Descriptive characterization of a nigerian heterogeneous rabbit population - factors affecting litter traits.

S.O. Oseni, B.A. Ajayi


Thi study evaluated the effect of female body weight at conception (FWC), season of mating (SM), type of mating (TM) and litter size at birth (LSB) on the litter performance in a heterogeneous Nigerian population of rabbits. Data on 116 litters from 10 bucks and 48 does across three parities were analysed. Reproductive traits evaluated included LSB, number born alive (NBA), litter sizes and weights at 7, 14 and 21 d post-kindling, pre-weaning survival rate (SR) and daily weight gain of kits from kindling to weaning (DWG). A fi xed linear model that included FWC (light and heavy does), TM (homospermic and heterospermic matings), LSB classes (low, medium and large) and SM (rainy or dry) was used. Results showed that heavier does at concenption showed higher performance for LSB and NBA (P<0.05) than lighter does. Average weight of kits at kindling and at 28 d, as well as kit SR and DWG, were signifi cantly higher in low-sized litters, when compared with intermediate- and large-sized litters (P<0.05). LSB, NBA and litter size at weaning were higher in litters produced by heterospermically mated does compared with homospermically mated does. Season of mating affected LSB and NBA (P<0.05), being signifi cantly larger the litters in the rainy season.


Nigerian rabbits; heterogeneous population; female weight; litter size; kit survival

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 Universitat Politècnica de València


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