Effect of birth weight and litter size at suckling age on reproductive performance in does as adults


  • J. Poigner Pannon Agricultural University
  • Zs. Szendrö Pannon Agricultural University
  • A. Lévai Pannon Agricultural University
  • I. Radnai Pannon Agricultural University
  • E. Biró-Németh Pannon Agricultural University




A total of 121 Pannon White female rabbits born with low (39-43 g) or high (63-70 g) weight were raised in litters of 6 or 10 kits. Their reproductive performance (Al practiced 9-11 days after kindling) was controlled for 6 consecutive litters for a total of 300 kindlings. The does' birth weight had a significant effect on the number of inseminations necessary for the first kindling: the higher the birth weight of does, the lower their kindling rate. Later on, however, birth weight no longer affected the conception rate. With higher birth weight, significantly improved doe performance could be expected. Litter size at birth was 12.4% higher (9.52 vs 8.34; P:50.01), litter size at 21 days was 9.4% higher (7.64 vs 6.92; P:50.01) and litter weight at 21 days was 5.9 % greater (2.73 vs 2.57 kg; P:50.05) when the doe was born with greater weight. Total litter loss was 21.0% and 8.2% (P:50.01) for the high and low birth weight does, respectively. The size of the litters in which the does had been reared (6 or 10) did not influence their performance.


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