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Scientia agriculturae bohemica, 42, 2011 (3): 113–118 113
Biodiversity is one of the most important factors
of sustainable agriculture. Farm animals which are
used for meat production have been developed on a
relatively narrow base and the genetic management of
genetic resources has been receiving attention recently.
There are several major concerns with regard to the
genetic resources: genetic variation is the prerequisite
for selection of desirable traits, highly differentiated
strains are the basis to develop resource populations in
quantitative trait loci mapping, detection and utiliza-
tion for maker-assisted selection and old native breeds
may be considered as living evidence of achieve-
ments of many generations of breeders (We i g e n d ,
R o m a n o v, 2002). Farm Animal Genetic Resources
are defined as animal species that are used, or may be
used, for the production of food and agriculture. The
Global Databank for Farm Animal Genetic Resources
contained records for 16 mammalian and 14 avian spe-
cies including 6379 breeds (We i g e n d , R o m a n o v ,
2002). Rabbit genetic resources in the Global Databank
consist of 232 rabbit breeds. In rabbit genetic resources,
71.6% of breeds are no records of population and 20.3%
are critically endangered (D u c h e v et al., 2006).
The rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) originates from
Spain. Up to Antiquity and even Middle Age, it was
bred only in Spain and south of France, and we can
consider that its domestication began only at the 18th
century (A r n o l d , 1994). The most important step
of creation of breeds occurred during the first half
of the 20th century. In Europe, more than 60 breeds
were registered by the national associations of rabbit
breeders (B o l e t et al., 1996). The European as-
sociation of rabbit breeders and the FAO (Food and
Agricultural Organization) created a databank more than
150 national breeds from 11 countries. The databank
registered historical, morphological, demographic and
basic zootechnical information. A European program
RESGEN CT 95-060 coordinated by INRA (Institut
national de la recherche agronomique, France), aimed
at a more comprehensive description of these breeds
and at evaluating ten of them at levels of both genetic
diversity and zootechnical characteristics. Results
revealed a large diversity with respect to growth,
carcass and meat quality traits and original features
for some breeds, with potential economic interest
(B o l e t et al., 2000). In the Czech Republic, national
rabbit breeds were registered in the Program of Rabbit
Genetic Resources in 1997. However, there is a lack
of information about the breeds. The first data for the
breeds are oriented mainly on population size develop-
ment (M a r t i n e c et al., 2007; Z i t a et al., 2010).
The aim of the study is to receive the first data of
Czech Rabbit Genetic Resources and to describe an
effective population size, fertility and growth char-
acteristics of seven Czech rabbit breeds included in
the Program of Rabbit Genetic Resources.
MaterIal and Methods
The study of population and reproduction of the
Czech national rabbit breeds was analysed on the base
of the Central Herd Book of rabbits which has been
analysIs of czech rabbIt GenetIc resources*
E. Tůmová, M. Martinec, D. Chodová
Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Faculty of Agrobiology, Food and Natural
Resources, Department of Animal Husbandry, Prague, Czech Republic
The aim of the study was to describe an effective population size, fertility and growth characteristics of Czech rabbit breeds
included in the Program of Rabbit Genetic Resources. In the study, seven Czech original breeds were included, giant breed
Moravian Blue (MB), medium breeds Czech White (CW), Czech Spotted (CS), Czech Solver (CSo), Moravian White of
Brown Eye (MW) and small breeds Czech Black Guard Hair (CB) and Czech Gold (CG). The effective population size of
MB, CW, CS ad CG shows that breeds are not at risk and even though that CSo, MW and CB are endangered, their population
 
the whole experiment and the highest live weight at 91 days was in MB (2948 g) and the lowest in CB (1891 g).
rabbit; breed; effective population size; fertility; growth
* Supported by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic, Project No. MSM6046070901 and by the Ministry
of Agriculture of the Czech Republic, Project No. QI101A164.
114 Scientia agriculturae bohemica, 42, 2011 (3): 113–118
registered by Czech Association of Breeders since
2000. Rabbit breeds, which were included into the
study, are in the different breed classification, giant
breed Moravian Blue (MB), medium breeds Czech
White (CW), Czech Spotted (CS), Czech Solver (CSo),
Moravian White of brown eye (MW) and small breeds
Czech Black Guard Hair (CB) and Czech Gold (CG).
Breed characteristics are in Table 1.
Population size and effective population size
Data for survey of population size, the effective
population size were evaluated for a year ranging from
2003 to 2008. In total, details of 6865 rabbit litters
of seven rabbit breeds were included in the study of
population size. The effective population size was
evaluated on a number of rabbits in each breed ac-
cording to the formula of Wright (1931):
Nc = 4(Nm × Nf)/(Nm + Nf)
Nm – number of males
Nf – number of females
Fertility analysis was done on characteristics
like number of litters, litter size, number of weaned
kits and number of registered kits. In total, data of
6865 litters, 43580 born kits, 37494 weaned kits in
years 2003 to 2008 were estimated.
