Effect of floor type on carcass and meat quality of pen raised growing rabbits

Alessandro Dal Bosco, Zsolt Szendrö, Zsolt Matics, Cesare Castellini, Silvia Ruggeri, Katalin Szendrö, Melania Martino, Simona Mattioli, Antonella Dalle Zotte, Zsolt Gerencsér

Abstract

The aim of the experiment was to compare the carcass and meat quality traits of growing rabbits housed on different floor types. At the age of 35 d, rabbits (n=126) were randomly sorted into 3 groups and housed in pens with different floor types: plastic-mesh, deep-litter straw or wire-mesh. Slaughter weight, carcass and its parts’ weight, meat (Longissimus thoracis et lumborum [LL] muscle and hind leg) pH and colour, oxidative status and fatty acid profile were measured and correlations calculated. The deep-litter straw rabbits showed the lowest pHu and b* values of LL muscle and oxidation of the both muscles. The fatty acid profile of LL muscle of deep-litter straw rabbits showed a higher percentage of monounsaturated fatty acids and long chain n-3 polyunsaturated (PUFA) fatty acids, whereas the content of  18:2n-6 and total PUFA was lower. We concluded that housing the growing rabbits on wire- or plastic-mesh floors showed no substantial differences, while housing rabbits on deep-litter negatively affected certain qualitative traits.


Keywords

floor type; growing rabbit; carcass traits; meat quality

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