Guinea-pig productivity under traditional management

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Results of a 12 month study of traditional guinea-pig production in the western highlands of Cameroon are reported. The mean age of guinea-pigs (Cavia porcellus L.) at first parturition, kidding interval and litter size at birth were 126.30±10.40 d, 64.8±1.70 d and 1.63±0.26 kids respectively. The annual reproductive rate was 9.18 kids/breeding doe while the doe post-partum weight was 530 g. Mean body weights at birth, presumed weaning (21 d) and 15 weeks of age were 78.36±3.20, 147.51±8.10 and 418.88±32 g respectively. Type of birth and sex had a significant effect on body weight at all ages. Birth weight dropped significantly from 83.88±2.87 g for singles to 81.57±3.40 g for twins, 74.25±2.39 g for triplets and 73.75±4.12 g for quadruplets. These differences were maintained to maturity (15 weeks). Males were generally heavier than females. Mortality rates were relatively high among kids: 24% at birth, 39% at 3 weeks and 40% at 15 weeks. Productivity indices were 0.827 kg of young weaned per doe per year, 1560 g of young weaned per kg of doe per year and 2.52 kg of young weaned per kg metabolic weight (kg0.75) of female per year.

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