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Body Measurements of Rabbit Breeds and Crosses at Weaning and Post-weaning Ages

C.A. Chineke , C.O.N. Ikeobi and A.G. Ologun

Weaning and post- weaning linear data taken on 259 and 215 rabbits from 73 and 62 litters were used in the study. The litters representing 8 genotypes were assessed for body linear measurements namely Nose to Shoulder length (NTS), Shoulder to Tail Length (STL), Trunk Length (TLK), Heart Girth (HGT), Height at Withers (HTW) and Length of Ear (LTE) at weaning and post- weaning ages of 35 and 56 days, respectively. The least squares model included the main effects of genotype, sex, parity of dam, season, first order interactions between genotype, sex, parity and season and random error. Genotype differed significantly (p<0.001) in all measurements at both ages with crossbred New Zealand Dutch-belted x New Zealand Dutch-belted (NZWDBD x NZWDBD) recording superior performance in 35- day linear measurements and in 56-day NTS, HGT and LTE. The sex had similar effect on all the measurements. The females were bigger and longer than the males. Parity exerted strong influence (p<0.001) on 35-day and 56- day linear traits except 56-day LTE. Season effect on the measurements at both ages were significant (p<0.001).The dry season kits were bigger and longer in 35-day linear measurement means than those born in the wet season. Studies of linear measurements and factors influencing them would attempt to answer the question of optimal body shape and size of meat animals such as rabbit. The results of such study like this would guide decisions that aim at improving performance characteristics of animals.

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  How to cite this article:

C.A. Chineke , C.O.N. Ikeobi and A.G. Ologun , 2006. Body Measurements of Rabbit Breeds and Crosses at Weaning and Post-weaning Ages. Journal of Biological Sciences, 6: 31-37.

DOI: 10.3923/jbs.2006.31.37


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