Growth characteristics
A feeding experiment with seven rabbit breeds was
carried out from weaning age at 42 days to 91 days of
age. One hundred fifty four weaned rabbits were split
into seven groups according to a breed (22 rabbits in
a group). The rabbits were from fancy breeders and
were placed into commercial cages for two rabbits
with the floor space 0.09 m2 per rabbit. There were
identical conditions for rabbits, a temperature 16°C
and relative humidity 55% were kept for the whole
fattening period. A twelve-hour photoperiod was used.
Water and feed were available ad libitum. Rabbits
were fed on pelleted commercial type diets (18.6%
crude protein, 16.5% crude fibre, 3.69% crude fat). In
the experiment, rabbits were weighed individually in
a week interval. Data of growth were processed by one-
way ANOVA using GLM procedure. The significance
of differences among groups was tested by the Scheffe
Scheme of the experiment
results and dIscussIon
Results of the study show the first information about
situation in rabbit breeds which are in the Program
of Czech Animal Genetic Resources. In addition,
there is the first comparison of growth of these rabbit
breeds in identical conditions. Data of Table 2 give
information about rabbit population and number of
breeders of each breed. In the analysed period, the
highest population size was in MB and MS. In both
breeds population size decreased about 100 rabbits in
the evaluated period. In CS breed, it was connected
with declining of breeders number for 10 breeders.
In MB number of breeders is stabilized on a range of
25–27 breeders. Similar situation was in CW, where
population size and a number of breeders reduced,
however the number of breeders is relatively stabilized
Table 1. Breed characteristics in breeding standards
Parameter Breed
Invented 1890 1930 1900 1959 1984 1975 1959
Colour of genotype ABCdgh a---- ABCDgKk Abcdg achibCDg achibCDG AbCDGy3
Live weight of adult rabbits (kg) 5.5–6.5 4.0–5.0 3.3–4.0 3.5–4.25 3.3–4.0 2.5–3.25 2.5–3.25
Live weight at 30 days of age (kg) 0.7 0.6 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.4 0.4
Live weight at 60 days of age (kg) 1.5 1.2 0.9 1.1 1.0 0.8 0.9
Live weight at 90 days of age (kg) 2.5 2.0 1.5 1.8 1.4 1.2 1.3
Share of genetic resources
on population size (%) 80 70 50 80 80 90 90
Group Number
of rabbits Body size Breed
122 giant Moravian Blue
222 medium Czech White
322 medium Czech Spotted
422 medium Czech Solver
522 medium Moravian White of Brown Eye
622 small Czech Black Guard Hair
722 small Czech Gold
MB – Moravian Blue; CW – Czech White; CS – Czech Spotted; CSo – Czech Solver; MW – Moravian White of Brown Eye; CB – Czech Black
Guard Hair; CG – Czech Gold
Scientia agriculturae bohemica, 42, 2011 (3): 113–118 115
on the range from 20 to 24 breeders. On the other
hand, population size and the number of breeders are
the highest in these breeds in the group of evaluated
breeds. In other breeds, increasing of population size
and the number of breeders was found out. It is pos-
sible to assume that growth of population of these
breeds is due to a support of the Program of Rabbit
Genetic Resources, which subsidize mainly keeping
of these breeds.
In results of population size, effective population
size (Table 3) is more important parameter because
it has a direct relationship with the rate of inbreed-
ing, fitness and the amount of genetic variation. The
highest Nc value was detected in CS and according to
EAAP (European Association for Animal Production)
categorization (D u c h e v et al., 2006), the breed
is not at risk. Also breeds CW, MB and CG are not
classified as a risk. However, CSo, MW and CB with
lower Nc, are endangered. The smallest population
size is CB. Even though that the effective popula-
tion size index in this breed was 272, the popula-
tion size is still endangered. The effective population
size is not commonly described parameter in rabbits
and livestock. We i g e l (2001) stated that very low
Nc in Holstein cattle 39 and 30 in Jersey cattle may
cause reproduction problems. In rabbits, K e r d i l e s ,
R o c h a m b e a u (2002) reported Nc between 30 and
50 for strain 1077 and from 37 to 62 for strain 2066.
Both strains are genotypes of broiler rabbits in French
Program of Genetic Resources. The low number of Nc
is associated with an increase of inbreeding and large
deterioration of fitness (K e r d i l e s , R o c h a m b e a u ,
2002). N a g y et al. (2010) reported for Pannon White
rabbit in last 16 years that Nc varied from 37.19 to
91.08, depending on the method of estimation and the
estimates stabilized after the year 2002. The Nc did
not depend on the negative inbreeding trends. From
our results, none of the evaluated breeds was criti-
cally endangered according to EAAP classification.
The positive outcome was that in MW, CSo and CB
effective population size index has increased during
the Program of Rabbit Genetic Resources.
