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Effect of cage height on the welfare of growing rabbits

By Z. Princz, I. Radnai, E. Biro-Nemeth, Z. Matics, Z. Gerencser, I. Nagy, Z. Szendro

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Abstract

The objective of this study was to analyse the preference of rabbits for cages of various heights, their production and occurrence of ear lesions. Experiments were conducted at the University of Kaposvar with Pannon White rabbits. In experiments 1 and 2 (preference test) growing rabbits (n=112) - weaned at 5 weeks of age - were housed in cage blocks (16 or 12 rabbits/m2) having a basic area of 2 m2. The cage block consisted of four equal size (0.5 m2) cages and the rabbits could move freely among the cages through swing doors. The cages only differed in their height: in trial 1 the height of the cages was 20, 30, 40 cm or open top, in trial 2 the height of two cages was 30 cm and 40 cm, respectively. The rabbits had a low preference for open top cages, the least number of rabbits chose this cage type independently of the stocking density, age and part of the day (11.7-20.4% vs. 22.0-38.7

Date 2008
Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 114
Issue 1/2
Pages 284-295
ISBN/ISSN 0168-1591
DOI 10.1016/j.applanim.2008.01.006
Language English
Author Address Faculty of Animal Science, University of Kaposvar, H-7400 Kaposvar, Guba Sandor Str. 40, Hungary. pohnl@ke.hu
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Tags
  1. Aggression
  2. Animal behavior
  3. Animal husbandry
  4. Animal models
  5. Behavior and behavior mechanisms
  6. Cages
  7. Ear
  8. Indicators
  9. Lagomorpha
  10. Leporidae
  11. Lesions
  12. Mammals
  13. peer-reviewed
  14. pens
  15. rabbits
  16. stocking density
  17. stocking rates
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  1. peer-reviewed