Effect of divergent selection for the volume of thigh muscles based on computerised tomography on the carcass traits of rabbits (preliminary results)
The aim of the study was to examine the efficiency of the selection based on CT measured thigh muscles with divergent selection method. Does of the first generation selected for high or low muscle volume were inseminated with the semen of similarly selected bucks at the same time. At 12 weeks of age 25−25 rabbits of similar body weight were slaughtered and dissected from both progeny groups (L: progenies of the rabbits selected for low volume of thigh muscles; H: progenies of the rabbits selected for high volume of thigh muscles). The gastrointestinal tract weight and its proportion within body weight were 38 g (P<0.05) and 1.2% (P<0.001) lower in H rabbits compared to L animals. Thus, the dressing out percentage in H rabbits was 2% higher (P<0.001). The proportion of the hind part within reference carcass was 1.2% (P<0.001) higher, while that of the fore part was 0.7% (P<0.05) lower in group H. The weight of hindleg meat in H rabbits was 33 g (P<0.001), while its ratio to reference carcass was 1.2% (P<0.001) higher than in L animals. Data of the experiment confirmed the efficiency of CT based selection for thigh muscles. Increasing the volume of hindleg muscles, the dressing out percentage improved as well. However, beside carcass traits, it would be interesting to study the productive traits of the progenies of the first and second generations selected divergently as well.