Research Article | | Peer-Reviewed

Effect of Weight at First Mating on the Performance of New Zealand White Rabbit Population in the Rainforest Zone of Nigeria

Received: 17 October 2023    Accepted: 16 November 2023    Published: 2 April 2024
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Abstract

It has been generally accepted that for breeders to embark on intensive production of rabbits there is a need to use appropriate body weight rabbit that has better performance. To provide such information, this study was therefore carried out to determine the effect of weight at first mating on the performance of the New Zealand White rabbit population at the University of Benin Teaching and Research Farm. The rabbits were grouped into four based on their weight before the first service (1.00 to 1.49kg, 1.50 to 1.99kg, 2.00 to 2.49kg, and 2.5kg and above) as weight groups 1, 2, 3, and 4 respectively. The rabbits were raised under acceptable management. The experimental animals were fed a commercial diet of 18% CP and 2700kcal/kg ME. Data collected were weight of doe before service (WBS), number of time served (NTS), litter size at birth (LSB), litter size at weaning (LSW), litter weight at birth (LWB), litter weight at weaning (LWW), pre-weaning mortality percentage (PWM), gestation length (GLT), and stillbirth (SBT). The data were subjected to statistical analysis using the R statistical package version 3.3.3 (2017). Significant means were separated using the Duncan Multiple Range Test. The results obtained showed an increasing trend with body weight at first service. The mean values for LWB were 40.08±1.04, 43.83±2.16, 49.26±2.93 and 45.57±3.74 g for weight groups 1, 2, 3, and 4, respectively. Rabbits in weight 2 and 3 had a higher CV of 30%. Mean LWW ranged from 366.20±26.92 in group 1 to 442.90±29.74 in weight group 4. The average LSB was 4 kits. Litter sizes at weaning (LSW) were 3 kits except for group 4 with 4 kits. The body weight at first mating had no significant effect (P>0.05) on the performance traits. Gestation length (GLT) and pre-weaning mortality (PWM) showed significance (P<0.05). Gestation length (GLT) was highest in weight group 4 with mean days of 32.14±0.40 and the least in group 3 (30.53±0.09). Percentage SBT was highest in group 3 (10.48%) and none was recorded in group 4, 0.00±0.00. Percentage PWM was highest in groups 1 and 2 with 23.25% and 1.50%, respectively, while there was no PWM recorded in groups 3 and 4. The results of the efficiency of gain of offspring from the weight group were not significantly different (P>0.05) except for mortality which showed a significant difference (P<0.05). Rabbits from weight groups 1 and 3 showed better performance but for the high mortality in group 1, it will be better to mate rabbits for the first time at weight group 3.

Published in Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (Volume 13, Issue 2)
DOI 10.11648/j.aff.20241302.14
Page(s) 46-51
Creative Commons

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, provided the original work is properly cited.

Copyright

Copyright © The Author(s), 2024. Published by Science Publishing Group

Keywords

Weight, First Mating, Performance, New Zealand White Rabbit, Rain Forest Zone

References
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    Obugo, C. O., Bello-Onaghise, G., Orheruata, A. M. (2024). Effect of Weight at First Mating on the Performance of New Zealand White Rabbit Population in the Rainforest Zone of Nigeria . Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, 13(2), 46-51. https://doi.org/10.11648/j.aff.20241302.14

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    ACS Style

    Obugo, C. O.; Bello-Onaghise, G.; Orheruata, A. M. Effect of Weight at First Mating on the Performance of New Zealand White Rabbit Population in the Rainforest Zone of Nigeria . Agric. For. Fish. 2024, 13(2), 46-51. doi: 10.11648/j.aff.20241302.14

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    AMA Style

    Obugo CO, Bello-Onaghise G, Orheruata AM. Effect of Weight at First Mating on the Performance of New Zealand White Rabbit Population in the Rainforest Zone of Nigeria . Agric For Fish. 2024;13(2):46-51. doi: 10.11648/j.aff.20241302.14

