Reproduction performances of a synthetic rabbit line and rabbits of of local populations in Algeria, in 2 breeding locations


  • Nacira Zerrouki Laboratoire Ressources Naturelles, Université Mouloud Mammeri, B.P. 17, Tizi-Ouzou RP, Algeria.
  • Francois Lebas Association Cuniculture
  • Malika Gacem Rabbit specialist
  • Ibtissem Meftah
  • Gérard Bolet INRA, UMR 1388 Génétique, Physiologie et Systèmes d'Élevage, CS 52627, 31326, Castanet Tolosan Cedex, France.



synthetic rabbit line, local population, reproduction, adaptation, hot climate, Algeria


The aim of this study was to compare the production of a synthetic line (Syn) of rabbits to that of 2 local Algerian populations (W and Loc). The Syn line was obtained from the crossbreeding of a well adapted local population frequently used in Algerian familial farms (Loc) with a more productive French strain. The W population is maintained by a public cooperative and is used mainly in Kabylia region; it is called “white” because of its albino phenotype. Rabbits were placed under the same experimental conditions in 2 rabbitries of a state technical institute. In Baba Ali (Algiers), 50 does of each genotype were raised during 2 yr. In Lamtar (Sidi Bel Abbes), 30 does of the Syn line and 30 of Loc population were compared during 16 mo of production. Natural mating was used 10-11 d after parturition. Kits were weaned at 33-35 d. Litter size and litter weights were measured at birth and weaning. In both locations Syn dams were heavier than those of the other genotypes: (3616, 3464 and 3305 g for Syn, W and Loc in Baba Ali, and 3592 and 3173 for Syn and Loc in Lamtar; P<0.001). The observed litter sizes showed a superiority (P<0.001) of the Syn line compared to W and Loc does at birth time (8.76, 6.78 and 6.19 for Syn, W and Loc in Baba Ali, and 8.02 and 5.90 for Syn and Loc in Lamtar) and at weaning (6.85, 5.83 and 5.44 for Syn, W and Loc in Baba Ali, and 6.61 and 5.15 for Syn and Loc in Lamtar; P<0.001). Most probably as a consequence of the important difference in litter sizes, average individual weight at weaning was weaker for the synthetic line than for the Loc population: 543 vs. 563 g in Baba Ali and 561 vs. 621 g in Lamtar. For the W population in Baba Ali, the weaning weight was similar to that of the Loc population: 565 vs. 563 g. There were no genotype×season interactions which changed the genotypes ranking, and the Syn line performances were more regular from one season to the other than those of the 2 other genotypes. This means that the synthetic line is well adapted to local climatic conditions. Thus, this comparison confirms the interest of this more prolific and more regular synthetic line to develop rabbit production in Algeria.


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