Fertility parameters (Table 4) show high significant
effect of genotype on litter size and number of weaned
was in mediate breeds CW (6.83) and CS (6.74) and the
Table 2. Population size and number of breeders
Year Breed
2003 population 1072 944 1071 242 263 98 411
number of breeders 27 24 46 811 414
2004 population 1080 900 960 239 342 86 374
number of breeders 28 23 45 813 613
2005 population 1074 792 844 340 338 154 455
number of breeders 26 21 38 13 12 819
2006 population 986 915 927 338 383 243 453
number of breeders 25 22 38 11 16 11 22
2007 population 856 908 961 352 376 288 656
number of breeders 25 21 36 12 13 14 22
2008 population 917 786 919 308 340 205 671
number of breeders 27 20 36 13 15 13 30
Table 3. Effective population size
Year Breed
2003 244 185 465 77 67 25 108
2004 224 181 415 78 89 29 127
2005 230 189 372 94 92 35 149
2006 223 207 377 109 127 66 155
2007 233 206 398 102 107 76 186
2008 236 169 412 117 109 68 205
2003–2008 mean 231.7 186.2 406.5 96.2 98.5 49.8 155
index (%) 92.6 91.4 88.6 151.9 162.7 272.0 189.8
Classification of EAAP not at risk not at risk not at risk endangered endangered endangered not at risk
Legend see Table 1
Legend see Table 1
116 Scientia agriculturae bohemica, 42, 2011 (3): 113–118
lowest in small breeds CG (5.37). These results are in
agreement with findings of L u k e f a h r et al. (1983),
M a c h (1992) or B o l e t et al. (2004), who revealed
that albino breeds have higher fertility in comparison
with other medium breeds. CW was in the past affected
by some albino genotypes including broiler rabbits and
presumably it is the result of the crossing. R o b e r t s ,
L u k e f a h r (1992) or B o l e t et al. (2004) describe
that litter size of medium breeds is between 6 and
7.3 and our results are similar. Generally, fertility of
small breeds is lower and litter size of CB 5.63 and CG
5.37 corresponds with B o l e t et al. (2004) in small
breeds like Himalayan 5.51 or Chinchilla 5.73. On the
other hand, a number of weaned kits is not correlated
with body size. The significantly highest number of
in CG. B o l e t et al. (2004) in a study of fertility of
the European Rabbit Genetic Resources stated that
higher number of weaned kits was in medium size
breeds in comparison with giant or small breeds. The
significantly highest mortality at time to weaning
connected with a genotype of CS where parents are
heterozygots and kits with genotype KK died in the
first several weeks of life. Gene K for English spot
negatively affects coat pigmentation and health status
of rabbits.
Growth of rabbits (Table 5) was highly signifi-
whole experiment. Kits were weaned at the age of
42 days and the significantly lowest live weight was
in small breeds CB and CG. Differences in growth
among breeds continued till the end of the experi-
ment. The significantly highest final live weight was
in the giant breed MB and this live weight was higher
in comparison with growth standard for the breed
(Table 1) and is comparable with broiler rabbits. Very
similar results were recorded for a medium breed CW
and also growth of this breed is similar to growth of
               
et al., 2000). The significantly lowest live weight
other hand, rabbits of these both breeds grew faster
than in standards described in Table 1. Our results agree
with data of B o l e t et al. (2000) in 10 breeds of the
European Rabbit Genetic Resources. In their result the
giant breed Flemish Giant and medium breed Argenté
de Champagne grew faster than broiler rabbit strain
C77. Other medium breeds Belgian Here and Vienna
White breeds exhibited the slowest growth rate. The
small sized breeds Chinchilla, Himalayan and English
had a 25–35% slower growth rate than C77.
