Haematology and serum profile of rabbits due to generation interval, housing systems and sex
A total of ninety-six (96) weaner rabbits (Chinchilla and New Zealand White crossbred) were used for this study and were divided into forty-eight (48) per generation. These fortyeight weaner rabbits were further divided into three replicates of four males (12) and four females each (12) housed in cage (24) and deep litter system (24).This experiment was carried out for two generations to determine the effect of generation interval, housing systems and sex on the haematological and serum profile of rabbits. Data obtained were analyzed using Analysis of Variance test in a 2x2x2 factorial arrangement. The study showed that Packed cell volume (PCV), red blood cells (RBC) and haemoglobin (HB) were not significant in both generations while higher significant(p<0.05) values of albumin were observed in first generation and white blood cells (WBC), globulin, aspartate amino transferase (AST) and alanine amino transferase (ALT) were significantly higher in the second generation. Sex had no significant (p>0.05) effect on most of the biochemical parameters studied except for RBC and glucose which had 4.12 x1012/L and 69.23 mg/dl, for males and 3.68 x1012/L and 78.78mg/dl for females, respectively in the second generation. In addition, the AST and ALT values were also higher in the females than in the males in the first generation but with no significant (p>0.05) difference. Housing system result showed that WBC (6.29 x109/L) and glucose (78.35 mg/dl) of rabbits were significantly (p<0.05) increased in the cage and deep litter system, respectively in the first generation while total serum protein, albumin and globulin were significantly (p<0.05) higher in rabbits housed in the deep litter system in the second generation. Higher values were recorded for AST and ALT in the deep litter system than the cage system in both generations except that the values of ALT were within the same range for both housing systems in the second generation. This study clearly indicated that both housing systems support rabbit production without any negative influence on the immune status of the rabbit.
Key words: Rabbit, Sex, Haematology, Generation, Cage, Deep litter.