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INTRODUCTION Angora rabbit wool production in a particular area, under conventional rearing system, is influenced greatly by climatic conditions, nutrition and management other than germplasm. An ideal ambient temperature for Angora rabbit rearing ranges between 15-25[degrees]C and a small fluctuation between maximum and minimum temperature could disturb their growth performance (Chiericato et al., 1992) and the wool yield and quality (Rochambeau and Thebault, 1990). Around 25-28[degrees]C of ambient temperature, rabbits required more digestible energy with decreased feed consumption (Lebas, 1983). The feed consumption reported to decrease by 30% at 30[degrees]C along with body growth (Matheron and Martial, 1981). Angora rabbits are reported to have special requirements with regard to avoidance of temperature stress, which involved a lack of heat protection after shearing on one hand and difficulty to lose the waste heat of metabolism due to long fleece on the other hand (Schlolaut, 1986). High temperature restrict food intake in Angora rabbits, which leads to reduction in hair growth and ultimately poor fiber yield. Where as, in cooler season, the fiber yield was higher due to increased density and length of fibers. Warmer climatic conditions favored for Angora rabbit production improves the balance between feeding costs and fiber value (Stephen et al., 1979), however, the best productive performances have been achieved with a temperature between 15-20[degrees]C (Casamassima et al., 1988). Low environmental temperature affected the body fat deposition adversely as most of the energy was used for maintaining temperature homeostasis (Stephen, 1980). Temperate grasses compositionally with less lignification had better digestibility and higher nutritive values than the tropical grasses (Cheeke, I987). Under sub-temperate Himalayan conditions, winter was found to be the best season for broiler rabbit production (Bhatt et al., 2002). However, information on the effect of different seasons on the biological performance of Angora rabbits under conventional rearing system, in sub-temperate Himalayan conditions are lacking and the present experiment was, therefore, undertaken using German Angora rabbits.

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Asian - Australasian Association of Animal Production Societies

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