating the Local rabbits with the NZW breed in the Burundian rabbit industry for meat production. The rabbits were slaughtered al an average age of 12 weeks. Results showed that from 3 to 12 weeks of age the NZW breed produced significantly heavier animals and grew significantly faster than those of the Local strain at all ages considered in the study (1948 vs 982 g at 12 weeks). Local rabbits had higher proportions of non carcass components (except for pelt), bone in the carcass and carcass side weight occurring in fore limb, loin and hind limb and lower dressing percentage (44,7% vs 46,8%) and carcass lean to bone ratio and less lean in the carcass (80,4% vs 86,6%), and lower proportion of abdominal wall in the carcass than those of NZW rabbits. Results showed also the better distribution of carcass lean weight over the side cuts and the lower degree of carcass leanness of the Local rabbits compared to the NZW ral:Íbits. lt seems more beneficia! for the rabbit producers in Burundi to use the NZW breed in a crossbreeding program with the Local strain for rabbit meat production.
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