Título: Differences between the part-time system and individual cages for housing of breeding rabbit does in health, behaviour and management aspects

Autore(s): Luiz Carlos Machado, Eugenio Martínez-Paredes, Arantxa Villagrá, Luis Rodenas Martinez, Concha Cervera Fras

The group housing system for rabbit does is a new trend that considers aspects of welfare, a subject highly searched in current days. However, there is a lack of scientific knowledge that supports the production efficiency of these animals in more social systems. In order to evaluate the influence of the semi-group housing system on aspects of health, behaviour and management, 48 rabbit does were distributed in collective cages (six does per cage) or in individual cages. The aspects related to elimination rate, death, occurrenceof skin injuries, pododermatitis, dirtiness, behaviour after regrouping, location place of kits, corticosterone levels and management were evaluated. The elimination of does was mainly associated with their behaviour (P = 0.0292). It was observed high frequency of skin injuries from agonistic behaviour, mainly in first cycle. A higher frequency ofpododermatitis was observed in does from individual cages in 4th cycle. The first 30 minutes after regrouping was a critical time and the agonistic behaviour was performed mainly by dominant does. After 24 hours of regrouping, all kits were already mixed, and the does did not distinguish their own offspring for suckling. The corticosterone level was higher in the first cycle than in the fourth cycle (71,2 vs 39,8 ng/g, P=0.0001) and in general higher values were measured in the part-time system, mainly in the period before kindling. The handling time for palpation was greater in part-time systems and can contribute to the increased costs of production. In general terms, the semi group housing system negatively affected aspects of health, behavior and management, requiring further research that seeks to minimize the effects related to agonistic interactions between rabbit does.

Revista / Jornal: Revista Brasileira de Cunicultura, Volume 24, n. 1, 2023
Data de publicação: Sábado, 04 Novembro 2023
Disponível em: http://www.rbc.acbc.org.br/images/Differences_between_the_part-time_system_and_individual_cages_for.pdf
Palavras-chave: animal welfare, cuniculture, rabbit science
Publicado em: Volume 24, n. 1, 2023