Free Access
Reprod. Nutr. Dev.
Volume 46, Number 2, March-April 2006
Page(s) 195 - 204
Published online 06 April 2006
Reprod. Nutr. Dev. 46 (2006) 195-204
DOI: 10.1051/rnd:2006009

Long term effect of post-weaning rhythm on the body fat and performance of rabbit doe

Cesare Castellini, Alessandro Dal Bosco and Raffaella Cardinali

Dept. Biologia Vegetale, Biotecnologie Agroambientali e Zootecniche, Borgo 20 Giugno, 74 - 06100 Perugia, Italia

(Received 14 June 2005; accepted 3 January 2006; published online 6 April 2006)

Abstract - Reproductive protocols based on standard (Control: 11 days post-partum) or extended rhythm (PW: post-weaning at 27 days post-partum) were compared. Two groups of fifty 19-week-old New Zealand White females were inseminated for seven consecutive cycles. The kits were weaned at 26 days. On the day of AI, all the does were submitted to ultrasound scanning of the perirenal regions to measure fat thickness. The fertility rate and several indexes of efficiency were calculated. Fat thickness, estimated perirenal fat and live weight were higher in PW does. The does submitted to post-weaning rhythm had a higher sexual receptivity (P < 0.01), and fertility rate (P < 0.01) whereas litter size and pre-weaning mortality were not affected. Primiparous Control does showed a particularly low fertility rate; the value increased successively but was always lower than in PW does. PW rhythm in comparison with the standard one seemed more adapted to doe reproductive physiology even if there was a lower production (35.0 vs. 38.8 rabbit sold/year) and risk of fatness (18% of multiparous does).

Key words: rabbit doe / fertility / rhythm of insemination

Corresponding author: Cesare Castellini

© INRA, EDP Sciences 2006