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Effect of different rearing systems and pre-kindling handling on behaviour and performance of rabbit does

By C. Mugnai, A. dal Bosco, C. Castellini

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The aim of this study was to ascertain how collective cage and pre-kindling handling (training does to go into their own nest) practices, in comparison to standard housing (single cage rearing), modify the behaviour and the performance of rabbit does. To this aim, 40 nulliparous New Zealand White does were artificially inseminated, where the pregnant ones were assigned to three groups with the following treatments: eight does, kept in single standard cages (group S); eight does kept in two colony cages and trained to recognise their own nest (group TC); eight does kept in two colony cages, but not trained to recognise their own nest (group UC). Performance and behaviour, with particular attention to the social relationships of animals, were evaluated for one year. The housing system and training practice affected the behaviour of animals. Does kept in colony cages showed a wider behavioural repertoire, as well as fewer stereotyped and social behaviours. However, the interactions between animals were not always friendly; in particular, the UC group showed the highest incidence of aggressiveness: attack (26.61% vs. 13.55

Date 2009
Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 118
Issue 1/2
Pages 91-100
ISBN/ISSN 0168-1591
DOI 10.1016/j.applanim.2009.02.007
Language English
Author Address Department of Applied Biology, University of Perugia, Borgo 20 Giugno, 74, 06121 Perugia, Italy.
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Aggression
  2. Animal behavior
  3. Animal diseases
  4. Animal housing
  5. Animal nutrition
  6. Animal reproduction
  7. Artificial insemination
  8. Artificial intelligence.
  9. Attitudes
  10. Australasia
  11. Behavior and behavior mechanisms
  12. Cages
  13. Cells
  14. Cleaning
  15. Commonwealth of Nations
  16. Conflict
  17. Developed countries
  18. Dominance
  19. Education
  20. Evaluation
  21. Feeding
  22. Fertility.
  23. Gestation
  24. Handling
  25. Incidence
  26. Insemination
  27. Interactions
  28. Lagomorpha
  29. Leporidae
  30. Mammals
  31. New Zealand
  32. Oceania
  33. OECD countries
  34. peer-reviewed
  35. performance traits
  36. practices
  37. pregnancy
  38. productivity
  39. rabbits
  40. Reproduction
  41. training
  42. trauma
  1. peer-reviewed