Results of the study show the first data of Czech
Rabbit Genetic Resources and it is clear that due to the
support of the Program of Animal Genetic Resources
in endangered breeds, population size increased, which
is important for maintenance of original rabbit breeds
in the Czech Republic. The preliminary data of fertil-
ity and growth revealed that Mb and CW are breeds
which may be a source of traits suitable for meat
Table 4. Fertility
Parameter Breed SEM Significance
Number of litters 1421 1087 2400 396 566 237 756 – –
Litter size 6.34b6.83a6.74a5.92c5.72c5.63cd 5.37d0.02 0.001
Number of weaned 5.56b6.46a5.19cd 5.37bc 5.22cd 5.38bc 4.95d0.02 0.001
Mortality till weaning (%) 11.72b5.38bc 21.18a8.32cd 8.91bc 4.78e7.91cd 0.02 0.001
a,b,c,d 
Table 5. Growth of rabbits
Live weight (g) Breed SEM Significance
42 days of age 1016a889ab 750bc 950a873ab 705c751bc 254.01 0.001
49 days of age 1215a1129a969b1244a1094ab 777c963b253.58 0.001
56 days of age 1423a1363a1141b1484a1295ab 874c1140b301.03 0.001
63 days of age 1732a1629a1389b1654a1403b1052c1295b341.65 0.001
70 days of age 2106a1946ab 1630c1868b1622c1279d1488cd 333.71 0.001
77 days of age 2444a2265ab 1878c2129b1868c1554d1711cd 323.87 0.001
84 days of age 2759a2562a2099c2330b2054cd 1757e1880de 315.66 0.001
91 days of age 2948a2747b2240d2453c2210d1891e2004e296.34 0.001
a,b,c,d,e 
Scientia agriculturae bohemica, 42, 2011 (3): 113–118 117
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Received for publication on February 22, 2011
Accepted for publication on March 24, 2011
118 Scientia agriculturae bohemica, 42, 2011 (3): 113–118
Analýza českých genetických zdrojů králíků
Scientia Agric. Bohem., 42, 2011, 113–118
Contact Address:
      
... Although, annual consumption of the rabbit meat per capita shows a decreasing tendency in the Czech Republic currently, local meat consumption ranks still among European countries with the highest stated consumption of this meat (Josrová, 2018). Number of studies dealing with productive and reproductive traits of rabbit breeds included in the Czech genetic resources programme revealed that some selected breeds show a good potential for meat production (Zita et al., 2010;Tůmová et al., 2011;Tůmová et al., 2014). Similarly, a Nitra rabbit breed, Slovak national breed, showed suitable promise for meat production in small-scaled stocks (Fik et al., 2018). ...
... Martinec et al. (2017) state that the CS breed is a typical hobby breed historically selected mainly for an exhibition purpose, while its exterior traits that have been included in the selection effort in the past are not directly related to meat performance of rabbits. This fact was repeatedly verified also in studies dealing with evaluation of meat performance of rabbit breeds included in the Czech genetic resources of animals (Tůmová et al., 2011;Tůmová et al., 2014). On the other hand, the highest LW values were found in the BH breed. ...
... It should be pointed out that the exterior traits of each breed are developing with ongoing time and therefore the breed standards are regularly updated. Besides that, a recent study of Tůmová et al. (2011) showed slightly different Table 1 Selected morphometric parameters in the monitored rabbit breeds in pre-weaning period. LW of the 91-day-old CSo rabbits (2,453 g) and CS rabbits (2,240 g). ...
... CG was selected for fur and fertility. Other breed characteristics are in the study Tůmová et al. (2011). ...
... The population sizes evaluated following the FAO classification (Table 1) show that according to female number the CSo, MW and CB breeds are critically endangered. The same results were obtained when we estimated population size by effective population size (Tůmová et al., 2011). A comparison of these 2 methods of population size estimation shows that both give similar results and it is possible to use only one of them for a population evaluation. ...
... Those authors reported that the giant breed Flemish Giant and medium breed Argenté de Champagne grew faster than the broiler rabbit strain C77. Trends in the growth of the breeds in this study were similar to those in our previous experiment (Tůmová et al., 2011). In agreement with Szendrő et al. (2010), live weight at 90 d of age and daily weight gain of rabbits in this study corresponded with adult body weight. ...
Full-text available
The aims of this study were to describe selected performance characteristics of Czech local breeds and to compare these breeds with a commercial hybrid. Seven original Czech breeds were included in the study: the giant breed Moravian Blue (MB), the medium breeds Czech White (CW), Czech Spotted (CS), Czech Solver (CSo), Moravian White of Brown Eye (MW) and the small breeds Czech Black Guard Hair (CB) and Czech Gold (CG) and the Hyplus rabbits. Growth of the rabbits was significantly (P=0.001) affected by genotype; MB and CW breeds grew non-significantly faster than Hyplus. The highest daily weight gain was observed in MB (42.6 g/d) and the lowest was in CB (23.9 g/d). Digestibility of ether extract was significantly (P=0.001) affected by genotype, with the lowest value for MB (0.823). Slaughter characteristics mostly correlated with live weight; the highest dressing-out percentage was in the small breed CG (62.0%) and the lowest in the Hyplus rabbit (57.0%). Of the biochemical traits evaluated, only cholesterol concentration was significantly (P=0.041) affected by genotype, with the highest values observed in Hyplus rabbits (4.2 mmol/L).
... Relative to Czech white rabbit breed and the Rabbit of Nitra has the Saris Giant Rabbit and Hybrids (NoS 50, Nos 25, Nos 12.5) lower growth performance to 60 and 90 days. Tůmová et al. (2011) published growth performance of (Czech) national breed rabbits. Czech white breed day 42-889 g, day 77-2,265 g, day 91-2,747 g. ...
