Effect of different feed restrictions during rearing on reproduction performance in rabbit does
Ad libitum fed ten-week-old littermate female NZW rabbits were divided into four equal groups (n=4 x 50) based on their body weight. They were raised during the next 7 to 12 weeks as follows: a control group with ad libitum feeding (C); access to a restricted 130 g daily feed portion per head until 17 weeks of age and 140 g/day until first insemination (130R); one day (24 hours) fasting every week (10); 9 hours' daily access to the diet (9H). When the young does reached 75 to 80% of adult weight (3.4 to 3.5 kg, between 17 and 22 wk of age), the feed supply returned to ad libitum tour days before the first Al, resulting in a 4-day flushing in the 3 treated groups. The does were reinseminated 9-11 days post partum and three consecutive deliveries were investigated. Fertility was significantly higher in nulliparous 1D group (92%) than in the control (70%). Litter size at birth, at 21 and at 35 days of age in groups 130R (8.8, 7.6, 7.3) and 9H (8.9, 8.3, 8.2) while at the same age litter weights of 130R (502 g, 2760 g, 6295 g) and 9H does (543 g, 2848 g, 6761 g) were insignificantly higher than for C ones (8.7, 7.3, 7.0 and 472 g, 2451 g and 6032 g, resp.). The lowest litter size and litter weight of 1 D females could be explained by their smallest body weight throughout the trial. Among the tour groups, the 130R females lost less weight at kindling and they were the heaviest during the lactation period. In general, it was concluded that raising young rabbits with restricted 130 g diet per day or with access of 9 hours' daily feeding time resultad in doe performances that neither decreased nor improved significantly.
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Official journal of the World Rabbit Science Association (WRSA)
e-ISSN: 1989-8886 ISSN: 1257-5011 https://doi.org/10.4995/wrs