Effect of genotype, age, body weight and sex on the body composition of growing rabbits.
Body composition of 503 growing rabbits of both sexes was examined at the age of 6, 8, 10, 12, 14 and 16 weeks. The animals were of four genotypes: purebred Pannon White (PP) and Danish White (DD) and their reciprocal crossings: DP and PD. Between the ages of 6 and 16 weeks, dry matter of the empty body increased from 27.6% to 34.2%, fat from 5.4% to 10.1 % and protein from 18.4% to 20.9%, whereas ash content decreased from 3.5% to 3.0%. The effect of body weight was greater than that of the age. The two groups containing the highest numbers of animals (PP and DP) had similar protein and ash content, but the DP genotype had a higher fat content than PP. Sex affected fat content only: the female rabbits contained significantly (P < 0.01) more body fat than the male rabbits but only at 12 weeks.
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