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  • @article{10.11648/j.aff.20241302.14,
      author = {Collins Odion Obugo and Godspower Bello-Onaghise and Arierhire Michael Orheruata},
      title = {Effect of Weight at First Mating on the Performance of New Zealand White Rabbit Population in the Rainforest Zone of Nigeria
    },
      journal = {Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries},
      volume = {13},
      number = {2},
      pages = {46-51},
      doi = {10.11648/j.aff.20241302.14},
      url = {https://doi.org/10.11648/j.aff.20241302.14},
      eprint = {https://article.sciencepublishinggroup.com/pdf/10.11648.j.aff.20241302.14},
      abstract = {It has been generally accepted that for breeders to embark on intensive production of rabbits there is a need to use appropriate body weight rabbit that has better performance. To provide such information, this study was therefore carried out to determine the effect of weight at first mating on the performance of the New Zealand White rabbit population at the University of Benin Teaching and Research Farm. The rabbits were grouped into four based on their weight before the first service (1.00 to 1.49kg, 1.50 to 1.99kg, 2.00 to 2.49kg, and 2.5kg and above) as weight groups 1, 2, 3, and 4 respectively. The rabbits were raised under acceptable management. The experimental animals were fed a commercial diet of 18% CP and 2700kcal/kg ME. Data collected were weight of doe before service (WBS), number of time served (NTS), litter size at birth (LSB), litter size at weaning (LSW), litter weight at birth (LWB), litter weight at weaning (LWW), pre-weaning mortality percentage (PWM), gestation length (GLT), and stillbirth (SBT). The data were subjected to statistical analysis using the R statistical package version 3.3.3 (2017). Significant means were separated using the Duncan Multiple Range Test. The results obtained showed an increasing trend with body weight at first service. The mean values for LWB were 40.08±1.04, 43.83±2.16, 49.26±2.93 and 45.57±3.74 g for weight groups 1, 2, 3, and 4, respectively. Rabbits in weight 2 and 3 had a higher CV of 30%. Mean LWW ranged from 366.20±26.92 in group 1 to 442.90±29.74 in weight group 4. The average LSB was 4 kits. Litter sizes at weaning (LSW) were 3 kits except for group 4 with 4 kits. The body weight at first mating had no significant effect (P>0.05) on the performance traits. Gestation length (GLT) and pre-weaning mortality (PWM) showed significance (P0.05) except for mortality which showed a significant difference (P<0.05). Rabbits from weight groups 1 and 3 showed better performance but for the high mortality in group 1, it will be better to mate rabbits for the first time at weight group 3.
    },
     year = {2024}
    }
    

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  • TY  - JOUR
    T1  - Effect of Weight at First Mating on the Performance of New Zealand White Rabbit Population in the Rainforest Zone of Nigeria
    
    AU  - Collins Odion Obugo
    AU  - Godspower Bello-Onaghise
    AU  - Arierhire Michael Orheruata
    Y1  - 2024/04/02
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    N1  - https://doi.org/10.11648/j.aff.20241302.14
    DO  - 10.11648/j.aff.20241302.14
    T2  - Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
    JF  - Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
    JO  - Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
    SP  - 46
    EP  - 51
    PB  - Science Publishing Group
    SN  - 2328-5648
    UR  - https://doi.org/10.11648/j.aff.20241302.14
    AB  - It has been generally accepted that for breeders to embark on intensive production of rabbits there is a need to use appropriate body weight rabbit that has better performance. To provide such information, this study was therefore carried out to determine the effect of weight at first mating on the performance of the New Zealand White rabbit population at the University of Benin Teaching and Research Farm. The rabbits were grouped into four based on their weight before the first service (1.00 to 1.49kg, 1.50 to 1.99kg, 2.00 to 2.49kg, and 2.5kg and above) as weight groups 1, 2, 3, and 4 respectively. The rabbits were raised under acceptable management. The experimental animals were fed a commercial diet of 18% CP and 2700kcal/kg ME. Data collected were weight of doe before service (WBS), number of time served (NTS), litter size at birth (LSB), litter size at weaning (LSW), litter weight at birth (LWB), litter weight at weaning (LWW), pre-weaning mortality percentage (PWM), gestation length (GLT), and stillbirth (SBT). The data were subjected to statistical analysis using the R statistical package version 3.3.3 (2017). Significant means were separated using the Duncan Multiple Range Test. The results obtained showed an increasing trend with body weight at first service. The mean values for LWB were 40.08±1.04, 43.83±2.16, 49.26±2.93 and 45.57±3.74 g for weight groups 1, 2, 3, and 4, respectively. Rabbits in weight 2 and 3 had a higher CV of 30%. Mean LWW ranged from 366.20±26.92 in group 1 to 442.90±29.74 in weight group 4. The average LSB was 4 kits. Litter sizes at weaning (LSW) were 3 kits except for group 4 with 4 kits. The body weight at first mating had no significant effect (P>0.05) on the performance traits. Gestation length (GLT) and pre-weaning mortality (PWM) showed significance (P0.05) except for mortality which showed a significant difference (P<0.05). Rabbits from weight groups 1 and 3 showed better performance but for the high mortality in group 1, it will be better to mate rabbits for the first time at weight group 3.
    
    VL  - 13
    IS  - 2
    ER  - 

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Author Information
  • Department of Animal Science, University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria

  • Department of Animal Science, University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria; Heilongjiang Key Laboratory for Animal Disease Control and Pharmaceutical Development, College of Veterinary Medicine, Northeast Agricultural University, Harbin, P. R. China

  • Department of Animal Science, University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria

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