INFLUENCE OF GENOTYPE AND FEED RESTRICTION ON POST-WEANING GROWTH PERFORMANCE OF DOMESTIC RABBIT
For this study, information was gathered from birth to 14 weeks on 102 offspring of the New Zealand White (NZ), Chinchilla (CH), and Dutch (DU) breeds of rabbits and their crossbreeds. The parameters that were important were feeding schedule and genotype.
The genotypes included New Zealand White x New Zealand White (NZxNZ), Chinchilla x Chinchilla (CHxCH), Dutch x Dutch (DUDU), New Zealand White x Chinchilla (NZxCH), and Chinchilla x Dutch (CHxDU).Ad libitum feeding (A), 14 hours of feed restriction per day (B), 10 hours of feed restriction per day (C), and 6 hours of feed restriction per day (D) make up the feeding schedule.
The experiment was carried out at the ahmadu bello university in Zaria, Nigeria's National Agricultural Extension Research and Liaison Services (NAERLS) Skill Acquisition Farm. Litter size at birth (LSB), litter weight at birth (LWB), litter size at week two (LSW2), litter body weight at week two (LBW2), litter size at week four (LSW4), litter body weight at week four (LBW4), litter size at week six (LSW6),
and litter body weight at week six (LBW6) were the characteristics that were examined at pre-weaning. Body weight (BW), body length (BL), chest girth (CG), head-to-shoulder (HS), shoulder-to-tail drop (ST), length of hind leg (LHL), ear length (EL), and height at withers (HTW) were the traits that were examined after weaning.
A fixed effect model was employed for the study, with significant means being separated using the Duncan Multiple Range Test, after the obtained data were subjected to SAS's study of Variance and Correlation technique.
The genotypes differed significantly (P0.05) in terms of LWB, LBW2, LBW4, LBW6, and post-weaning growth performance at various ages. For the majority of the post-weaning growth traits examined at various ages (mean body weights of 480.00 g, 650.00 g, 941.30 g, 1206.00 g, and 1401.75 g at weeks 6, 8, 10, 12, and 14 respectively), Chinchilla x Chinchilla outperformed other genotypes.
Then came CHxDU (for the same parameters, 476.30 g, 601.30 g, 751.30 g, 910.00 g, and 1086.25 g). The coefficients of correlation ranged from 0.00 to 0.99, were both positively and negatively linked for all genotypes other than CHxDU, which had all positive correlations.
The findings suggested that the best genotypes for genetic improvement might be CHxCH and CHxDU. For feeding regimes A, B, C, and D, respectively, the mean body weights obtained were 772.6738.72 g, 688.6232.16 g, 730.7535.24 g, and 705.3733.45 g; these values did not differ substantially (P>0.05).
Conclusion: The CHxCH genotype outperformed other genotypes in the majority of post-weaning growth traits. Rabbit farmers can adopt any of the feeding schedules, especially when feed and forages are in short supply. For larger litter sizes and weaning body weights, the CHxCH is advised, though any feeding schedules can be used.
1.1: BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
varied rabbit breeds have varied growth characteristics. Environmental and genetic factors are thought to be responsible for these variances. Variations in the environment are caused by managerial, climatic, and dietary factors. Body size and conformational features are strongly heritable, according to Ibe and Nwakalor (1987).
This implies that variations among various genotypes are expected. The post-weaning growth performance of rabbits has been shown to be influenced by a number of genetic characteristics,
including breed, litter size, weaning age, and sex, as well as non-genetic factors, including illnesses, season, temperature, housing, and nutrition (Afifi and Emara, 1988).
Therefore, the interaction of an animal's genotype and environment is a major determinant of its production (Chineke and Owosangba, 1999). Growth after weaning is crucial to the economics of producing rabbits since it affects how quickly they reach market weight.
According to Kabir et al. (2012), Chinchilla breed is the best for individual weight at birth and at weaning as well as milk output and mothering ability. New Zealand White rabbit are superior for litter size at birth and at weaning. Indicators of growth performance in domestic animals, including rabbits, include body weight and measures.
Body measures and body weight are used to estimate carcass and body weight (Oliveira et al., 2005), contrast variance in size and shape, and characterise different rabbit breeds.
Due to their tiny size, shorter generation interval, high prolificacy, quick growth, and excellent feed conversion efficiency, rabbits require less room and feed, making them an ideal meat producer (Orheruata et al., 2006; Kabir et al., 2011).
These characteristics make the production of rabbits a cure-all for the lack of animal protein in poor nations (Obike et al., 2010). To promote their growth and reproductive efficiency, rabbits are often fed ad libitum (concentrate and pasture) (Bawa et al., 2007).
Farmers are now required to participate in indiscriminate feed restriction programmes, with the main goal of decreasing cost of production and subsequently boosting profitability (Boisot et al., 2003). This is due to the recent remarkable increase in the cost of feeds and feeding stuffs in most areas of the humid tropics.
Feed limitation is said to decrease post-weaning digestive issues and increase feed efficiency, according to reports from temperate regions (Boisot et al., 2003; Gidenne et al., 2003; and Boisot et al., 2004). According to Boisot et al.
(2003), feeding at a level of 60% was more effective in lessening the circumstances associated with epizootic rabbit enteropathy syndrome. Gidenne et al. (2003) found that feed limitation (a feeding level of 80% and 70%, respectively) considerably reduced mortality and morbidity.
According to Biobaku and Adegoke (1999), who were referenced by Yakubu et al. (2007), there was no discernible difference between rabbits fed ad libitum and those fed for 8 and 16 hours, respectively, in terms of the mean daily weight growth. Unguided actions therefore run the risk of making the situation worse.
According to certain researchers' arguments (Ibe and Nwachukwu, 1988), feed restriction has an impact on the growth characteristics of chickens.
1.2 JUSTIFICATION OF THE STUDY
There is a scarcity of information in the literature about the impact of feed restriction on rabbit growth features, with the possible exception of body weight gain. In the tropics, where animal output is typically lower than in temperate regions, information on the impact of feed restriction on growth features is especially crucial.
The next step is to conduct research to determine whether or not feed restriction may affect the growth characteristics of rabbits. On the other side, forages are sparse and lignified during dry seasons, which can affect the growth rates of forage-fed animals like rabbits and cause swings in body weight.
Sustainable production consequently requires the selection of genotypes that can flourish under low feeding conditions. According to Tumova et al. (2003) and Dalle Zotte et al. (2005), restricted feeding increases feed efficiency, causes compensatory growth through realimination, and decreases body fat (Washburn, 1990).
Early feed limitation aids in addressing issues including increased body fat deposition, a high incidence of metabolic illnesses, and a high mortality rate that are brought on by early life fast growth rates (Urdaneta-Rincon and Leeson, 2002; Gidenne et al., 2003; Hassanabadi and Nassiri, 2006).
There are several reports in the literature about how feed restriction affects chicken performance (Cable and Waldroup, 1990; McGovery et al., 1999), but similar studies with rabbits, particularly in the tropics, are not as common.
Therefore, the goal of this study was to identify the ideal genotype and feeding regiment combinations for rabbits living in tropical environments in order to maximise growth performance.
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The purpose of this study was to ascertain:
1. The effect of genotype on domestic rabbit growth performance; and
2. How feed restriction affects domestic rabbit growth after weaning
3. Connections between the qualities that were measured
The domestic rabbit breeds' post-weaning growth performance is unaffected by genotype or nutrition restriction. Ho: x1=x2=x3…xn Alternate Translation: Post-weaning growth performance of domestic rabbit breeds is influenced by genotype and feed restriction.