Growth, survival rate of New Zealand White, Dutch Rabbit and their crosses

U.A. Eshimutu1*, U.A. Umar2, A.K. Olutunmogun2, A.C. Oladimeji1, M. Aliyu1, A.K. Okpanachi1

1Animal Genetics and Breeding Department of Animal Health and Production Technology Federal College of Agriculture, Akure Ondo State, Nigeria
2National Animal Production Research Institute, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna State, Nigeria

(Manuscript received 19 June 2023; accepted for publication 14 November 2023)

Abstract. The aim of the study was to assess survival rate of crossbred New Zealand White and Dutch rabbit breed. A total of 16 mature rabbits of seven to nine months old, New Zealand White and Dutch were used for the study. Data obtained were subjected to analysis of variance ANOVA using SAS. The reproductive traits studied were litter size, litter birth weight, mean kit weight. The growth traits were: body weight, body length, ear length, chest circumference, hind limbs, thigh length, nose to shoulder and thigh circumference. The reproductive traits were significantly (P<0.05) affected by genetic group Pure and crosses. New Zealand White observed high litter size and litter birth weight at first, seventh, 14th and 21st day. Purebred Dutch had significant (P<0.05) high values for growth traits. The body weight 478.73±18.10, body length 33.12±0.42, ear length 9.10±0.09, chest circumference 18.24±0.45 and hind limbs 19.51±0.33 were significantly (P<0.05) high in crosses of Dutch x New Zealand White. Pre-weaning mortality and survival rate at weaning were 22.22% and 77.77% high in New Zealand White; 14.28% and 85.71% in Dutch and DUC x NZW; and 9.09% and 90.90% in NZW x DUC. In conclusion, New Zealand White x Dutch crosses demonstrated high survival rate and low pre-weaning mortality.