Quality of rabbit carcasses produced under local Algerian production conditions.

The aim of this study was to assess the quality and adiposity of rabbit carcasses produced in the local conditions of Algerian production, in the Tizi-Ouzou area. Depending on the availability (deliveries by the breeders) of the rabbits to be slaughtered, four visits were made to the slaughterhouse at intervals of a few weeks, during which data were collected on eighty-one rabbits. Distribution of the data according to age (80 or 90 days) and feeds (three types) led to the constitution of three lots: “FeedA80d”, “FeedB90d” and “FeedC90d”. Male and female parity was well respected in the three lots. The energy concentration was at the same level in the three diets (13.8 MJ/Kg) and seemed to exceed widely the requirements for this type of rabbits. The rabbits with the highest live weights at slaughter recorded the best cold carcass weights. Under Algerian local production conditions, breeders produced rabbit carcasses with an acceptable or even good weight (1.3 kg) and average adiposity, in a fattening period of 7 to 8 weeks. Carcass yield was satisfactory, it varied between 58 and 59% for hot carcasses and between 57 and 58% for cold carcasses. About half of all carcasses were scored as 3, i.e. moderately fattened. When carcasses scored 2 and 3 are taken together, the rate reached 75% and the proportion of carcasses scored 4 and 5 taken together reached 25%.