The effect of limited feed intake on carcase yield and meat quality in early weaned rabbits

CHODOVÁ, Darina, TŮMOVÁ, Eva and VOLEK, Zdeněk. The effect of limited feed intake on carcase yield and meat quality in early weaned rabbits. Italian Journal of Animal Science, 2019, 18, 381-388. ISSN 1594-4077.
CathegoryScientific publication in impacted journals
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The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of one week of intensive feed restriction (50 g and 65 g per rabbit per day for R50 and R65, respectively) on carcase traits, meat quality characteristics and muscle fibre parameters in early weaned growing rabbits. Rabbits were restricted between 32 and 39 days of age but fed ad libitum before and following feed restriction. The live weight at 81 days of age was not affected by the feeding regime. At the time of feed restriction, the daily weight gain decreased (pĽ.001) to 61% in R50 and 67% in R65 compared with rabbits fed ad libitum. However, the average daily weight gain and feed intake or feed conversion ratio were not significantly affected by feeding regime over the entire experimental period. Feed restriction had no effect on dressing out a percentage or the percentages of the hind and foreparts. No effect of feeding regime was observed in meat tenderness and cooking loss, but significant interactions between feeding regime and age were detected in the crosssectional area and diameter of bR and aW muscle fibres. Smaller type bR cross-sectional area and diameter were observed in group R50 under more intensive feed restriction. The distribution of fibre type was not significantly affected by the treatment and age interaction or by feeding regime alone. It could be concluded that one week of intensive feed restriction in early weaned rabbits affects some morphological muscle fibre characteristics but has no effect on performance, carcase traits and meat quality.