Sire breed and sex of offspring effect on growth of rabbits up to 13 weeks of age
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Rabbit breeds
Offspring sex
Body weight

How to Cite

Tosado-Martínez, T., & Domenech-Pérez, K. (2021). Sire breed and sex of offspring effect on growth of rabbits up to 13 weeks of age. The Journal of Agriculture of the University of Puerto Rico, 105(1), 63–72.


Rabbit meat production worldwide is based on meat breeds; however, in Europe larger carcasses have been produced with meat x giant crossbreds. In the main breeds, females reach larger body sizes than males. This study evaluated the effects of the sire’s breed and the sex of offspring on the rabbits’ growth curve. We compared weekly body weights (BW; first 13 weeks of life; sexed at 42 days) of the offspring of a New Zealand Red (NZR; n=21) and a Flemish Giant buck (FG; n=31) with Californian crossbred does. Average individual BW data were analyzed by the GLIMMIX Procedure (SAS). During the pre-sexing period, no week x buck (P=0.3333) or buck effect (P=0.2051) affected BW. The average BW of rabbits increased 641.50 g (P<0.0001) during this period. In the post-sexing period BW was not affected by the interactions week x sex x buck (P=0.8821), sex x buck (P=0.2409), week x buck (P=0.1597) or week x sex (P=0.5663). However, there were differences in BW between weeks (average total increase of 1,417.61 g; P<0.0001), sex (1,748.68±115.28 vs. 1,545.21±109.40 g in females and males, respectively; P=0.0194), and bucks (1,523.68±123.15 vs. 1,770.21±107.24 g for the NZR and FG, respectively; P=0.0170) during this period. Crossbreeding giant with meat rabbits increased growth during the post-sexing period, especially in the females.
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