Response of four breeds of rabbit to intensive rebreeding in a tropical environment
AbstractSixteen does were used to compare the reproductive response of four breeds of rabbit (Dutch, Chinchilla, Flemish Giant and New Zealand White) to intensive rebreeding. Each breed was replicated four times. The does
were re-mated 24 – 48 hours after kindling. Traits studied were gestation length, litter size and weight at birth, day 21 post parturition and at weaning and parturition interval. Gestation length was significantly (P<0.05) longer in the Dutch (33.6 days) and Chinchilla (35.8days) than Flemish Giant (30.5 days) and New Zealand White (30.7 days). Parturition interval was lowest in (P<0.05) in Chinchilla (32 days) and New Zealand White (31 days). Parturition interval was longer in the Dutch (62 days) than Flemish Giant (52.3days). Litter size and average kit weight at birth were not significantly (P>0.0) different. Thus the New Zealand White and Chinchilla responded better to intensive re-mating than the Dutch and Flemish. However, survival index at 21 days post partum and litter size at weaning were lower in the New Zealand White and Chinchilla than the Dutch. Nevertheless, any genetic improvement drive at reducing post partum re-mating interval in the doe rabbit under tropical climatic conditions should give preference to the New Zealand White and Chinchilla over the Dutch and Flemish.