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Research Article

Genetic and Non-genetic Effects on Weaning and Post-weaning Traits in Rabbit Breeds and Crosses

C.A. Chineke
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Data on 259 rabbits from 73 litters representing 8 genotypes were monitored for genetic and non-genetic effects on Individual Kit weight (Ikt), Litter weight (Lwt), Average litter weight (Alt) and Litter size (Ltz) at weaning and post-weaning ages of 35 and 56 days. The least squares model included main effects of genotype, sex, parity of dam, litter size, season of birth of the litter and first-order interactions between genotype, parity and season. Genotype differences were detected for 35-day Ikt (p<0.01), 35-day Lwt (p<0.05), 56-day Ikt (p<0.01) and 56-day Lwt (p<0.05).Crossbred NZWDBD x NZWDBD litters were significantly (p<0.01) superior over other genotypes in Ikt and Lwt.Sex differences (p<0.05) were obtained for 35- day Lwt. The males weighed heavier than females in Lwt at 35 and 56 days. Litter size differed (p<0.01) in Ikt, Lwt and Alt.Litters of seven rabbits outweighed other litters. Parity of dam was significantly important for Ikt (p<0.01), 56-day Ikt and Alt (p<0.05).All the traits were consistent with parity. Season mean values for 35- day Lwt and 56- day Ikt were different with dry season rabbits weighing more than wet seasons`. In this study, genetic and non-genetic effects were important in post- weaning performance of rabbit genotype. As such, these effects should be given appropriate attention in improvement programme for expansion of commercial rabbit industry in the humid tropics.

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  How to cite this article:

C.A. Chineke , 2005. Genetic and Non-genetic Effects on Weaning and Post-weaning Traits in Rabbit Breeds and Crosses. Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences, 8: 1402-1410.

DOI: 10.3923/pjbs.2005.1402.1410


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