Asian Journal of Animal Sciences1819-1878xxxx-xxxxxAsian Network for Scientific Information10.3923/ajas.2011.136.144ElmaghrabyM.M.A. 2201152A single factor experimental design was used to evaluate the effect of indirect feed restriction generated by limiting the access to drinking water on postweaning performance of growing rabbits. Ninety six weanling rabbits were divided into three equal groups: A1 and A2 had access to drinking water for 1 and 2 h day^{-1}, respectively, while A24 (control) had free access throughout the day. Water Restriction (WR) was applied from weaning (35 day) to 63 days of age; thereafter, all groups were allowed a free access to water until slaughter (77 day). During the restriction period, there was significant feed intake reduction of 25.1% (A1) and 19.1% (A2) compared to A24; however, A1 and A2 rabbits demonstrated progressive adaptation to the restriction regimens. Growth rate was significantly lower (A1, -26.6%; A2, -21%) but feed conversion was similar to A24. On subsequent free access to drinking water, previously restricted rabbits compensated significantly for growth (A1, +31.2%; A2, +24.3%), had similar feed intake and better feed conversion (A1, -1.11 unit; A2, -0.88 unit) relative to the control. Allover the postweaning period, WR significantly reduced growth rate and feed intake, but improved feed conversion (A1, p<0.05; A2, p>0.05). A1 and A2 rabbits attained 94.1 and 95.5% of slaughter weight of A24. Mortality was significantly low in restricted groups (1.56%, A1+A2 vs. 12.5%, A24). WR had a slight impact on carcass characteristics. Results validate the concern that WR is an indirect feed restriction and has comparable effects in reducing postweaning mortality and eliciting compensatory growth on subsequent re-watering.]]>Ben Rayana, A., M. Ben Hamouda and R. Bergaoui,2008Ben Rayana, A., M. Ben Hamouda, A. Kaddech, A. Amara and R. Bergaoui,2008Bergaoui, R., M. Kammoun and K. Ouerdiane,2008Blasco, A. and J. Ouhayoun,1993Boisot, P., J. Duperray and A. Guyonvarch,2005Boisot, P., D. Licois and T. Gidenne,2003Boisot, P., J. Duperray, X. Dugenetais and A. Guyonvarch,2004Boucher, S. and L. Nouaille,2002Bovera, F., C. Di Meo, S. Marono, N. Vella and A. Nizza,2008Dalle Zotte, A., H. Remignon and J. Ouhayoun,2005Di Meo, C., F. Bovera, S. Marono, N. Vella and A. Nizza,2007Foubert, C., P. Boisot, J. Duperray and A. Guyonvarch,2007Foubert, C., P. Boisot, J. Duperray and A. Guyonvarch,2007Foubert, C., J. Duperray, P. Boisot and A. Guyonvarch,2008Gidenne, T. and A. Feugier,2009Gidenne, T., N. Jehl, J.M. Perez, P. Arveux and A. Bourdillon et al .,2005Gidenne, T., A. Feugier., N. Jehl, P. Arveux and P. Boisot et al.,2003Gidenne, T., S. Combes, A. Feugier, N. Jehl and P. Arveux et al.,2009Gondret, F., F. Lebas and M. Bonneau,2000Manal, A.F., M.A. Tony and O.H. Ezzo,2010Matics, Z.S., A. Dalle Zotte, I. Radnai, M. Kovacs, S.Z. Metzger and Z.S. Szendro,2008Matics, Z.S., I. Nagy, E. Biro-Nemeth, I. Radnai, Z.S. Gerencser, Z. Princz and Z.S. Szendro,2008Metzger, S.Z., M. Bianchi, C. Cavani, M. Petracci and M. Gyovai et al.,2008Metzger, S., Z. Szendro, M. Bianchi, I. Hullar and H. Febel et al.,2009Rommers, J.M., R. Meijerhof, J.P.T.M. Noordhuizen and B. Kemp,2004SAS.,2002Tumova, E., V. Skrivanova and M. Skrivan,2003Tumova, E., L. Zita and L. Stolc,2006Ad libitum fed rabbits.]]>Tumova, E., L. Zita, V. Skrivanova, A. Fucikova, M. Skrivan and M. Buresova,2007Yakubu, A., A.E. Salako, A.O. Ladokun, M.M. Adua and T.U.K. Bature,2007Verdelhan, S., A. Bourdillon, A. Morel-Saives and E. Audoin,2004Verdelhan, S., A. Bourdillon, A. Morel-Saives and E. Audoin,2004