The V-line rabbit is a specialized breed developed by Spanish institutions for the purpose of participating in three-way crossing schemes to enhance certain characteristics in new rabbit lines, including but not limited to improving growth rates, body weight, and overall performance in different climate conditions. There are four maternal lines, named A-Line, V-Line, Prat-Line, and H-line.
Table of contents
The V-line rabbit, a prominent breed known for its superior growth traits, has recently become a focal point in efforts to advance genetic breeding programs in hot climate countries. Developed primarily in Spain, this rabbit line is characterized by better weight gains and overall body weight compared to other lines, making it an ideal candidate for crossbreeding initiatives aimed at enhancing meat rabbit production.
The Role of V-line Rabbits in Crossbreeding Programs
In a groundbreaking collaboration between Egypt and Spain, the V-line rabbits were introduced into a crossbreeding program with the local Egyptian breed, the Baladi Red. This initiative aimed to create a new line of meat rabbits better adapted to Egypt’s hot climate, potentially offering improved growth performance characteristics. The ultimate goal was to develop a line that could either stand as a pure line or be incorporated within a crossbred scheme, responding flexibly to different climatic conditions and production systems in Egypt.
The Impact of V-line Rabbits on Growth Traits
The incorporation of V-line rabbits in the breeding scheme showed significant impacts on growth traits. The V-line rabbits demonstrated superior body weights and daily gains compared to the Baladi Red rabbits at various stages of growth. These characteristics were substantially retained in the subsequent F1 and F2 generations, although with slightly reduced metrics compared to the pure V-line. Moreover, the crossbreeding resulted in positive direct heterosis effects on body weight and daily gains, emphasizing the V-line’s contribution to enhanced growth traits.
Analyzing the Performance of V-line Rabbits in Different Climates
An interesting aspect noted during the study was the variance in the post-weaning performance of V-line rabbits across different climates. While the V-line showed similar weight attributes at 4 weeks in various geographical settings, a marked reduction was noted in the fattening period weight in hotter climates. This suggests that while the V-line rabbits present promising characteristics, their performance might vary according to the specific climatic conditions, necessitating further studies to optimize their growth traits in hot climates.
The introduction of V-line rabbits in the crossbreeding program represents a promising stride in the development of meat rabbit lines adapted to hot climates. Though the newly developed APRI line demonstrated intermediate growth traits compared to the founding breeds, it signifies a better alternative to the Baladi Red line, especially in the conditions prevalent in the Nile delta region. Moving forward, a more comprehensive understanding of the V-line rabbit’s performance in different settings and its crosses with other lines would be instrumental in harnessing its full potential in meat rabbit production.
Y.K. Youssef, M. Baselga, M.H. Khalil, M.E. Omara, M.L. García,
Crossbreeding effects for post-weaning growth traits in a project of Spanish V-line with Baladi Red Rabbits in Egypt,
Volume 122, Issues 2–3,
Keywords: Rabbits; Crossbreeding; Synthetic line; Growth; Additive effects; Heterosis
Gomez, Ernesto & Baselga, Marta & Guarro, Oriol & Garcia, M L. (1999). SELECTION, DIFFUSION AND PERFORMANCES OF SIX SPANISH LINES OF MEAT RABBIT. https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Spanish-lines-of-rabbits-to-produce-meat_tbl1_242233820