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An experiment was carried out in Egypt using Giza White rabbits to investigate their lactational performance and to estimate the repeatabilities of milk yield and other litter traits. Data on 325 litters from 115 does fathered by 40 sires were used. Lactation traits involved milk yields during the first 7 days, 21 days and 35 days. Litter traits included litter size and weight at birth, number born alive, litter weight and gain at 21 days, litter size and weight at weaning and pre-weaning litter gain. Linear mixed models were used for analysing such data.
Phenotypic variation in milk yield was relatively high during the first 7 days, and decreased thereafter with advance of lactation stage. Year-season effects were significant for most litter traits, while month of kindling affected litter weight and gain at 21 days and milk yield during the first 7 days (P < 0·05 or P < 0·001). Litters kindled during winter had the highest milk yield compared with litters kindled in the other seasons. Milk production, litter size and weight and litter gain had curvilinear relationship with parity (P < 0·05 or P < 0·001). Sire of doe had no significant effects on litter traits studied. Repeatabilities of all traits were low and ranged from 0·001 to 0·134. Litter size and weight at birth were residually correlated with milk yield. Litter weight and gain at 21 days were significantly correlated with the lactational performance of the doe (P < 0·001).