Effect of Stocking Density on Growth Performance, Meat Quality and Fibre Properties of Biceps Femoris Muscle of Slow-Growing Rabbits
The aim of the present work was to evaluate the effect of stocking density on growth performance, meat quality and fibre properties of Biceps femoris (BF) muscle of Czech White rabbits. A total of 20 rabbits (40 days old) were randomly allocated to two groups (10 rabbits per treatment) and reared at a different stocking density: group SC (small cage, 40 x 50 x 43 cm) at the density of 10 rabbits/m2 (2 animals/cage) and group LC (large cage, 60 x 80 x 43 cm) at the density of 4 rabbits/m2 (2 animals/cage). Animals were fed ad libitum pelleted feed. Rabbits were weighed every 7 days and feed intake was measured every day. At the end of experiment (89 days of age), all rabbits were slaughtered and used for the evaluation of carcass and meat traits. Stocking density had no significant effect on growth performance. There were no significant differences between groups with regard to hot carcass weight or the dressing-out percentage. The proportions of both perirenal and total dissectible fat were significantly lower in rabbits reared at the lower stocking density than in rabbits reared at the higher stocking density.
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