Non invasive method to study the body composition of rabbits by X-Ray computerised tomography


  • R. Romvari Pannon Agricultural University
  • G. Milisits Pannon Agricultural University
  • Zs. Szendro Pannon Agricultural University
  • P. Sorensen National Institute of Animal Sciences



X-ray computerised tomography (CT) techniques for non-invasive and exact study of rabbit body composition are reviewed. The method is fairly accurate in determining total body fat and energy content (R2=0.8-0.9), but less so in predicting total body protein content (R2 =0.4-0.7). lt may be also applied for the in vivo quantitation of valuable meat parts due to correlations (≈0,7) between main carcasa traits and CT data. The rather high cost of examination may be reduced by scanning three rabbits simultaneously, which corresponds 12 to 36 animals per hour. This reduced cost is comparable to that of the whole body chemical analysis or of the progeny test and, unlike the latter, the CT method does not increase the generation interval during selection. Different scanning and evaluating technics may be applied In the selection programa for estimation of carcasa traits, for improving the dressing percentage and to follow the development of important tissues in the same rabbit during the whole growing period.


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