ISSN: 0041-3216 (Online), 0041-3216 (Print)
Volume 68 Number 4
Rabbit performance in Trinidad
This Paper summarizes performance data collected from 45 does producing 210 litters during 1983-1986. Local rabbits of mixed breeding were housed in modern wire cages and fed broiler finisher pellets (18% protein) and grass, free choice. The average kit weight at four and 12 weeks was 318 and 1536 g, respectively. The postweaning average daily gain up to 12 weeks was 22 g. The dressing percentage was around 51. A total of 4.9 kits litter-1 were born, of which 4.4 were alive; only 3.4 survived until weaning at four weeks and 3.0 were alive at 12 weeks. The average values for perinatal, preweaning and postweaning kit mortality were 10.2, 22.7 and 11.8%, respectively. 44.4% of the breeding does died at an average age of 17.2 months. 51 % of the breeding does produced four litters or less. The average reproductive life of the doe was found to be about 12 months. The poor doe reproductive performance and high kit and doe mortality are discussed in the light of feeding regime and inbreeding depression. The feed efficiency (concentrate/gain) was found to be 3.0 from weaning to 13 weeks of age; it was 3.6 when concentrate offered to the doe from breeding through lactation was included. The cost of rabbit meat production was found to be favourably competitive with fresh chicken meat and pork.
Keywords: Rabbit; Performance; Trinidad