Effect of stocking density on growth performance, some blood parameters and carcass traits in purebred Californian and crossbred rabbits
Objective: The main objective of this study was to study the effect of stocking density in two genetic groups of rabbits (purebred Californian (CAL × CAL) and Californian × Rex (CAL × RX) crossbred rabbits) on growth performance, some blood hematological, biochemical and immunological parameters and carcass traits.
Materials and methods: A total of 120 weaned rabbits were randomly assigned to a completely randomized design with a 2 × 3 factorial arrangement of treatments (two genetic groups; 60 of each CAL × CAL and CAL × RX and three stocking densities; 8, 12 and 20 rabbits/m2; the number of rabbits under each stocking density was 24, 36 and 60; respectively) and 6 replicates.
Results: The effects of genetic group × stocking density interactions were significant (P<0.05) on most of growth performance traits, blood biochemical parameters and phagocytic activity, whereas the effects were non-significant on majority of blood hematological parameters and carcass traits. CAL × CAL rabbits stocked at 20 rabbits/m2 had the lowest final body weights and total average daily gains, but had the highest feed to gain ratio. CAL × CAL rabbits stocked at 20 rabbits/m2 had the lowest total protein and the highest glucose, corticosterone, liver function tests, and total antioxidant capacity (TAC).
Conclusion: CAL × CAL rabbits stocked at 20 rabbits/m2 recorded higher liver and kidney function tests, glucose, TAC, corticosterone levels and lower phagocytic activity which refers to the response of this genetic group to the stress of this higher stocking density and subsequently lower growth performance was observed in these rabbits.
Copyright (c) 2018 Tamer Mohamed Abdel-Hamid
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).