Effect of temperature on breeding rabbit behaviour.

O. Rafel, B Catanese, P Rodriguez, C. Fuentes, P Llonch, E Mainanu, M Piles, A Velarde, J Ramon, M López-Bejar, A Dalmau

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Abstract

The aim of the study was to assess activity, position and behaviour parameters as indicators of heat stress in rabbits subjected to a circadian heat stress cycle. Ten does (80-105 days old) and 6 bucks (180 days old) individually housed in commercial wire cages were observed during 12 days 12 hours a day by means of videocameras using scan sampling at 5 minutes interval. Rabbits were divided in two buildings. Five females and three males were housed at 18.4ºC mean temperature (control group) and the rest at 20.1ºC, 17 hours a day, and at 27.9 ºC the rest 7 hours (heat stress group). Position in relation to the corridor (watching it, avoiding it or perpendicular), activity (lying, sitting, prostrated or moving) and behaviour (grooming, exploring, resting, feeding and drinking) were assessed. Statistical analyses were performed with Genmod of SAS. No differences were found between treatments in feeding and drinking behaviour and animals moving. The presence of resting behaviour, watching the corridor and be prostrated was higher (P
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1075-1079
Number of pages5
Journal10th World Rabbit Congress, Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypte
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Keywords

  • activity
  • behaviour
  • heat
  • oryctolagus cuniculus
  • rabbits
  • welfare

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    Rafel, O., Catanese, B., Rodriguez, P., Fuentes, C., Llonch, P., Mainanu, E., Piles, M., Velarde, A., Ramon, J., López-Bejar, M., & Dalmau, A. (2012). Effect of temperature on breeding rabbit behaviour. 10th World Rabbit Congress, Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypte, 1075-1079.