Selection response of growth rate in rabbits for meat production
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Genetic and environmental trends in 2 lines of rabbit (B and R) selected on individual weight gain (WG) from weaning (4 wk) to slaughter (11 wk) were estimated using mixed model methodology. Line B was derived from the California breed and line R was a synthetic of stock of different origin. The data
were collected from a single herd and comprised 7 718 individuals in line B and 9 391 in line R, the lines having 12 and 9 generations of selection respectively. Realized responses in the 2 lines were 2.7% and 2.2% of the initial mean per year respectively and showed that selection on WG was effective but was less than expected. Selection on slaughter weight (SW) and effects of selection on other economic traits are discussed. It is concluded that selection on either WG or SW is a simple method for improving growth rate in rabbit sire line stocks.