EFFECT OF DIFFERENT FEED RESTRICTION SYSTEMS DURING REARING PERIOD RABBITS ON REPRODUCTIVE PERFORMANCE UNDER DESERT ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS

ملخص البحث

The present study was conducted to determine the effect of four feed restriction systems during rearing period on reproductive performance in doe rabbits under desert conditions. A total number of fifty ten-week old female NZW rabbits were divided into five equal groups ( n = 5×10) based on their body weight and age. These groups were raised as follows: a control group with ad-libitum feeding (C); restricted feeding 130 g daily feed per head until 17 weeks of age, then 140 g/day until first mating (130 R); two days fasting / week (one day at the beginning of the week and other day on the last day of it) (2D); 12 hours daily eccess to the diet (12H) and 6 hours daily eccess to the diet (6H). Feed supply returned to ad-libitum for 4 days when young rabbit does reached 3.1-3.5 kg (17-22 wks. of age) to flushing the 4 treated groups before the first mating. The does were remated 10-11 days post partum and 3 successive parturitions were investigated. Results obtained showed that feed intake was the lowest (P < 0.05) in both 12H and 6H groups compared to the other 3 groups (C, 130 R, and 2D). Feed conversion for rearing young does (10-17 wks.) was the best in 12H group (3.48 kg FI/kg gain). However, comparing of doe body weight, the control and 12H groups showed low body weight increase followed by 2D group, while groups 130 R and 6H were almost similar. Bunny weight of progeny at 21 days of age only, it cleared that 12H group was significantly (P<0.05) the highest ,as compared to other feed restriction systems .No significant differences were observed in litter size at birth, 21 and 30 days of age, while at birth, litter weight was significantly (P<0.05) the highest in 130 R group. At 21 and 30 days of age 2D and 6H groups were the lowest in litter weight. Suckling mortality rate was insignificant from birth to 30 days of age. Generally, from economical point of view, it could be concluded that raising young doe rabbits under desert conditions with 6 hours daily eccess feeding resulted in the better doe performance than the other three restricted groups.

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