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2009, Vol. 4 No. 2, Article 44

 

A Study on Performance of New Zealand White and Gray Giant Broiler Rabbits

K. C. Dhara*1, N. Ray2, G. Halder3 and A. K. Samanta4

 

1Assistant Director (Farms); 2Research Scholar, Deptt. of Pathology; 3Research Scholar, Deptt. of Animal Nutrition;
4Professor, Deptt. of Animal Production Management;

 

West Bengal University of Animal and Fishery Sciences Kolkata - 700037, India

 

*Corresponding Author; e-mail address: drkeshabdhara@rediffmail.com

 


ABSTRACT

Present study is based on data collected from 247 kits consisting of 124 New Zealand White and 123 Gray Giant maintained in rabbit farm under Department of Animal Production and Management. Mortality of the broiler rabbit kits of both the breeds was more before weaning than after weaning and comparatively frequent in New Zealand White. Post weaning daily gains were significantly (p<0.01) higher than pre weaning daily gains in both the breeds. However Gray Giant kits gained significantly more. Feed conversion ratio after weaning was significantly (p<0.01) lower than before weaning and was significantly (p<0.05) better for Gray Giant breed than New Zealand breed.

KEY WORDS

Broiler rabbit, mortality, daily weight gain. feed conversion ratio, weaning.

INTRODUCTION

Rabbit has been encouraged by the FAO (1987) for meat production in the developing countries due to its high prolificacy, outstanding growth rate, shorter generation interval and utilization of low grain and fiber rich feed stuffs. Rabbits can convert 20% of the protein they eat into edible meat which is more than that of pig, beef cattle and goat. Interest in rabbit meat consumption is growing day by day because it contains low cholesterol, low sodium and low fat content.
Present study was conducted to compare performance of two broiler rabbit breeds; New Zealand White and Gray Giant on the basis of average daily body weight gain, feed conversion ratio and mortality before and after weaning up to 90 days of age.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

Data was collected from 247 kits consisting of 124 New Zealand White and 123 Gray Giant breed maintained in rabbit farm under Department of Animal Production and Management, F/O Veterinary and Animal Sciences, West Bengal University of Animal and Fishery Sciences The animals were reared under uniform feeding and management system. in all-wire cages of size about 30" x 36" x 18" cage. The kits were fed grass, tree leaves, carrots, cabbages in addition to10 to 15gms of concentrate per kit per day that provided 16 to 17% protein .All the kits were allowed ad libatum water along with little amount salt and mineral mixture.
Weaning of the kid was done at the age of 30 days. Data was collected up to 90 days. Vaccination, deworming and other health care management were uniform for all the animals. Average daily weight gain was measured in gram and feed conversion ratio was determined on the basis of gram feed consumed and gram weight gained daily. Mortality of kits during this period was also recorded. All the data were analyzed by least square method as described by Harvey (1996).

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

Mortality among the broiler rabbit kits was more during pre weaning than post weaning period (table-1). Mortality in New Zealand White breed was frequent in comparison to Gray Giant. Pre weaning mortality of New Zealand breed was close to the findings of Bhasin and Singh (1995). Overall mortality observed by Berepubo et al. (1994) was almost in agreement with the present study. However, Bhasin and Singh (1995) observed higher overall pre weaning mortality (32%), which might be due to more litter size and they found almost 12.7% mortality due to combined crushing.
Average pre weaning and post weaning daily weight gain (gm) of kits is presented in table 2. Post weaning daily gains were significantly higher (p<0.01) than that of pre weaning daily gains in both the breeds. Gray Giant kits gained in overall significantly (p<0.01) more than New Zealand White kits. Present observations fall in line with reports of Sundaram and Bhattacharya (1991), Polestre et al. (1992) and Gupta et al. (1999). Average daily weight gain of New Zealand White kits before weaning was in close agreement with findings of Gupta et al. (1999) while as average daily weight gain of Gray Giant observed in present study was higher than earlier reports.
Feed conversion ratio (FCR): Pre weaning and post weaning feed conversion ratio of kits is presented in Table 3. Feed conversion ratio after weaning was lower than before weaning in both the breeds which indicate the effectiveness of weaning. The present finding partially corroborated with the reports of Lebas et al. (1984) and Rastogi (1989). The overall FCR of Gray Giant breed was significantly (p<0.05) lower than that of New Zealand breed.
The present study indicated that Gray Giant breed was the better breed among these two breed on the basis of pre weaning and post weaning mortality, average daily weight gain and feed conversion ratio for economic broiler rabbit farming.

REFERENCES

  1. Berepubo N. A., Johnson N. C., Sese B.T. 1994. Growth potential and organ weights of weaner rabbit exposed to crude oil contaminated forage. International Journal of Animal Sciences, 9, 73-76.

  2. Bhasin V., Singh D. 1995. Pre weaning mortality in rabbits. International Journal of Animal Sciences, 10, 77-79.

  3. Gupta B. R., Rao V. P., Reddy C. E., Satyanarayana A., Reddy P. P. 1999 Factors influencing Preweaning body weights in broiler rabbits. Indian Journal of Animal Research, 33(2), 115-120.

  4. Harvey W. R. 1996. Least squares analysis of data with unequal subclass numbers. USDA. ARS (Monograph). .

  5. Lebas F., Coudert P., Rouvier R., de Rochambeau H. 1984. The rabbit: management and diseases. F.A.O., Rome, Italy.

  6. Polastre R., Moura A. S. A. M. T, Pons S. B. 1992. Expectations from a mass selection programme for growth rate selected rabbits. Revista da sociedada Brasileiria da zooteenia, 21 (1), 45-56. [CF Animal Breed. Abstract. 60, 7299].

  7. Rastogi R. K. 1989. Rabbit production in the Caribbean with special reference to Trinidad (West Indies). Proceeding of 6th International conference of Institute of Tropical Veterinary Medicine, Wagnengen, The Netherlands. 252-255.

  8. Sundaram R .N. S., Bhattacharya A. R. 1991. Growth performance and exotic meat rabbit and its crosses under the tropical coastal climatic condition. Indian Veterinary Journal, 68(7), 693-694.


Table 1: Mortality pattern

Breed

Before Weaning(0-30 days)

After Weaning (30-90 days) 

Overall

34 (13.77%)

13 (6.10%)

New Zealand White

20 (16.13%)

8 (7.69%)

Gray Giant

14 (11.38%)

5 (4.17%)

Table 2: Least square Mean and Standard Error of daily weight gain (gm)

Breed

Before Weaning (0-30 days)

After Weaning (30-90 days) 

Overall

9.79 0.13 (213)

26.45 0.34 (200)

New Zealand White

8.71 0.20a (104)

26.48 0.56b (96)

Gray Giant

10.88 0.33c(109)

26.45 0.79d(104)


Values bearing same superscript or no superscript within a row or column do not differ significantly. Data in parentheses are the numbers in each sub-class.

  

Table 3: Least square Mean and Standard Error of Feed Conversion Ratio (gm/gm)

Breed

Before Weaning (0-30 days)

After Weaning  (30-90 days)

Overall

3.89 0.03 (213)

3.01 0.05 (200)

New Zealand White

4.19 0.05a (104)

3.01 0.07b (96)

Gray Giant

3.64 0.03c (109)

2.84 0.04b (104)

Values bearing same superscript or no superscript within a row or column do not differ significantly. Data in parentheses are the numbers in each sub-class.

 

 


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