EFFECT OF LITTER SIZE ON POST WEANING INGESTIVE BEHAVIOUR, MORTALITY RATE AND PRODUCTIVE PERFORMANCE OF RABBIT'S KITS

Sherif Z. El kholya

Abstract


A total population of 65 New Zealand White rabbits (40 does and 15 bucks) was used to estimate the effect of litter size on the post weaning ingestive behaviour, performance and mortality rate of litters from weaning till 70 days under Egyptian conditions. The increased litter size was associated with lowering in ingestive behaviour. The mean feed intake from weaning till 70 days had a highly significant difference between the small litter size group and both medium and large litter size groups. The overall mean during the period from weaning till slaughtering showed that litters born in small litter sized groups had significantly higher (P<0.01) body weight gain (37.64±0.53 g/day) than medium or large litter sized groups (34.45±0.28 and 34.86±0.31 g/day, respectively). The preweaning litter losses increased with the increase of litter size at birth. Rabbits born in litters of 3-5 litters had the lowest mortality rate (0.02 %) compared to those born in litters of 6-8 litters (0.21%) or those born in litters more than 8 litters (0.51%), so it would be better for the female rabbits when they produce large number of litters to let them rear only small number of litters (3-5) and then the extra number could be fostered to other does. This practice would save large number of litters from death and offering great profits to the rabbit's breeders.

Key words


Ingestive, Mothering ability, New Zealand White rabbits, Weaning.

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