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Swine Nutrition and Feed Technology
Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences 2008;21(9): 1361-1366.
https://doi.org/10.5713/ajas.2008.80017    Published online September 4, 2008.
Effect of Different Raising Techniques on In vivo Performance and Carcass and Meat Traits of Ischia Grey Rabbit
Fulvia Bovera*, Carmelo Di Meo, Sandra Nizza, Giovanni Piccolo, Antonino Nizza
Correspondence:  Fulvia Bovera,
One-hundred and twenty Ischia grey rabbits, traditionally raised in pits, were equally divided after weaning (32 days) into three groups: group C, housed in cages (4 rabbits/cage) and fed a commercial concentrate; group GF, housed as C group and fed grasses collected on the island and crushed faba beans supplemented with an appropriate mineral vitamin mix; group P, housed in pits (8 rabbits/pit) and fed as GF group. Feed intake was recorded daily and live weight monthly up to slaughter (92 days). At slaughter, 10 rabbits per group were used to measure carcass and meat traits. The carcasses were weighed and measured according to the standard procedures and meat samples from the Longissimus dorsi and left hind leg were analysed for water holding capacity and chemical composition, respectively. During the entire trial, group C consumed significantly (p<0.01) a higher quantity of feed than the other groups (126.1 vs. 63.4 and 66.5 g/d, resp. for groups C, GF and P) and at slaughter showed a significantly (p<0.01) higher body weight (2,529.7 vs. 1,324.4 and 1,375.4 g, resp. for groups C, GF and P). Significant differences (p<0.01) were found also for dressing out percentage (68.6 vs. 66.6 and 66.9%, resp. for groups C, GF and P) and for meat chemical composition, in particular lipid percentage (4.13 vs. 1.84 and 1.93%, resp., for groups C, GF and P, p<0.01) and moisture (73.7 vs. 76.4 and 76.3%, resp. for groups C, GF and P, p<0.01). The results suggest the opportunity to obtain heavier animals raised in the pits if their diets were integrated with commercial feed.
Keywords: Ischia Grey Rabbit; Raising Technique; Carcass Characteristics; Meat Quality

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