Reproductive performance of four exotic breeds of rabbit under different mating systems
Keywords:Fertility rate, litter size, mating system, rabbit, vulva score
Four exotic breeds of rabbit were subjected to two mating systems to assess their productivity. A preliminary investigation to assess suitability of oestrus synchronisation in rabbits does, using twelve does each of Fauve de Bourgogne, Chinchilla, British Spot and New Zealand White. Thereafter, 60 and 90 does each of Fauve de Bourgogne, Chinchilla, British Spot and New Zealand White were copulated within breed using natural mating and artificial insemination (AI), respectively following oestrus synchronisation in 3 mating cycles each. The does were randomly allotted to experimental units in a completely randomised design. Parameters assessed include fertility rate, litter size and productivity index at birth. The litter size of does subjected to oestrus synchronization were significantly (p<0.05) higher than non-synchronised does. For natural mating, fertility rate obtained across the breeds showed that Chinchilla had the significantly (p<0.05) highest value. Productivity index at birth of New Zealand White does was significantly (p<0.05) highest, while all other three breeds were similar. For AI, fertility rate of Chinchilla was significantly (p<0.05) highest across the breeds. Productivity index at birth of Fauve de Bourgogne and Chinchilla were significantly (p<0.05) higher than other breeds. Oestrus synchronization improved conception and kindling rates of does and Chinchilla had the highest fertility rate at both mating system.