Effect of transport duration and gender on rabbit carcass and meat quality

 A. Trocino, G. Xiccato, P.I. Queaque, A. Sartori


In order to evaluate the effect of transport duration and gender on carcass and meat quality, 204 rabbits were reared in individual cages from 35 d of age until slaughter at 77 d (average live weight at shipping: 2662±189 g). Before slaughter, four groups of rabbits were formed and transported for 2, 4, 6, or 8 hours from the breeding unit to the slaughterhouse. Increasing the duration of transport increased transport losses (2.44% to 4.59%; P<0.001), decreased dressing percentage (59.5% to 58.9%; P<0.01) and increased the redness of the longissimus dorsi muscle (CIE a* 2.38 to 2.73; P<0.05). Commercial carcass grading for colour, conformation and fatness were not affected by transport duration. The effect of gender was appreciable at slaughter: final live weight and transport losses were higher in females than males. Dressing percentage was lower in females (59.1 vs 59.8%; P<0.01) due to the greater gut content. Carcasses of females showed a higher proportion of longissimus muscle (P<0.01). The meat of females was darker (CIE L* of biceps femoris muscle: 54.9 vs 55.9; P<0.01) and less coloured (Chroma index of longissimus lumborum muscle: 3.52 vs 3.87; P<0.05) than males.


rabbit; transport; gender; carcass quality; meat quality

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1. Advances in research on poultry and rabbit meat quality
Claudio Cavani, Massimiliano Petracci, Angela Trocino, Gerolamo Xiccato
Italian Journal of Animal Science  vol: 8  issue: sup2  first page: 741  year: 2009  
doi: 10.4081/ijas.2009.s2.741

 Universitat Politècnica de València

Official journal of the World Rabbit Science Association (WRSA)

e-ISSN: 1989-8886     ISSN: 1257-5011  https://doi.org/10.4995/wrs