Impact of housing system (cage vs. part-time group housing) and floor type on rabbit doe welfare.

Luc Maertens, Stephanie Buijs

    Onderzoeksoutput: Hoofdstuk in Boek/Rapport/CongresprocedureC1: Artikels in proceedings van wetenschappelijke congressen, die niet inbegrepen zijn in A1, A2, A3 of P1

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    Welfare aspects were assessed in does housed either in single-doe cages (0.4 m², wire floor) or in part-time parks (2 m² for 4 does) with a wire floor or with a plastic slatted floor. Does were housed in these systems for 4 consecutive reproduction cycles (24 does/housing type). From 3 days before kindling till 18 days after kindling, each park was divided into 4 individual units. The other 3 weeks of the 42 days reproduction cycle, 4 does were housed together in each park. In the period immediately after grouping, hopping and sniffing/allo-grooming took up 4.3% and 1.3% of the part-time group does’ time budget, whilst in cages these behaviors took up 0.7% and 0%, respectively (p<0.01). However, 4 and 11 days after grouping, treatment differences were much smaller. Semi-group does did not spend significantly more time in bodily contact than caged does in any of the observation periods. Immediately after grouping, agonistic behavior took up 7.3% semi-group does’ time, whilst it was absent in the cages. Although agonistic interactions decreased very rapidly after grouping, they resulted in skin lesions in many does (58% showed slight lesions and 20% more severe lesions). No difference in adrenal weight or the prevalence of spinal deformations was observed between the systems, but tibia cortical thickness was greater (p<0.05) in part-time group does. In the absence of major changes in the behavioral time budget and indications of decreased stress, we could not provide
    TaalEngels
    TitelProceedings 11th World Rabbit Congress, Qingdao, China
    Aantal pagina's4
    Plaats productieBeijing
    UitgeverijChinese Association of Animal Science and Veterinary Medincine
    Datum16-jun-2016
    Pagina's707-711
    StatusGepubliceerd - 16-jun-2016
    Evenement11th World Rabbit Congress - Qingdao, China
    Duur: 15-jun-201618-jun-2016

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