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Archivos de Zootecnia

On-line version ISSN 1885-4494Print version ISSN 0004-0592


AWOJOBI, H.A. et al. Effects of reducing postpartum re-mating timeperiod on reproductive performance of the doe. Arch. zootec. [online]. 2011, vol.60, n.231, pp.501-512. ISSN 1885-4494.

Rabbits being induced ovulators can be rebred within 24 hours after parturition. However, reproductive efficiency and the doe's physiology can be affected by postpartum re-mating interval. This study evaluated the effects of reducing the re-mating interval after parturition on sexual activity, fertility, gestation, parturition and litter characteristics using 90 does. Three groups of crossbred (New Zealand White × Chinchilla) does were used in a randomized complete block design. Does were re-mated 1-9, 10-20 and 21-28 days after parturition in the dry and rainy seasons in Ayetoro, Ogun State, Nigeria. Acceptance of mating decreased with increasing postpartum remating interval. Conception rate was highest in the 21-28 days group (98.8%) and lowest in the 1020 days group (68.4%). Gestation length was significantly shorter (p<0.05) in the 10-20 days group (30.7 days), than 1-9 days group (31.6 days) and 21-28 days group (31.7 days). Litter size and weight at birth were not significantly affected. Kit's mortality was lower (p<0.05) in the 21-28 days group (25.6%) compared to 10-20 days group (57.4%) and 1-9 days group (58.8%). Litter weight (total and alive at birth) was heavier (p<0.05) during the rains (295.9 and 294.9 g) than dry season (250.1 and 243.3 g). Reducing the re-mating interval after parturition enhanced sexual activity. Fertility was comparable in does re-mated 1-9 and 21-28 days after parturition.

Keywords : Tropics.

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