Different rearing systems for fattening rabbits: Performance and carcass characteristics.
ABSTRACT To evaluate the effect of different rearing systems and sex on productive performance and carcass composition and quality, 80 rabbits (40 males and 40 females) of Carmagnola breed were reared from 9 to 16 weeks of age in individual California type cages (0.12m(2)) or in group ground pens (0.25m(2)/head). The animals were kept in standard and uniform environmental conditions and fed the same ad libitum pellet feed. Data on live weight and feed intake were recorded. At the end of the fattening period 10 animals per group were slaughtered and data provided in the World Rabbit Science Association (WRSA) standard method were collected, as well as pH and meat colour. Animals reared in ground pens showed lower productive performances, while, as to slaughtering performances, rabbits reared in cages showed the highest slaughtering weight and also the highest weights for most body parts. Gender slightly affected productive and slaughtering performances: females showed higher feed consumption and higher perirenal fat weight than males. Meat colour parameters showed significant differences in Longissimus lumborum and Biceps femoris due to housing systems and gender effects. In both muscle, rearing system affected pH only 24h after slaughter.
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ABSTRACT: Metabolic differentiation in muscles was analysed in 50 rabbits of New Zealand White breed (strain INRA 1077) slaughtered at 28, 42, 56, 70 or 84 days. The activity of enzymes representing the glycolytic (fructose 1,6-diP aldolase) and the oxidative (NADP-isocitrate dehydrogenase) (ICDH) energy metabolism pathways, and two related physico-chemical traits, haem pigment content and ultimate pH, were estimated in semimembranosus proprius + soleus, psoas major and longissimus lumborum muscles. Aldolase activity was lowest in semimbranosus proprius + soleus, which are pure βR and the most precociously developed muscles, whereas haem pigment content and ultimate pH were highest; however, physico-chemical traits changed moderately during growth. In the psoas major (pure αW) and in the longissimus lumborum (mixed muscle), which develop later, aldolase activity increased until the 56th and 70th day respectively. The decrease in ICDH activity lasted longer, especially in the longissimus lumborum muscle. A significant negative relationship between aldolase activity and ultimate pH may explain why the ultimate pH decreased during fattening.Meat Science 01/1995; 39(3):395-401. · 2.75 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: This study evaluated the fatty acid content of rabbit meat from New Zealand White×Californian cross fryers born and reared outdoors on pasture (O/O), born and reared indoors in cages (I/I), or born indoors in cages and reared outdoors on pasture (I/O). The rabbits were sacrificed at 104 days of age and the left loin muscle (m. Longissimus dorsi) harvested for fat analysis. The standard AOAC methods were used to determine total fat and fatty acid contents. Compared to animals reared in cages, rabbits reared outdoors on pasture had significantly less total fat, higher proportions of eicosatrienoic and docosaenoic fatty acids and higher amounts of the n-3 fatty acids docosahexaenoic, docosapentaenoic and eicosapentaenoic. These data suggest that a grass-based diet may alter the fatty acid profile of rabbit meat, thus enhancing the n-3 fatty acid content and the nutritional value of the meat.Journal of Food Composition and Analysis 01/2006; 19:715-719. · 2.09 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: One hundred and sixty one weaned New Zealand White rabbits were housed in 0.4x0.4 m cages (3 rabbits/cage, 18.7 rabbits/m2) or in 3x3.3 m pen on deep litter (80 rabbits/pen, 8.1 rabbits/m2). At 13 weeks of age the pen-housed rabbits (n=52) had lower body weight (2318 vs 2437 g; P<0.01) and dressing percentage (59.8 vs 61.0 %; P<0.01), higher proportion of the fore part (32.3 vs 31.4 %; P<0.01) and hind part (40.3 vs 37.9 %; P<0.001), and lower proportion of the intermediate part of the carcass (27.5 vs 30.7 %; P<0.001) than the cage-housed rabbits (n=68). The percentage of perirenal fat was lower in the pen-housed rabbits (0.45 vs 0.83 % P<0.001) than in the cage-housed group. The meat on the hind legs (HL) and the m. longissimus dorsi (MLD) of pen-housed rabbits contained more water (HL: 75.0 vs 73.9 %; MLD: 74.6 vs 74.0 %; P<0.001) but less protein (HL: 21.3 vs 21.5 %; MLD: 23.6 vs 23.9 %; P< 0.05) and fat (HL: 2.48 vs 3.36 %; MLD: 0.65 vs 0.90 %; P<0.05) than those kept in cages. The housing system had no effect on ash content and pH value of the meat samples.