The influence of feeding on the chemical composition of carcasses and on pelt quality in the castor rex rabbit

A. Petersen


The influence of feeding intensity on the chemical composition of skinned whole carcasses and on fur quality was examined in 2 groups of Castor Rex rabbits, fed ad libitum (n = 8  male and 8 female) and 75% of ad libitum (n=8 male and 8 female), respectively. The rabbits were born in June and pelted in December at 179 days of age. Feeding intensity strongly affected body weight at pelting P< 0.001), and water content (P< 0.001) of the carcass, byt did not affect the content of ash and residues. The restricted group had an 11% lower body weight and the carcasses contained 4.1% more water, 0.7% more protein, and 4.9% less fat than the group fed ad libitum. The females were significantly (P< 0.05) fatter than the males (fat content 14.6 against 11.5%). The restricted group had significantly (P< 0.05) longer hair (point 308 against 2.9) and significantly (P< 0.05) shorter/smaller (5%) skin length/skin size, whereas no significant differences were found in hair density, colour, quality and skin weight. The group fed ad libitum tended, homwever, to have the darkest skins and the restricted group the best hair density and quality and the lightest pelts (= dried skins).

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 Universitat Politècnica de València

Official journal of the World Rabbit Science Association (WRSA)

e-ISSN: 1989-8886     ISSN: 1257-5011