Masia, Francesco (2011) Lo Svezzamento nel coniglio: effetti della stagione e dell’età sulla produzione e qualità della carne. Doctoral Thesis.
Two studies were performed on weaning rabbits:
- A six-years investigation was carried out on rabbits reared under constant photoperiod (16L:8D). Pregnancy rate and numerical productivity at weaning appeared to be significantly affected by season. During July and August were observed the lowest number of matings, pregnancy rate and number of weaned subjects.
- In order to clarify the influence of weaning age on productive traits of rabbits and of commercial characteristics of carcasses at slaughter, a survey was carried out on 192 crossbred rabbits, 96 weaned at 28 (W28) and 96 at 63 (W63) days of age. Live weight at 83 d and daily weight gain from 64 to 83 d of the 2 groups showed significant differences. W28 rabbits also performed a greater daily solid feed intake and a better feed conversion index. Average dressing out percentage of carcasses was significantly higher in W28 vs W63 as well as loin width, chest width and chest depth measurements. At dissection, meat to bone ratio of W28 carcasses resulted greater than W63. The results also showed the best quality dietary and nutritional properties of meat rabbits W28. In particular, the iron content was higher (P<0.001), and indices of atherogenicity and trombogenicity were more favorable. Weaning age is confirmed to be a considerable variable with reference to the quantitative and qualitative traits of the rabbit meat production.
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