Doe and kit performance in a small rabbit population from subtropical Trinidad

R.K. Rastogi


This paper summarizes performance data collected from 226 does producing 1017 litters during 1985-93. Local, high-grade New Zealand White rabbits were housed in wire cages and fed mainly broiler finisher pellets (18% CP) and grass, free choice. The average kit weights at 3, 4 (weaning) and 12 weeks were 224 g, 311 g and 1.61 kg, respectively. The averages for daily gain between 3-4 and 4-12 weeks were 12 and 23 g, respectively. On average, a total of 5.4 kits were born per litter, of which 5.2 were alive; 4.3 survived until weaning at 4 weeks and only 3.9 were alive at 12 weeks. The year of kindling accounted for significant variability in all performance traits studied except in kit weight at 4 weeks and daily gain between 3-4 weeks. The season of birth effect was significant for kit weight at 3 weeks only and kits born during March through May weighed the heaviest. The average values for perinatal, preweaning and postnatal mortality were 3.7, 17.3 and 9.3%, respectively. On average, 26.7% of the breeding does died due to natural or accidental death. 39.5% of the breeding does produced three litters or fess and were culled mainfy due to poor prolificacy and fertility. Only 12.5% of the does produced 10 fitters or more. Fully, 49.7% of the breeding does were culled from the herd before reaching 18 months of age.

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 Universitat Politècnica de València


Official journal of the World Rabbit Science Association (WRSA)


e-ISSN: 1989-8886     ISSN: 1257-5011