Group Title: Animal Science Department mimeograph report - Florida Agricultural Experiment Station ; no. AN66-5
Title: Growth, feed efficiency and dressing percentage of Californian rabbits and preliminary data on Florida white rabbits
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00072971/00001
 Material Information
Title: Growth, feed efficiency and dressing percentage of Californian rabbits and preliminary data on Florida white rabbits
Series Title: Animal Science Department mimeograph report
Physical Description: 4 p. : ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Arrington, Lewis Robert, 1919-
University of Florida -- Agricultural Experiment Station
Publisher: Florida Agricultural Experiment Station
Place of Publication: Gainesville Fla
Publication Date: 1965
 Subjects
Subject: Rabbits -- Growth -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Rabbits -- Feed utilization efficiency -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: L.R. Arrington.
General Note: Caption title.
General Note: "September, 1965."
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00072971
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 77552074

Full Text




Animal Science Department Florida Agricultural
Mimeograph Report AN66-5 Experiment Station
Gainesville, Florida
September 1965


GROWTH, FEED EFFICIENCY AND DRESSING PERCENTAGE OF CALIFORNIAN RABBITS
AND
PRELIMINARY DATA ON FLORIDA WHITE RABBITS

L. R. Arringtonl/



Several different breeds of domestic rabbits are produced commer-
cially for meat. The medium weight breeds represented by New Zealand
White and Californian rabbits are raised more widely in this state
although some smaller and larger breeds and some rabbits of mixed
breeding are produced.

A previous report from this laboratory concerned the comparative
performance of New Zealand White and Dutch rabbits. (The National
Rabbit Raiser, Vol. 28, Page 7, 1960.) These results showed that feed
efficiency of the New Zealands was better than the Dutch, but that the
dressing percentage of the Dutch was greater.

When the Californian rabbits were made available for the present
study, a small number of the new Florida White breed were also made
available. It seemed desirable to include both breeds in this study.
The number of Florida White rabbits available, however, was very small
so the results obtained with this breed must be considered as prelim-
inary. The Florida White rabbit is smaller than the Californian or
New Zealand and is more nearly the size of the Dutch.

Experimental Procedure

Three registered unrelated female and two male rabbits provided
the original stock of Californian rabbits for this study. Five addi-
tional female offspring from these were subsequently used in the study
with two to six litters from each female. The Florida White rabbits
were represented by only two original female and one male with addi-
tional data from three litters of one female from the original stock.

Rabbits were housed individually in wire cages. Prior to kindling
they were fed a restricted amount of Purina Rabbit Checkers. At the
time of kindling the same feed was offered ad libitum and the amount
of feed consumed was recorded for the doe and litter from kindling to
8 weeks of age. Feed intake and weight of the litter at 4 weeks of
age was also determined. Since the young begin eating dry feed about
this age, the weight at 4 weeks was considered to be an additional .
measure of the lactating ability of the doe. Feed efficiency, ba0sded'
upon grams of feed consumed by the doe and litter per gram weightpr
the litter was calculated at 4 and at 8 weeks.


1/ Associate Animal Nutritionist.


/i






-2-


At eight weeks of age, most of the young in each litter were
slaughtered for determination of dressing percentage. The dressed
carcass weight included liver, heart and kidney. Dressing percentage
represented weight of the dressed carcass as a percentage of the live
weight at slaughter. An additional small number of 12-week old and
mature rabbits were also slaughtered for determination of dressing
percentage.

Twenty rabbits from several litters of both breeds were continued
on experiment with the same feed for a period representing 8 to 12 weeks
of age. Feed intake, weight gain, feed efficiency and dressing per-
centage were determined.

Results

Data representing number of litters, number of young born, body
weight and feed efficiency are recorded in table 1. Eight-week weights
of the Californian young were slightly less than average weights of the
New Zealands in the former study. The number of young per litter in
the present study, however, was larger and this would tend to decrease
weaning weight. Feed efficiency of 2.69 was comparable to the value
of 2.64 for New Zealands. Since the Florida White rabbit is a smaller
breed than the Californian, the lower weight of the young at 4 and 8
weeks should be expected. Feed efficiency of the Florida Whites was
not equal to that of the Californians or New Zealands, but a portion
of the difference may be represented in the smaller number per litter.
Since feed intake included that for the doe and litter, the efficiency
of feed utilization of a small litter would be less than that of a
larger litter. Feed efficiency and body weight of the Florida Whites
were more nearly comparable to values for Dutch rabbits.

In table 2 are data for performance of rabbits during the period
8 to 12 weeks of age. Weight gains of the Californians were slightly
greater than for the New Zealand in the former study. Gains of the
Florida White rabbits during this period were slightly greater than
those of the Dutch. (Small Stock Magazine, Vol. 46, Page 18, 1962.)
Feed efficiency of the Californians (3.2) may be compared with a value
of 3.9 for New Zealand, and Florida White (4.32) with 4.65 for Dutch
rabbits obtained in the former study.

Average dressing percentages of rabbits of both breeds at three
different ages are recorded in table 3. The dressing percentage of
the Florida White young at 8 weeks was slightly greater than that for
the Californian. At 12 weeks the values were the same, but since the
numbers of 12-week old and mature animals were small the values can be
considered only.as indicative of the average for the breed.

Summary

Growth, feed efficiency and dressing percentage was determined in
Californian rabbits and preliminary data were collected on a small
number of the new Florida White breed. Average weight at 8 weeks of
age for the Californian breed was 1399 grams; Florida White, 935 grams.









-3-


Grams feed per gram body weight of young at 8 weeks for the two breeds,
respectively, were: 2.7 and 3.6 and dressing percentages were: 56.1
and 57.7. Data for the Florida Vhite breed are considered as prelim-
inary information since the number of animals available for the study
was small.










Table 1

Feed Intake, Weight and Feed Efficiency of Californian and Florida
White Litters at 4 and 8 Weeks of Age


Breed


Californian


Flcrida White


No. does


No. litters


Average no. young born

Data at 4 weeks
Average no. young
Average weight young, grams-
Total feed, Kg
Average daily feed, grams
Feed efficiency

Data at 8 weeks
Average no. young
Average weight, grams
Total feed, Kg
Average daily feed, grams
Feed efficiency


6.0


7.0
448
7.2
258
2.5


6.9
1399
25.0
447
2.7


5.3
355
5.4
192
3.1


4.8
935
15.9
284
3.6








-.4 -


Table 2
Feed Intake, Weight Gain and Feed Efficiency of Californian and
Florida White Rabbits Between 8 and 12 Weeks of Age


No. rabbits

Average total feed, Kg

Average daily feed, grams

Average weight, 12 weeks, Kg

Total gain, grams

Average daily gain, grams

Feed efficiency


Dressing Percentage of
Rabbits


Californian

12

2.8

100

2.4

890

32

3.2


Table 3

California and
at Three Ages


Breed
Florida White

8

2.4

86

1.6

550

20

4.3


Florida White


Breed


Californian



Florida White


Age

8 weeks
12 weeks
Mature

8 weeks
12 weeks
Mature


No.
Rabbits

103
12
2

32
7
4


Av. live


1464
2494
3727

978
1534
2231


Dressing
Percent

56.1
60.0
67.1

57-7
60.2
63.0




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