Afive-years crossing scheme involving the SpanishVline (V) and SaudiGabali (S) rabbitswas practiced to produce 14 genetic groups: V, S, 1/2V1/2S, 1/2S1/2V, 3/4V1/4S, 3/4S1/4V, (1/2V1/2S)2, (1/2S1/2V)2, (3/4V1/4S)2, (3/4S1/4V)2, ((3/4V1/4S)2)2, ((3/4S1/4V)2)2, Saudi 2 (a new synthetic line) and Saudi 3 (another new synthetic line). A total of 3496 litters from 1022 dams were used to evaluate litter size at birth (LSB) and weaning (LSW), litter weight at birth (LWB), litter weight at 21 d (LW21) and litter weight at weaning (LWW), preweaning litter mortality (PLM), milk yield at lactation intervals of 0–7 d (MY07), 0–21 d (MY021), 0–28 d (TMY) and milk conversion ratio as g of litter gain per g of milk suckled during 21 d of lactation (MCR021). A generalized least squares procedure was used to estimate
additive and heterotic effects (direct, maternal, and grand-maternal). The comparison among V, S, Saudi 2 and Saudi 3 showed a complementarity between V and S. Line V was superior for LSB, LSW, LWB, PLM, MY07, MY021 andTMY, while line S was superior for the other traits (LW21, LWWand MCR021). Saudi 2 and Saudi 3 had the means equal to or higher than the founder lines (Vor S) for all traits. Saudi 2 showed better values in litter size and pre-weaning
litter mortality compared to Saudi 3 with no significant differences for the other traits. Concerning crossbreeding parameters, direct additive effects were significant for all traits, ranging between 12.3% and 31.8% relative to the average of the means of V and S. All estimates for direct heterosis except LWB and MCR021 were significant and ranged from 5.3% to 27.5%. No estimates for maternal
additive effects and grand-maternal additive and heterotic effects were significant. Only estimates for maternal heterotic effects of LSB and LSW were significant (8.6% and 10.6%, respectively).