Diallel crossbreeding experiment in danish and hungarian meat rabbits 1. reproductive performance, growth, and feed conversion


  • N.E. Jensen Danish Institute of Animal Science
  • J.F. Jensen The Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University
  • Z. Szendrö Pannon University of Agricultural Sciences
  • P. Sorensen Danish Institute of Animal Science




The two rabbit meat breeds, Danish White (D), represented by a 3-way cross of 3 lines from the Danish lnstitute of Animal Science (DIAS), and Pannon White (H), represented by a synthetic breed from the Pannon Agricultural University (PAU) were used in a diallel crossing experiment carried out simultaneously at the two locations. In the four combinations: DD, DH, HD, and HH the male breed is mentioned first. The length of gestation and the number of young at birth were the same for the does from the two breeds, but the number of days between kindlings was smaller in H-does than in D­does. Litter number five was the largest at birth. From weaning to the test end, the mortality for all 1,147 weaned young rabbits was only 2.7%. The largest number was seen in group (DD) with 5.4% and the smallest in group (HD) with 1.2%.

The growth rate was recorded from weaning to an age of 70 days. Highest daily gain from weaning to an age of 70 days averaged 46.1 g in group (HD). A slightly smaller growth rate, 44.2 g, was obtained in group (DD). In group (DH), the growth rate averaged 43.9 g, and in group (HH) 41.2 g. Both crossbred groups grew faster than group (HH), but only group (HD) showed a crossbred effect.


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