Interrelationship between Body Weight and Body Size Parameters in Chinchilla and New Zealand White Rabbit Genotypes in Abeokuta, Nigeria

Olanrewaju T. Olufowobi, Olajide Olowofeso


Traits of economic importance in rabbit when measured provide attributes that may be used as selection criteria by livestock breeders. This study was carried out to determine the interrelationship between body weight and body size parameters and to develop linear equations for predicting body weight using some body size parameters in two rabbit genotypes. Chinchilla and New Zealand White rabbit genotypes were selected for this study, with each breed having 20 does and 4 bucks making a total of 48 rabbits (precisely breeders). The animals were intensively managed and body weight, body length, ear length, heart girth, head length and tail length were measured on weekly basis. Body size parameters were correlated and regressed with body weight of each genotype and results were compared. At the end of the twelve-week study period, body weights were 2.074±0.280 kg and 2.130±0.240 kg for Chinchilla and New Zealand White rabbit genotypes, respectively. Body size parameters considered were positively correlated with body weight for both genotypes. Ear length, heart girth and head length only were significantly (P < 0.01) correlated with body weight for Chinchilla, while body size parameters were found to be significantly (P < 0.01) correlated with body weight for New Zealand White rabbit. Linear equations were developed for predicting the body weight from these body size parameters in each genotype. We observed that heart girth proved to be the best predictor for body weight in New Zealand White and Chinchilla rabbit genotypes, having a coefficient of determination (r²) of 0.529 and 0.547, respectively.

Keywords: Body dimensions, Breeds of rabbit, Bucks, Does, Prediction, Selection criteria

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3208 ISSN (Online)2225-093X

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