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Rabbit does (Oryctolagus cuniculus) reproductive performance and kits survivability reared under semi-intensive system in Benin

Hervé Brice Dakpogan, Diane Nathalie Kpogue, André Aboh, Baudoin Gbegan, Rachad Lawani, Luc Hippolyte Dossa, Frédéric Houndonougbo, Guy Apollinaire Mensah, Armand Bienvenu Gbangboche, Saïdou Salifou

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Int. J. Biosci.15(3), 151-158, September 2019

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12692/ijb/15.3.151-158


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The profitability of rabbit production is closely related to does reproductive performance and pre-weaning kits survivability. The reduction in the producer’s profit margin has caused the stagnation of Benin rabbit farming in recent years. To evaluate does reproductive performance, fifty six rabbit farms of 904 breeders and 1396 kits were surveyed on the basis of breeding stock, litter size at birth and the number of weaned kits and kindling interval in a longitudinal prospective study. Pre-weaning kit survivability from 0 to 35 day of age, and its variation potential risk factors were also investigated. The results showed an average breeding stock of 16.14 ± 2.83 per rabbit farm, with 13.66 ± 2.50 females for 2.47 males giving a sex ratio of 6 females for one male. The average litter size at birth was 5.75 ± 0.57 per doe. The average number of kits at birth per doe per month was 0.98 ± 0.18 with 0.73 ± 0.34 weaned rabbits per doe. The average number of kindling per doe, per month was 0.17 ± 0.31 with 2 kindling per doe per year. Pre-weaning kit survivability was 74.48% with the majority of the death occurring in the first week of age. Factors such as litter daily monitoring, farmer’s instruction level, disinfection of hands and antiparasitic and anticoccidial prevention measures revealed to influence significantly pre-weaning kit survivability. The reproductive performance of rabbits observed in the herein study is well below that indicated by many authors. Further investigations are needed to identify the causes of the poor performance observed during this study, with the aim of improving does reproductive performance and hence, the profitability of the activity that employs a large number of beninese.


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Rabbit does (Oryctolagus cuniculus) reproductive performance and kits survivability reared under semi-intensive system in Benin

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