The aim of this research was to test the effect of floor cage in outdoor pen on productive performance and carcass characteristics of a rabbit local population characterized by slow growing rate. A sample of 48 rabbits female 57 days old was divided into two groups: Indoor group, housed in colony cages indoor at the density of 14 animals/m(2) and Outdoor group, in wire net floor colony cages in outdoor pen, at the density of 5 animals/m(2). The animals were fed a commercial feed and ad libitum alfa-alfa hay. Individual live weight and cage feed consumption were checked every week and feed conversion ratio was calculated; at 103 +/- 2 days old a sample of 24 animals was slaughtered and carcass traits were recorded. The results showed that the Outdoor group had the highest live weight and the best daily weight gain, together with an higher feed intake. Outdoor group showed the lower mortality, the higher slaughtering weight, the higher reference carcass incidence and hind leg percentage. These favourable results encouraged this kind of rearing system characterized also by lower investment costs.
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