Evaluation of milk production of a local Algerian rabbit population raised in the Tizi-Ouzou area (Kabylia).
Keywords:rabbit, local population, Algeria, milk production
AbstractIn order to characterize the does of a local Kabylian rabbit population raised in Algeria, a study of their milk production was carried out in the experimental rabbitry of the Tizi-Ouzou University. Milk production of does was measured every day during the 21 days following 299 parturitions by weighing each litter before and after the single daily suckling. The calculated parameters were the quantity of milk produced per day, per week and the total quantity produced in 21 days, as well as the intake of milk per young rabbit. The analysis concerned the effects of the parity order (4 classes: 1 to 4-and-more) and of the average number of young rabbits suckled per litter (7 classes: from 2-3 kits to more-than-8). During the 21 days of controlled lactation, the average litter size was 5.6 ± 2.3. The rabbit does of the local Kabylian population produced on average 2180 ± 719 g in 21 days, which is 104 g of milk/day. The milk intake of young rabbits increased from 12.6 g/day/kit during the 1st week, to 27.2 g/day during the 3rd week of lactation. The number of young per litter influenced the does? milk production very significantly: 62.8 g/d for 2 to 3 young per litter, and up to 127-131 g/day for more than 6 young, although milk production available per kit and per day decreased linearly with the number of kits in the litter for each of the 3 weeks considered. On the other hand, the average milk production expressed as quantity available per kit and per day was not significantly affected by the parity order: 20-21 g /kit /day on average for the 0-21 day period.
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