... These record are in agreement with results of Lukefahr et al. (1983), Mach (1992) or Bolet et al. (2004). These authors Tůmová et al. (2011) recorded that litter size of medium weight breeds (Moravian white of brown eye and Czech white) was 5.72 (Moravian white of brown eye) kits and 6.83 (Czech white), weaned of kits in litter 5.22 (Moravian white of brown eye) and 6.46 (Czech white) and percentage of mortality till weaning 8.32% (Moravian white of brown eye) and 5.38% (Czech white). We are recorded in this work the percentage of mortality until weaning was 7.13% -NoS 50, 12.09% -NoS 25, 9.47% -NoS 12.5 and 8.81% -Šo. ...
... Compared to Czech white rabbit breed has the Rabbit of Nitra higher growth performance to 70 days of age and from this age is the intensity compared to that breed considerably lower. These authors Tůmová et al. (2011) described that litter size of medium breeds (Czech white and Moravian white of brown eye) was 6.83 (Czech white) and 5.72 (Moravian white of brown eye) kits, weaned of kits per litter 6.46 (Czech white) and 5.22 (Moravian white of brown eye) and mortality till weaning 5.38% (Czech white) and 8.32% (Moravian white of brown eye). In this work the mortality till weaning was 13.08%. ...
... In this work the mortality till weaning was 13.08%. Tůmová et al. (2011) reported growth of national breed rabbit. Czech white day 42-889 g, day 77-2,265 g, day 91-2,747 g. ...
... Rabbits are herbivores that mainly feed on grass, forbs, and leafy weeds. Like any creatures else in our evolutionary history, rabbits have to evolve with survival (Tůmová et al., 2011). To prevent the nest from being found by predators, rabbits do not eat the grass near the holes, they always seek food away from their nests. ...
In this paper, a new bio-inspired meta-heuristic algorithm, named artificial rabbits optimization (ARO), is proposed and tested comprehensively. The inspiration of the ARO algorithm is the survival strategies of rabbits in nature, including detour foraging and random hiding. The detour foraging strategy enforces a rabbit to eat the grass near other rabbits’ nests, which can prevent its nest from being discovered by predators. The random hiding strategy enables a rabbit to randomly choose one burrow from its own burrows for hiding, which can decrease the possibility of being captured by its enemies. Besides, the energy shrink of rabbits will result in the transition from the detour foraging strategy to the random hiding strategy. This study mathematically models such survival strategies to develop a new optimizer. The effectiveness of ARO is tested by comparison with other well-known optimizers by solving a suite of 31 benchmark functions and five engineering problems. The results show that ARO generally outperforms the tested competitors for solving the benchmark functions and engineering problems. ARO is applied to the fault diagnosis of a rolling bearing, in which the back-propagation (BP) network optimized by ARO is developed. The case study results demonstrate the practicability of the ARO optimizer in solving challenging real-world problems. The source code of ARO is publicly available at and
... The group must be large enough. It transmits its characteristics to the offspring as long as the conditions of the external environment do not change [11,14]. By 2017, there existed at least 305 breeds of domestic rabbit in 70 countries round the world [3]. ...
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The aim of this study was to evaluate the exterior faults in selected Slovak breeds of rabbits of different colour varieties according to a current Book of Rabbit Standards. Of 336 rabbits from 9 exhibitions organized in the territory of the Slovak and Czech Republics, 2 national medium-sized breeds of Liptov Bold-Spotted Rabbit (270 pcs) and Nitra Rabbit (66 pcs) were selected. The qualities and exterior faults of typical breed traits were evaluated in seven positions including: weight, shape, type, coat, top colour (eventually markings), under-colour (eventually intermediate colour), condition and health. Our evaluations showed that the most common exterior faults in these categories were in the: positions, shape, type, coat, and top-colour. In the shape position there were found significant exterior faults, such as slightly protruding hips with slanting rump, and worse legs position with loose skin on the body. In the type position, the faults observed in all selected breeds included: narrow chest, body too lean or too long, more delicate head with ears too fine and longer. The coat was usually thick and less elastic with a lighter under-colour at the base of the skin and non-sharply defined intermediate colour. In the top colour position of evaluated breeds there were numerous deficiencies involving uneven, and incomplete colour, and significant faults in the drawing. The data obtained in this study were innovative, as they represented a new approach that may help to characterize the Slovak breeds of rabbits included in this study and to select individuals with the best exterior traits towards improving the quality of these breeds.
... [1][2][3] As of 2017, there were at least 305 breeds of domestic rabbit in 70 countries around the world. 4 A rabbit breed is a distinct created through natural selection or, more often, though selective breeding for specific characteristics, including size, coat (length, quality, or color), feed conversion ratio 4,5 climate adaptability, or temperament. 6 Most often, the breeds of rabbits are divided by weight to large (5.5kg and over), medium (3.5 to 5.5kg), small (2.0 to 3.25kg) and dwarf (1.0-2.0kg). ...
