Memorias de investigación
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Effect of reproductive rhythm, weaning age and farm hygiene on performance of growing rabbit and lactating does along two reproductive cycles

Research Areas
  • Animal production

The aim of this work was to study the effect of the reproductive rhythm (intensive rhythm (IR): insemination 4 days post-partum vs semi-intensive rhythm (SIR): insemination 11 days post-partum) on lactating does performance and the combined effect of the weaning age (25 vs 35 days) and the type of farm hygiene (cleaned and disinfected or not) on the performance of growing rabbits from weaning until 56 days of age. A total of 58 New Zealand ¿ Californian rabbit does (29/reproductive rhythm) and 168 young rabbits per combination weaning age ¿ type of farm were selected at random along two consecutive reproductive cycles. In the first period, there were 44 rabbit does that had one parturition, and 7 with 2 and 3 parturitions, respectively. In the second with respect to the first period, the number of young rabbits born alive increased (10.1 vs 8.60; P = 0.030) and litter weaning weight were a 13.7% higher (P = 0.019). Mortality during lactation tended to be higher in young rabbits weaned at 35 respect to 25 days (19.1 vs 9.60%; P = 0.067). In the first period, the number of kits weaned per litter were similar for the two reproductive rhythm (7.89 and 8.01 for IR and SIR, respectively), whereas in the second cycle, the number of rabbits weaned were lower in rabbit does that weaned their litters at 35 days of age (6.90 vs 9.06; P = 0.049). Weight at partum and at weaning, fertility, parturition interval, numerical productivity and the number of young rabbits born dead and weaned were not affected by treatments. The fattening mortality was higher in the second than in the first period (20.2 vs 14.5 %, P = 0.051), in the farm without cleaning and disinfection between cycles (20.0 vs 14.2%, P = 0.032) and in the animals weaned at 35 than at 25 days of age (20.0 vs 14.7 %, P = 0.063) and specially, in the farm without cleaning and disinfection. Animals weaned both at 25 and 35 days of age had a peak of mortality around two weeks after weaning. The average weight of rabbits at 56 days was similar between the animals weaned at 25 or 35 days (1805 vs 1787 g, respectively; P = 0.64). However, the feed efficiency in the whole fattening period was higher in the young rabbits weaned at 25 days than in those weaned at 35 days (0.392 vs 0.298 g/g; P < 0.001).
World Rabbit Science
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Research Group, Departaments and Institutes related
  • Creador: Grupo de Investigación: Producción Animal
  • Departamento: Producción Animal