Comparative Study on Rabbit Breeds for Post Weaning Growth Traits in the Humid Tropics of NigeriaGlobal Journal of Animal Scientific Research
Rabbit meat is a cheap source of high quality animal protein which could be reared in any agro–vegetational zone without any cultural and religious constraints. The rate of growth and reproductive ability of the different breeds differ, however. The aim of the present study was to determine the post weaning growth traits of exotic rabbit breeds which are commercially available in Nigeria. The two rabbit breeds used for this study were New Zealand White and California White. The study commenced from when the rabbits were 8 weeks old and lasted till 30th week of age. Analyzed data revealed that both breeds were not significantly (P>0.05) different in live body weight and linear measurements. Age of rabbits has significant effect (P0.01) on all the traits evaluated, that is, all the body dimensions measured increased in size as the animals advanced in age. In addition, there was statistically significant (P0.01) positive phenotypic correlations between live weight and linear measurements. This implies that all the body dimensions were good indicators of live weight and anyone of them could be used to predict its value. Age of rabbits also has significant positive phenotypic correlation with all the traits. There was significant breed x age interaction effects on all the traits measured. In this study, it was revealed that either of the two breeds could be used to cross with our local breeds of rabbits in order to improve their productivity.
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