... Nowadays, regarding the structure and abundance of holdings, the predominant breeding of rabbits is for meat (Szendrő et al., 2012) and sports (Whitman, 2004;Alves et al., 2015). Rabbit farming for the production of fur and skins is represented to a lesser extent, but the breeding of specialised genotypes for biological research and laboratory rabbits is also important in terms of economic or scientific interest (Gonzalez-Mariscal, 2004;Tůmová et al., 2011). ...
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p>Generally, in recent times across the breeding spectrum, rabbits of giant, medium, small and dwarf breeds have been reared. The largest representation among breeders at most breeding exhibitions held in central European countries is amongst giant and medium breeds. The aim of this work was to evaluate the qualities and exterior faults in selected giant and medium rabbit breeds in different colour varieties according to a current book of rabbit standards. Of 1779 rabbits from 11 exhibitions held in the territory of the Czech and Slovak Republics, 646 giant rabbits weighing 5.5 kg and over and 1133 medium rabbits between 3.25 to 5.5 kg of different breeds and colour varieties were selected. Giant (large) breeds population included 210 of Giant, 187 of Giant Papillon and 249 of Lop. In the medium weight category, 308 of Big Light Silver, 184 of Chinchilla Giganta and 641 of Vienna group breeds were selected. The qualities and exterior faults of typical breed traits were evaluated in six positions: weight, shape, type, coat, top colour or markings and undercolour. The results of the work show that the most common exterior faults in these categories were in the shape, type and coat positions. In the shape position, significant exterior faults were found, such as slightly protruding hips with slanting rump, worse legs position with bowed or splayed limbs and loose skin on the body. Especially observed in the type position in all selected breeds were narrow chest, body too lean or too long and a more delicate head with finer structure of ears. The coat was usually thick and less elastic with the lighter undercolour at the base of the skin and non-sharply defined intermediate colour. The data obtained are ground-breaking, representing a new approach to assist in the characterisation of giant and medium rabbit breeds included in a study and to select individuals with the best exterior properties with a view to improving the breed quality.</p
... The following Czech rabbit genetic resources were represented: giant breed Moravian Blue (MB), medium breeds Czech White (CW), Czech Spotted (CS), Czech Solver (CSo), Moravian White of Brown Eye (MW), small breeds Czech Black Guard Hair (CB), Czech Gold (CG), and a commercial hybrid Hyplus (PS 19 × PS 39). Pure breed characteristics were described by Tůmová et al. (2011). Rabbits were weaned at 42 days of age, housed in two different housing systems. ...
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The effect of the housing system on the carcass characteristics, physical parameters of meat quality, fatty acid composition, and muscle fibre characteristics was studied in some Czech breeds. Ninety-six rabbits from seven different breeds of Czech genetic resources (Moravian Blue, Czech White, Czech Solver, Czech Spotted, Moravian White of Brown Eye, Czech Gold, and Czech Black Guard Hair) and one rabbit commercial hybrid (Hyplus), kept in two housing systems: intensive system (wire-net cages) or alternative (straw-bedded pen), were slaughtered at the age of 91 days. Alternatively housed rabbits had lower weight at slaughter, lower weight of loin, of hind legs meat, and of renal fat than rabbits from cages. The interactions between housing system and genotype were reflected significantly in pH value, and lightness and yellowness of biceps femoris. The highest (P . 0.047) pH was observed in Hyplus (6.68) from cages, while the lowest value was noted in Moravian White of Brown Eye (6.26). The significantly (P . 0.010) lightest meat was detected in Czech Solver (60.93) and the darkest in Czech Gold (47.81). Alternatively reared rabbits showed significantly (P . 0.001) lower monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) (26.63%) and higher (P . 0.001) polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) (36.73%) contents than rabbits from cages (36.94% MUFA and 26.23% PUFA). The alternatively housed group had also higher n-3 and n-6 PUFA contents and higher PUFA : SFA ratio than the intensively housed one. Significant interactions (P . 0.001) were observed in cross sectional area (CSA), diameter, and perimeter of muscle fibres of type I. The largest (P . 0.001) CSA of type I muscle fibre had Czech Black Guard Hair from cages (2573.1 μm2), while in pens this breed exhibited the smallest CSA (1219.6 μm2), diameter (38.68 μm), and perimeter (130.2 μm). Fibre type distribution was not affected by any of the monitored parameters. The effect of interactions of the housing system and genotype was manifested mainly in physical and muscle fibre characteristics.
... The live weight of an adult Czech White rabbit is 4.0-5.0 kg (Tůmová et al., 2011). ...
