Genetic Parameter Estimates for Pre-Weaning Litter Traits in Rabbits
One hundred and eleven litter records obtained from the mating of 8 bucks to 22 does of a non-descript population were used to provide estimates of heritability and genetic correlations for pre-weaning litter traits. Least square means and standard errors for fur score, litter size at birth, litter size at weaning and weaning weight were: 30.3±0.17, 3.72±0.12, 4.8±0.12, 3.6±0.14 and 480.70±22.43 g, respectively. The least square analysis of variance revealed that most of the productive traits studied exerted significant effect on weaning weight with the exception of litter size at birth and gestation length. Heritability estimates obtained for gestation length, fur score, litter size at birth, litter size at weaning and weaning weight were 0.60±0.39, 1.46±0.56, 1.09±0.51, 1.49±0.59 and 1.07±0.51, respectively. Genetic correlations were high and positive in most cases with the exception of correlations between gestation length and weaning weight and litter size at weaning and weaning weight which were negative. Phenotypic correlations were also high and positive in most cases except for gestation length and fur score and gestation length and weaning weight which were negative.
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