The effect of intensive and extensive production systems on carcass quality in New Zealand White rabbits

Tomasz Daszkiewicz, Andrzej Gugołek, Paweł Janiszewski, Dorota Kubiak, Monika Czoik


Forty New Zealand White rabbits weaned at 30 days were divided into 2 groups and reared under intensive or extensive production system till slaughter age (90 days of age).  In the extensive production system, rabbits were housed in free-standing cages on straw litter and fed farm-made feed ad libitum.  Control rabbits were raised intensively in wire mesh slatted floor cages, indoors and on a commercial pellet ad libitum. Hot carcass weight was 16,6% lower (P<0.01) in extensive production, although the difference of 1 point both in hot and cold dressing percentage in favour of the intensively reared rabbits was not significant (P>0.05).

The higher carcass weight of the control rabbits led to heavier primal cuts, including head (P0.05) and the fore part, intermediate part and hind part of the carcass (P0.01).  However, expressed as % of carcass weight, a significantly higher ratio was only found for the head (P0.01) and edible offal (P0.05) in intensively produced rabbits.  The production systems investigated  had no significant (P>0.05) effect on the chemical composition, physicochemical properties and organoleptic characteristics of meat from New Zealand White rabbits.


rabbits; production system; slaughter value; meat quality.

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