Housing of rabbit does: reproductive performance, health and bone quality
Rabbit does welfare
Keywords:biochemistry, bones, haematology, housing system, reproductive performance
The objective of the present paper was to evaluate the health status reflected in haematological and biochemical traits of the blood, reproductive performance and bone quality of rabbit does on first parturition housed in several housing systems with or without mirrors. The animals were randomly allocated into 6 experimental groups: pens with soil covered by deep litter with the possibility of digging burrows (A), pens with soil covered by deep litter with the possibility of digging burrows enriched with a mirror (B), pens with plastic slatted floor with elevated resting area (C), pens with plastic slatted floor with elevated resting area enriched with a mirror (D), combi-park system (E) and combi-park system enriched with a mirror (F). Litter size after birth and the number of weaned kits was found to be highest in group A, D, E and F compared to other groups. However, the biochemistry analyses showed every investigated trait as significantly affected by housing conditions except the UREA and CHOL, it has to be stated that values of the blood traits were in accordance with the reference values of rabbits. The effect of housing system on tibia and femur characteristics was found to be significant in fracture toughness, where the lowest value of this trait was detected in group E and F compared to other groups in both investigated bones. According to these findings, it is possible to recommend every tested housing system from a health point of view for farmers dealing with alternative housing systems.
Al-Daraji, H.J. et al. (2008). Avian Hematology. Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research: Cairo, Egypt; College of Agriculture, University of Baghdad.
Buijs, S. et al. (2014). Effects of semi-group housing and floor type on pododermatitis, spinal deformation and bone quality in rabbit does. Animal, 8(10), 1728–1734. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1751731114001669
Bush, B.M. (1991). Interpretation of Laboratory Results for Small Animal Clinicians. Blackwell Scientific Publications.
Dal Bosco, A. et al. (2019). Housing rabbit does in a combi system with removable walls: effect on behaviour and reproductive performance. Animals, 9(8), 528. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9080528
Dalle Zotte, A. et al. (2009a). Rabbit preference for cages and pens with or without mirrors. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 116(2-4), 273–278. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.applanim.2008.08.011
Dalle Zotte, A. et al. (2009b). Response of fattening rabbits reared under different housing conditions. 2. Carcass and meat quality. Livestock Science, 122(1), 39–47. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.livsci.2008.07.021
Dukes, H. H., & Schwarte, L. H. (1931). The hemoglobin content of the blood of fowls. American Journal of Physiology-Legacy Content, 96(1), 89–93. https://doi.org/10.1152/ajplegacy.19188.8.131.52
El-Shafaei, H. E. et al. (2016). The effect of different intervention strategies to alleviate heat stress on behavior, performance and some blood parameters of growing Muscovy ducks. Alexandria Journal for Veterinary Sciences, 48(2), 69–76. https://doi.org/10.5455/ajvs.209177
Gallenberger, M. et al. (2012). Dynamics of glucose and insulin concentration connected to the β‐cell cycle: model development and analysis. Theoretical Biology and Medical Modelling, 9(1), 1–22. https://doi.org/10.1186/1742-4682-9-46
Griminger, P. (1986). Lipid metabolism. In Avian physiology (pp. 345-358). Springer, New York, NY.
Huang, Y. et al. (2021). Part-time grouping of rabbit does in enriched housing: effects on performances, injury occurrence and enrichment use. Animal, 15(12), 100390. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.animal.2021.100390
Kaneko J.J. et al. (1997). Clinical Biochemistry of Domestic Animals, 50. Ed., Academic Press, California, USA.
Krunt, O. et al. (2021). How can housing system affect growth and carcass traits, meat quality and muscle fiber characteristics in biceps femoris and mineral content of tibia and femur bones in growing rabbits? Livestock Science, 249, 104531. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.livsci.2021.104531
Maertens, L., & Buijs, S. (2016, June). Production performances of rabbit does in a part-time group housing system. In 11th World Rabbit Congress.
Marono, S. et al. (2017). Productive performance and blood profiles of laying hens fed Hermetia illucens larvae meal as total replacement of soybean meal from 24 to 45 weeks of age. Poultry Science, 96(6), 1783–1790. https://doi.org/10.3382/ps/pew461
Musco, N. et al. (2019). Mirrors can affect growth rate, blood profile, carcass and meat traits and caecal microbial activity of rabbits reared in a “Small Group” free-range system. Animals, 9(9), 639. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9090639
Özkan, C. et al. (2012). Normal values of haematological and some biochemical parameters in serum and urine of New Zealand White rabbits. World Rabbit Science, 20(4), 253–259. https://doi.org/10.4995/wrs.2012.1229
Pavlík, A. et al. (2007). Effects of housing systems on biochemical indicators of blood plasma in laying hens. Acta Veterinaria Brno, 76(3), 339–347. https://doi.org/10.2754/avb200776030339
Piller, C. A. et al. (1999). Effects of mirror-image exposure on heart rate and movement of isolated heifers. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 63(2), 93–102. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0168-1591(99)00010-6
Rehman, M. S. et al. (2017). Blood biochemistry and immune response in Aseel chicken under free range, semi-intensive, and confinement rearing systems. Poultry Science, 96(1), 226–233. https://doi.org/10.3382/ps/pew278
Rommers, J. M. et al. (2014). Effect of hiding places, straw and territory on aggression in group-housed rabbit does. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 157, 117–126. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.applanim.2014.05.011
Schalm, O.W. et al. (1975). Veterinary Hematology; Lea & Febiger: Philadelphia, USA.
Szendrő, Z. et al. (2019). A review of recent research outcomes on the housing of farmed domestic rabbits: reproducing does. World Rabbit Science, 27(1), 1–14. https://doi.org/10.4995/wrs.2019.10599
Zomeño, C. et al. (2018). Effects of group housing system, pen floor type, and lactation management on performance and behaviour in rabbit does. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 203, 55–63. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.applanim.2018.03.002
Copyright (c) 2023 Lukáš Zita
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.