Effects of water restriction on the Performance of Rabbits Post weaning
Sitati, Sinoya K
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The performance of weaned rabbit kits has not been satisfactory due to the high mortality rates experienced and low performance in terms of weight gain .Trials have been made to improve the performance and reduce the mortality rates by restricting the rabbit kits with feed post weaning. Feed restriction has shown some positive results where mortality is reduced and the growth rates of the kits increased. Water restriction has been used as an alternative for feed restriction since it eradicates the problem of controlling the quantity of feed to the rabbits especially in commercial large scale production as it induces feed restriction. This study was conducted at the university of Nairobi to determine the performance of rabbit kits of New Zealand white and California white breeds post weaning (30-74 days) under different water restriction time lengths. 23 rabbits were grouped into three hydric restriction categories of 2, 4, 6 hours respectively.... while the control group given water ad libitum. Records of water intake and feed consumed per day were taken and the weight recorded twice a week. Mortality was also recorded after post mortem tests to diagnose the cause of death. These rabbits were caged in pairs with four treatments and three replications for the twenty four rabbit kits. The experiment spanned for seven weeks and the results analyzed using which methods?. Rabbits given free access to water had better weightgains( in grams) followed by those restricted to 4 (grams??)hours a day. Rabbits with 6 hour access to water had the least weight gains (how much in grams?). There were high mortalities (how much in %)with rabbits under free access to water and those given water for six hours (% mortalities)a day and none recorded for rabbits restricted to water for 2 hours and 4 hours.