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Twenty-six 6-week old female New Zealand White rabbits were divided into two groups: ad libitum (AL) and 70% restricted (RS) feeding. At the beginning of the experiment the liveweights were practically the same: 0.99 ± 0.08 vs. 1.01 ± 0.08 kg in group AL and RS, respectively. At 18 weeks of age the body weight of Group RS rabbits was 84.7% (3.14 ± 0.24 kg) of the group AL (3.71 ± 0.31 kg). The apparent digestibility of crude protein was significantly (p < 0.001) higher in Group RS than in Group AL (76.5 ± 1.4 vs. 73.0 ± 2.7%). The daily water consumption was significantly (p < 0.05) higher (3.5 ml/g DM intake) in Group RS as compared to Group AL (1.9 ml/g DM). Since the average body weight in Group RS at 18 weeks was the same as that of Group AL at 14 weeks of age (3.14 kg), the comparison of the live body measures and indices was based on these ages. Animals fed ad libitum or restricted show no differences at the defined age in most live body measurements except in heart girth and rump width, which were significantly (p < 0.05) shorter in Group AL than in Group RS (29.3 ± 0.8, 5.7 ± 0.5 and 30.7 ± 1.0, 6.2 ± 0.3 cm, respectively). Body capacity was significantly (p < 0.05) smaller in Group AL, as the head capacity-body capacity proportion was significantly (p < 0.05) higher in Group AL than in Group RS (1653.1 ± 134.5, 22.0 ± 2.5 and 1913.7 ± 168.7, 17.7 ± 1.9, respectively). Due to restricted feeding the growth of the head proved to be less intensive than that of the body at the same body weight. The body in these does tended to be wider. Since the head in comparison to length or capacity of the body was smaller in does fed 70% of ad libitum, it could be concluded that the development of body parts of restricted-fed does was unequal (allometric growth). The effect of feed restriction reflected in lower dry matter and fat, and a higher ash and protein content both in total body and in dry matter composition of rabbits at 18 weeks of age. Restricted feeding delayed sexual maturity (69 vs. 92% of rabbits) with later starting ovarian activity, weaker ovarian responsiveness, and a smaller number of tertiary follicles on the ovarian surface.

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