Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 318442
Title Relationship between body weight at first mating and subsequent body development, feed intake, and reproductive performance of rabbit does
Author(s) Rommers, J.M.; Meijerhof, R.; Noordhuizen, J.P.T.M.; Kemp, B.
Source Journal of Animal Science 80 (2002)8. - ISSN 0021-8812 - p. 2036 - 2042.
Department(s) Adaptation Physiology
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2002
Abstract A retrospective study was performed to evaluate the relationships between BW at first insemination and subsequent body development, feed intake, reproductive performance, and culling rate of rabbit does. Young rabbit does are vulnerable to body energy deficit in first lactation, resulting in decreased reproductive performance and high replacement rate. Heavy does at first insemination might be able to benefit from the extra amount of BW to cope with the energy deficit during first lactation. Data of three experiments were used in which does were given ad libitum access to feed during rearing and inseminated at 14.5 wk of age. The first two parities of each doe were recorded. Does were categorized in three groups based on their BW at 14.5 wk of age (first insemination): heavy (BW ≥ 4000 g), medium (BW 3500 to 4000 g), and small (BW < 3500 g). Among does that kindled, differences in BW at first insemination were related to differences in voluntary feed intake and body growth rate during rearing. Heavy does consumed more feed per day (+ 45 g/d, P < 0.001) and had a higher BW gain (+ 12 g/d, P < 0.001) than small does from weaning (4.5 wk) to 14.5 wk of age. Body weight at first insemination did not affect BW, feed intake, and culling rate during the first two parities. Heavy does were heavier at first insemination and remained so throughout the reproductive period, but they followed a similar BW curve as medium and small does. A higher BW at first insemination (14.5 wk of age) improved litter size in the first parity (8.9, 7.7, and 6.4 for heavy, medium, and small does, respectively, P < 0.05). Extra BW at start of reproduction improves litter size in the first parity but does not contribute to an improved feed intake or increased BW development during reproduction.
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