Effects of sex and frequency of litter change on growth prformance, haematology and carcass yield of rabbits raised on deep litter system
This study was carried out to determine the effects of sex and frequency of litter change on growth performance, carcass yield and haematology of rabbits reared under deep litter. Twenty four 8 weeks old grower rabbits comprising of twelve each of males and females were randomly allocated to 24, 48 and 72 hours litter change in a 2 x 3 factorial arrangement. Data were collected on growth performance, carcass yield and haematology and analyzed using ANOVA. Result showed that sex of rabbit had no significant (P>0.05) effects on weight gain, feed intake, feed conversion efficiency and cost of litter change. Also, frequency of litter change had no significant (P>0.05) effect on performance. Cost on litter change increased (P<0.05) from N200 with rabbits under 72 hours frequency to N600 with rabbits under 24 hours. Furthermore, sex had no significant effect (P>0.05) on carcass yield while frequency of litter change had significant (P<0.05) influence on heart and liver of rabbit. Sex had no significant (P>0.05) effect on the haematology except (P<0.05) monocyte. White Blood Cell and basophil were insignificant (P>0.05) with increased frequency of litter change. The study concluded that male or female rabbits could be reared under 24, 48 and 72 hours frequency litter change without any detrimental effects on growth and carcass yield. However, 72 hours litter change interval helped to reduce prevent stress conditions in rabbit and could be economically beneficial in rabbit production under deep litter housing type.
Key words: sex, litter, performance, carcass and haematology