Some animal-related factors affecting pre-weaning mortality in rabbits
Keywords:Litter size, Birth weight, Mortality, Rabbits
AbstractPre-weaning mortality is one of the dominant aspect that impact negatively on productive and reproductive components in a commercial rabbit enterprise. This review article looks at some animal-related factors such as litter size and birth weight in influencing pre-weaning mortality in rabbits. There are several factors that influence pre-weaning mortality in rabbit production. Therefore, understanding of these factors may reduce production losses and maximize profits. Pre-weaning mortality restrict the output of any rabbit enterprise culminating in reduced income earned from rabbit production. A complicated interconnection between the doe, the kit and the environment influence pre-weaning mortality. A negative association between birth weight and litter size has been demonstrated in rabbits which implied that large litter resulted in individual low birth weight consequently increased pre-weaning mortality. Birth weight and litter size can be manipulated to the producers’ advantage and improve rabbits’ performance in the long run. A positive association of litter size and mortality has been reported in rabbits. The larger the litter the greater the mortality rate. The smaller the weight at birth of kits the less the chances of survivability. Mothers should be selected for good maternal attributes and reasonable litter size in order to curtail pre-weaning mortality. The present discussion will focus on litter size and birth weight as some of the major factors that influence pre-weaning mortality.
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