Rabbit meat is one of the cheapest and healthiest means of meeting human protein requirement in Nigeria. Several researches have been made on optimizing the desirable qualities of rabbits. This paper presents results of genotype and parity effects on pre-weaning performance characteristics of rabbit breeds and their crosses. The study is aimed at determining effects of genotype and parity on the pre-weaning body measurements of breeds of rabbits and their crosses in a tropical environment. Pre-weaning data on body weights and linear measurements such as ear length, chest girth, nose-to-shoulder length, trunk length, tail length, body length, abdominal circumference, and height at withers at weeks 1 to 4 were collected and analysed using general linear model of SAS (2008) while mean separation for significant effects was done using Duncan’s multiple range tests. Genotype exerted significant (P<0.05) effect on the body weights and linear measurements for all the rabbit genotypes. Parity had significant (P<0.05) effect on traits at birth, individual kit weight at week 2 and linear traits studied at different pre-weaning ages. The interactions among genotype and parity significantly (P<0.05) influenced birth traits and body measurements studied. The result of this study showed that genotype and parity were important sources of variation in performance characteristics of rabbits at pre-weaning ages. Hence, breed manipulation to harness the additive genes for improved production traits for selection of animals for sustained post-weaning outstanding performance is feasible.
PAPER TITLE :GENOTYPE AND PARITY EFFECTS ON PRE-WEANING CHARACTERISTICS AND LINEAR BODY MEASUREMENTS OF FIVE RABB
APPLIED TROPICAL AGRICULTURE | VOLUME 21 NUMBER 1 2016
- Author(s) : Awe, A.B.* and Chineke, C.A