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The aim of the present work was to evaluate the effect of stocking density on the biceps femoris (BF) muscle fibre properties, meat quality, the growth performance and carcass traits of Czech White rabbits. A total of 20 rabbits (40 days old, 10 rabbits per treatment, sex ratio 1/1) were reared in cages at different stocking densities (10 rabbits/m2 or 4 rabbits/m2) for 49 days. Stocking density had no significant effect on the growth performance. There were no significant differences between groups with regard to hot carcass weight (HCW) or dressing-out percentage. The proportions of both perirenal (9.5 vs. 15.9 g/kg HCW; P=0.010) and total dissectible fat (14.9 vs. 25.1 g/kg HCW; P=0.001) were lower in rabbits reared at the lower stocking density. No significant differences in ultimate pH values, meat colour or proximate composition were observed. The hind leg meat of rabbits reared at the lower stocking density contained significantly less lauric (4.6 vs. 6.7 mg/100 g of muscle; P=0.008) and myristic acid (52.2 vs. 64.4 mg/100 g of muscle; P=0.033). Significantly higher percentages of βR fibres (16.3 vs. 6.5 %, P=0.001) and αR fibres (24.5 vs. 14.2 %; P=0.001) and a significantly lower percentage of αW fibres (59.2 vs. 79.3 %; P=0.001) were also observed in these rabbits. The mean cross-sectional area (1882 vs. 2744 μm2; P=0.001) and diameter (47.9 vs. 58.5 μm; P=0.001) of βR fibres were smaller in rabbits reared at the lower stocking density. Thus, the lower stocking density favourably affected the medium-chain fatty acid profile of meat and fibre characteristics of the rabbits' biceps femoris muscle.
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The performance, feed conversion, slaughter parameters and composition of meat were investigated in 48 rabbits between the ages of 30 and 80 days. Six genotypes were compared: New Zealand White (NZW), Californian White (CW), New Zealand White × Californian White (N × C), Hyla 2000 (Hy), Zika (Zi), Cunistar (Cu). The NZW rabbits had the lowest weight gain (25.4 g/day) and the highest consumption of feed per 1 kg of gain (4.56 kg). Significantly higher (P < 0.05) daily weight gains were observed in the N × C, Zi and Cu rabbits (34.5, 33.0 and 33.0 g, respectively). The best feed conversion was found in the CW rabbits (2.98 kg/kg). The dressing percentage in the NZW rabbits (66.1) was significantly better than in other genotypes (59.6-62.8). In all breeds, the musculus longissimus dorsi contained more protein and less fat, cholesterol and hydroxyproline than muscles of the hindleg. Carcass of the CW rabbits had the lowest fat and cholesterol contents. The highest fat content in m. longissimus dorsi and hindleg muscles was found in the Zi (16.2 g/kg) and NZW (41.4 g/kg) rabbits, respectively. In other quality parameters, differences between the genotypes were not statistically significant.
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In 1995, the Member Governments of the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations resolved that their Secretariat would develop the Global Strategy for the Management of Farm Animal Genetic Resources for country use. One of the sub-elements of this strategy is the establishment of a Global Databank for Farm Animal Genetic Resources. A snapshot of this Global Databank was analysed and synthesized in form of an extensive inventory known as the World Watch List for Domestic Animal Diversity (WWL-DAD). The 3rd edition (WWL-DAD:3) based on data collected up to November 1999 contains per-country reports for 16 mammalian and 14 avian species including a total of 6379 breed entries. Breed data recorded for 14 avian species encompasses only 16% (1049) of total breed entries. The majority (89%) of avian breeds recorded falls into one of the five major avian species: chicken (71%), duck (8%), goose (6%), turkey (3%) and muscovy duck (2%). For chicken, turkey and goose, most breeds are recorded in Europe, but largest number of duck breeds is found in Asia and the Pacific region. The proportional share of the global population size is greatest for Asia and the Pacific region for all major avian species except turkey, for which most records were from Europe. Of the 938 avian breeds of the five species, 460 (49%) breeds have been classified as being at risk of loss, whereas for 182 breeds (19%) no population data were available. Availability of recorded data differs considerably between regions and classification of breeds into the different risk status categories refers only to population within a given country. Therefore, data cannot be interpreted in a global way and the identification of breeds with highest risk of loss is complicated due to overlap of records of the same breed in different countries as well as missing data. Next steps should consequently be the strengthening of surveying and data collection activities, the improvement of breed data quality and the assessment of between breed variation by modern molecular tools as outlined in the FAO's proposed project on Maintenance of Domestic Animal Genetic Diversity (MoDAD).
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Towards the end of the previous century the increasing erosion of biological diversity in livestock was recognized by the animal breeders as an area which needs monitoring and conservation measures. For that purpose various national, regional and global infrastructures was put in place by governmental and non-governmental organizations like European Association for Animal Production (EAAP), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations and Rare Breeds International, etc. These organizations have developed a number of methods for estimation the risk status of the breed. However, the different systems use different parameters and thresholds and are hard to compare. Several attempts for uniform European criterion have been made, but still no consensus has been reached. In this study we continue the work of the Animal Genetic Resources group of EAAP towards the uniform criterion based on the effective population size, the expected number of breeding females and the global population. Our main contribution is the novel approach in handling the parameter global population, allowing its external parameterization. The criterion was applied to 21 pig breeds from 8 European countries and the results show clear not at risk status of the big international breeds.
