The effect of cross breeding and reciprocal crossing on the reproductive performance of rabbits in Minna, Nigeria

  • IC Alemede
  • SSA Egena
  • U Garba
Keywords: crossbreeding, reciprocal crossing, reproduction, rabbits

Abstract

The effect of Cross breeding and reciprocal crossing on birth, weaning and growth traits of two strains [Chinchilla (CH) and New Zealand white (NZW)] of rabbits aged between 3-4 months were investigated. A total of eighteen (18) does (nine does per strain) and six (6) bucks (three bucks per strain) were used in this study. Three (3) does per strain were assigned to a buck from the opposite strain for mating and the treatment was replicated. The does were mated when they attained the age of 5 months. Birth traits like litter size, litter weight, gestation length, gestation gain, kindling loss and neo-natal mortality were observed. At weaning, litter size, litter weight, litter weight gain, sex ratio and survival rate were monitored. Growth traits like body weight, nose to shoulder length, shoulder to tail length, trunk, ear length and heart girths were monitored at 21, 35 and 49 days. Results obtained showed that Chinchilla (CH) buck crossed with New Zealand white (NZW) does produced offspring with significantly (P< 0.05) better body weight, nose to shoulder length, shoulder to tail length, heart girth, trunk and kindling loss. However, results obtained for neo-natal mortality was better in the offspring from NZW bucks and CH does. It was concluded that progenies from the crosses between CH bucks and NZW does, were better than progenies from the crosses between NZW bucks and CH does.
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eISSN: 1597-0906