Factors influencing post-weaning growth and mortality in rabbits
Keywords:Genotype, Non genetic, Post-weaning growth, Mortality, Rabbits
AbstractSeveral random and nonrandom factors influence post-weaning growth and mortality in rabbits. The rabbit productivity is greatly influenced by post-weaning kits growth potential and the number that survives up to market. There is a definite important association between litter size and post-weaning growth, which can be manipulated to enhance rabbit production and profitability. In this respect maintaining an economically optimum average litter size, which promote post-weaning growth is critical. It is generally pronounced that genetic improvement will improve litter size, however, aided by provision of adequate nutrition and management translate to optimal degree of maximal profitability of rabbit enterprise. Post-weaning mortality has been associated with below average pre-weaning weights that are likely to adversely depress feed consumption, poor growth and compromised immune system. Reduced mortality and enhanced growth rates calls for improved nutrition and other management practices, in addition to the exploitation of crossbred livability and viability in rabbit production. Both selection and crossbreeding have played major roles in improving post-weaning growth in rabbits. Growth traits are moderately to highly heritable as a result selection of heavier kits on post-weaning growth could result in improving the character. The purpose of this review is to discuss the factors that affect post-weaning growth and mortality in rabbits.
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