Spinal deformation, bone quality and pododermatitis in rabbit does - effects of housing and floor type

Stephanie Buijs

    Onderzoeksoutput: Hoofdstuk in Boek/Rapport/CongresprocedureC1: Artikels in proceedings van wetenschappelijke congressen, die niet inbegrepen zijn in A1, A2, A3 of P1peer review


    We assessed if a semi-group housing system for rabbit does would increase behaviours thought to be restricted by conventional housing. In addition we monitored two stress indicators, as well as agonistic behaviour and lesion scores. In semi-group housing four does were grouped from 18 to 30 days post-kindling and housed separately during the other half of each 42-day reproductive cycle. Six of these groups were kept on a wire floor and six other groups on a plastic slatted floor. In the control treatment, single-doe housing, does were housed separately throughout the experimental cycles. In addition to a different social situation the systems also differed in space allowance per doe, which was greater in the semi-group system (a precaution deemed necessary to prevent excessive fighting).

    As expected, locomotor behaviour and social interactions were more common in the semi-group system than in single-doe housing. However, the treatment differences were limited and mainly occurred during the period immediately following grouping. Our stress indicators (weight loss and adrenal weight) did not provide evidence of decreased stress in the semi-group system. Agonistic behaviour in the four days after grouping led to severe wounds in 20% of the does and moderate to slight wounds in another 58%. There was a weak tendency for decreased wound severity in does semi-group housed on the plastic floor as compared to those semi-group housed on the wire floor.

    Although a limited increase in the time spent on a specific type of behaviour does not necessarily mean that this increase in unimportant, proving that such changes are important would require further research. In the absence of major changes in the behavioural time budget and indications of decreased stress, we could not provide clear evidence that our semi-group housing system had a major positive impact on doe welfare. It is possible that certain changes in system lay-out and management would improve the impact of the semi-group system.
    Oorspronkelijke taalEngels
    Titel19.Internationale Tagung über Haltung und Krankheiten der Kaninchen, Pelztiere und Heimtiere
    EditorsSteffen Hoy
    Aantal pagina’s9
    Plaats productieGiessen
    UitgeverijVVB Laufersweiler Verlag
    ISBN van geprinte versie978-3-8359-6344-3
    PublicatiestatusGepubliceerd - 8-sep-2015
    Evenement19. Internationale Tagung über Haltung und Krankheiten der Kaninchen, Pelztiere und Heimtiere - Celle, Duitsland
    Duur: 27-mei-201528-mei-2015

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