Reproductive performance of different breeds of broiler rabbits under sub-temperate climatic conditions

D. Kumar, K.S. Risam, R.S. Bhatt, U. Singh

Abstract

This study was conducted to assess the effect of breed, season, age and weight of doe at mating on reproductive performance of 4 broiler rabbit breeds, Grey Giant, White Giant, Soviet Chinchilla, and New Zealand White, reared under standard management practices in sub-temperate climatic conditions of India. They were first mated at 6 to 7 mo of age, whereupon an extensive breeding system (re-mating after weaning) was followed. Weaning was done 42 d after kindling. The data from the records on reproduction consisting of 503 matings and 377 kindlings were analysed. The parameters considered were fertility rate, litter size at birth (LSB), litter weight at birth (LWB), litter size at weaning (LSW), litter weight at weaning (LWW), doe weight at mating (DWM), gestation length and sex ratio. Among 4 breeds, the LSB, LWB and LSW were higher in Grey Giant followed by White Giant, Soviet Chinchilla and New Zealand White. The LSB and LSW in Grey Giant breed differed significantly (P<0.05) from Soviet Chinchilla and New Zealand White. Season had significant (P<0.05) effect on LSW with higher values during spring (5.68±0.24), followed by summer (5.29±0.30), winter (5.13±0.25) and autumn (4.17±0.49). The body weight of doe at service significantly influenced fertility. The fertility increased as body weight increased. The age of the doe at mating had a significant effect on LSW, with higher values for does more than 2 yr and less than 1 yr old compared to 1- to 2-yr old does. The parity did not affect any of the parameters studied. It is concluded that the factors studied affect the reproductive performance of rabbit does. Grey Giant breed showed the highest litter size at birth and weaning, and the highest litter size and weight at weaning was in spring.

Keywords

fertility; broiler rabbit; season; breed and reproductive performance

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