Abstract: Nulliparous crossbred does aged 10 months were used to investigate the effect of feeding varying levels of concentrate and lablab on performance of rabbit does. The does were allocated to four concentrate and lablab hay combinations on a gram:gram basis (weight supplied daily): 20:130 (CL1), 40:110 (CL2), 80:70 (CL3) and 100:50 (CL4). Does on CL2, CL3 and CL4 had 28% higher feed intake than those on CL1 during the premating phase. Feed intake in the first week of pregnancy, was 7% higher on CL3 than on CL2 and CL4 which had 10% higher intake than CL1. Feed intake was similar for all treatments in the second, third and fourth weeks of pregnancy and during lactation. Does gained weight in the first, second and third weeks of pregnancy for all the treatments. In the fourth week however, does on CL2, CL3 and CL4 lost weight. All the does lost weight during lactation. Feed conversion showed marked variation during pregnancy and lactation. Feed conversion was negative for all the treatments especially in the first and third weeks of lactation. Gestation length decreased with increase in concentrate level from CL1 to CL3. Litter size at birth, alive at birth and up to 14 days postpartum was similar for all treatments. Litter size at 21 days postpartum was 1.7-2.3 lower for CL4 than CL1, CL2 and CL3. Kit mortality on CL4 was significantly higher than the other treatments. Litter gain was significantly higher for CL2 at 7 days postpartum and CL1 at 21 days postpartum than the other treatments. Total kit gain was similar for all treatments. Treatment levels up to CL3 did not negatively affect reproductive performance of nulliparous does despite doe weight loss during lactation.
Grace T. Iyeghe-Erakpotobor and Ibrahim R. Muhammad , 2007. Performance of Rabbit Breeding Does Fed Concentrate and Lablab Combinations During Pregnancy and Lactation . Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advances, 6: 358-363.