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Demographic history, current status, and efficiency of the mating strategy were analyzed using the pedigree of Pannon White (PW) rabbits born between 1992 and 2007. Potential accumulation of detrimental effects and loss of genetic diversity were also considered. Calculations and estimates were done most often for rabbits born in 2007, whereas other reference populations (REFPOPXXXX) were specified explicitly. The pedigree contained 4,749 individuals and 580 founders, and its completeness was 82.1% up to 10 and 94.5% up to 5 generations, respectively. Generation intervals through different pathways averaged 1.2 yr. When adjusted to the pedigree completeness, the amount of inbreeding (F(i)) of rabbits was comparable (5.54%) with that of other livestock populations, whereas the 10 (30) founders contributing the most to inbreeding explained a large part of the population inbreeding [i.e., 42.24% (73.18%)]. The ancestral inbreeding coefficient of REFPOP2004 (10.67%) was one-half that of REFPOP2007 (20.66%), showing its strong dependence on pedigree length. Family variance, inbreeding, and realized effective population size were 84.18 (REFPOP2006; this variable could not be calculated for the last year examined), 37.19, and 91.08, respectively. The effective numbers of ancestors, founders, and founder genomes were 48, 26, and 7.33, respectively. Although the circular mating scheme applied was generally effective, the large accumulated reduction in genetic variability indicates the need to revise and improve the current breeding strategy.
Modern livestock breeding programs feature accurate breeding value estimation and advanced reproductive technol-ogy. Such programs lead to rapid genetic progress, but they also lead to the accumulation of inbreeding via heavy impact of a few selected individuals or families. Inbreeding rates are accelerating in most species, and economic losses due to in-breeding depression in production, growth, health, and fertility are a serious concern. Most research has focused on preserva-tion of rare breeds or maintenance of genetic diversity within closed nucleus breeding schemes. However, the apparently large population size of many livestock breeds is misleading, because inbreeding is primarily a function of selection inten-sity. Strategies for maintaining variation by restricting rela-tionships between selected animals or by artificially increasing the emphasis on within-family information when estimating breeding values have been suggested, and some approaches seem to provide greater long-term responses than BLUP selec-tion. Corrective mating programs are widely used in some species, and these can be modified to consider selection for economic merit adjusted for inbreeding depression. Selection of parents of AI bulls based on optimal genetic contributions to future generations, which are a function of estimated breed-ing values and genetic relationships between selected indi-viduals, appears most promising. Rapid implementation of such procedures is necessary to avoid further reductions in effective population size. Missing pedigree information is a problem in practice, and the low net present value of future genetic gains makes it difficult for breeding companies to sac-rifice short-term economic gains in favor of long-term diver-sity issues. (Key words: inbreeding, genetic selection, livestock) Abbreviation key: ET = embryo transfer, IVF = in vitro em-bryo production, MOET = multiple ovulation and embryo transfer.
Two strains of rabbits (strains 1077 and 2066) have been selected since 1974 for increased litter size. Each strain is split into a fixed number of reproduction groups. The mating scheme is similar to random non-sib herd mating. The number of animals per generation is higher in strain 1077 (28 mated bucks and 104 mated does) than in strain 2066 (17 and 59, respectively). The increase of the inbreeding coefficient is higher in strain 2066 than in strain 1077 (27 and 21%, respectively, at generation 20). The mean standard deviation of the individual inbreeding coefficients per generation is low (less than 4%) in both strains. Short-term inbreeding is stable over generations. The observed inbreeding effective size Nef and the observed familial structure effective size Neh converge to the same value. The number of founder genomes still present in the genetic pool of the generation decreases regularly: from 5.6 to 2.4 between G6 and G20 for strain 1077. It is a bit lower over time for strain 2066 (from 5.7 to 1.9 between G6 and G20). The effective number of founders is nearly twice as small as the total number: 30 for strain 1077 and 15 for strain 2066. The effective number of major ancestors decreases slightly in strain 1077 (13.6 in G6 and 12.9 in G20) and regularly in strain 2066 (13.8 in G6 and 9.4 in G20).
The frequency of a given gene in a population may be modified by a number of conditions including recurrent mutation to and from it, migration, selection of various sorts and, far from least in importance, were chance variation
Evaluation of Californian, Champagne D`Argent, New Zealand White and Palomino as potential sire breeds: I. Postweaning litter performances
  • J D Roberts
  • S D -Lukefahr
ROBERTS, J.D. -LUKEFAHR, S.D.: Evaluation of Californian, Champagne D`Argent, New Zealand White and Palomino as potential sire breeds: I. Postweaning litter performances. Journal of Applied Rabbit Research, 15, 1992: 274-286.
Rabbit breeding history. Academy of Agriculture of France
  • J Arnold
ARNOLD, J.: Rabbit breeding history. Academy of Agriculture of France, 80, 1994: 3-12. (in French)