Growth performance, mortality and body and carcass characteristics of rabbit fatteners related to crossbreeding of Mecklenburger Schecke sires with dam line of HYLA rabbits

Zapletal D, Jakešová P, Žáková E, Šimek V, Straková E (2020): Growth performance, mortality and body and carcass characteristics of rabbit fatteners related to crossbreeding of Mecklenburger Schecke sires with dam line of HYLA rabbits. Czech J. Anim. Sci., 65: 337–345.

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The aim of the study was to evaluate the effect of crossing Mecklenburger Schecke (MS) males with the maternal commercial line of HYLA rabbits on the growth performance, mortality and body and carcass components of fattened rabbits under intensive farming conditions. The control (C) group consisted of albino crossbred rabbits of the HYLA combination AB sires × CD dams. The tested (T) group (MS sires × HYLA CD dams) consisted of rabbit crosses between the MS sires and the same dam line as in the C group. Rabbits of both groups were raised and fattened under identical nutritional and management conditions. The crossing of MS males with the maternal line of HYLA rabbits led to the acceptable growth performance of rabbits in the T group. The higher slaughter weight of rabbits in the T group as compared to rabbits in the C group (P < 0.01) as associated with the higher weight of hot carcass and higher proportions of fore and intermediate parts of carcass (P < 0.01). On the contrary, HYLA rabbits had a higher proportion of the hind part of carcass (P < 0.001); yields of hind leg meat and musculus longissimus thoracis et lumborum were not influenced by the genotype. However, since higher mortality was found in rabbits of the T group during fattening, it is not possible to recommend the MS breed as a common sire line used under conditions of intensive farming at this moment. Regarding the rabbit sex, slaughtered females showed a higher proportion of liver and a lower dressing percentage associated with the worse carcass compactness compared to males.

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