Effect of group size and stocking density on productive, carcass, meat quality and aggression traits of growing rabbits

Z. Szendrő, Z. Princz, R. Romvári, L. Locsmándi, A. Szabó, G. Y. Bázár, I. Radnai, E. Biró-Németh, Zs Matics, I. Nagy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The aim of the experiment was to examine the effect of group size and stocking density on productive, carcass and meat quality traits. The trial was conducted using 230 Pannon white rabbits weaned at 5 weeks and reared until the age of 11 weeks. Seven groups were formed with different cage/pen sizes (group size) and stocking densities: SC16=small cage (0.12 m2), 16 rabbits/m2 (2 rabbits/cage); LC16=large cage (0.50 m2), 16 rabbits/m2(8 rabbits/cage); LC12=large cage, 12 rabbits/m 2 (6 rabbits/cage); SP16=small pen (0.86 m2), 16 rabbits/m2 (13 rabbits/ cage); SP12=small pen, 12 rabbits/m 2 (10 rabbits/cage); LP16=large pen (1.72 m2), 16 rabbits/m2 (26 rabbits/cage); LP12=large pen, 12 rabbits/m 2 (20 rabbits/cage). Stocking density did not affect production significantly, as stocking densities lower than 16 rabbits/m2 had no effect on the growing rabbits' performance. Group size (size of the cage or pen) had an effect on certain growth, carcass and meat quality traits. Increasing group size resulted in lower values for weight gain (SC: 39.2>LC: 39.0> SP: 38.7> LP: 37.8 g/d; P=0.22) and body weight (SC: 2506>LC: 2498> SP: 2487> LP: 2446 g; P=0.35), similarly to other results in the literature, but the differences were not significant. Aggressive behaviour was observed to be more frequent in the larger group sizes. At the age of 11 weeks the proportion of rabbits with ear lesions in the SC, LC, SP and LP groups were 0.0, 7.1, 8.7, and 17.4%, respectively, demonstrating that larger group size increases the risk of ear lesions. The effect of group size on the ratio of the fore part to the reference carcass (SC: 28.5, LC: 28.2, LP: 29.0%; P=0.02) and on the amount of perirenal fat (SC: 21.3, LC: 18.0, LP: 13.7 g; P

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-162
Number of pages10
JournalWorld Rabbit Science
Volume17
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2009

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group size
stocking rate
meat quality
aggression
rabbits
cages
carcass quality
lesions (animal)
ears
cage size

Keywords

  • Ear lesion
  • Group size
  • Growing rabbit
  • Meat quality
  • Productive performance
  • Stocking density

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology

Cite this

Effect of group size and stocking density on productive, carcass, meat quality and aggression traits of growing rabbits. / Szendrő, Z.; Princz, Z.; Romvári, R.; Locsmándi, L.; Szabó, A.; Bázár, G. Y.; Radnai, I.; Biró-Németh, E.; Matics, Zs; Nagy, I.

In: World Rabbit Science, Vol. 17, No. 3, 07.2009, p. 153-162.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Szendrő, Z, Princz, Z, Romvári, R, Locsmándi, L, Szabó, A, Bázár, GY, Radnai, I, Biró-Németh, E, Matics, Z & Nagy, I 2009, 'Effect of group size and stocking density on productive, carcass, meat quality and aggression traits of growing rabbits', World Rabbit Science, vol. 17, no. 3, pp. 153-162.
Szendrő, Z. ; Princz, Z. ; Romvári, R. ; Locsmándi, L. ; Szabó, A. ; Bázár, G. Y. ; Radnai, I. ; Biró-Németh, E. ; Matics, Zs ; Nagy, I. / Effect of group size and stocking density on productive, carcass, meat quality and aggression traits of growing rabbits. In: World Rabbit Science. 2009 ; Vol. 17, No. 3. pp. 153-162.
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