Gerencsér, Zsolt
Farkas, T P
Szendrő, Zsolt
Nagy, István
Odermatt, Meinrad
Radnai, István
Kacsala, László
Kasza, R
Savanyó, Zs
Matics, Zsolt
Folyóirat címe
Folyóirat ISSN
Kötet címe (évfolyam száma)
The aim of the experiment was to test a special pen system of combination of group and individual housing, examination of production and preference of rabbit does. The experiment was conducted at Kaposvár University with pregnant and lactating Pannon White rabbit does (n=48). The 1.83 x 2.00 m open top pen consisted of four individual cages (0.5 x 0.91 m) which were connected to the 1.83 x 1.00 m common area throughout a 0.25 m long and 0.20 m wide lockable corridor. The rabbit does were randomly divided into three groups. The groups differed only in that the material of walls of the individual cages. Pen with solid wall cages (Solid, n=16); pen with wire-mesh wall cages (Wire, n=16) and pen with partly solid and partly wire-mesh wall cages (Mix, MP, n=16). Four rabbit does were placed to the closed individual cages 3 days before the expected parturition for 21 days. 18 days after kindling the entrances of the individual cages were opened, and the 21-day group-housing started. All 4 does and their kits could use all individual cages and the common area freely. The kits were weaned at 35 days of age. The injuries on ears, and body were checked on days 2, 4, 8, 14 and 22 after grouping the does. 24-h video recordings were made on days 1, 2, 3, 7 and 13 after opening the doors, and location of rabbits was registered at every 15 min. On day 1 rabbit does preferred to stay alone than together (Solid: 62.3%; Wire: 64.3%; Mix: 82.8%). Later on, less rabbit does located alone (on day 13: Solid: 30.8%; Wire: 51.0%; Mix: 39.2%). On day 1 in all pens the majority of the does located in the individual cages (Solid: 77.3%; Wire: 76.8%; Mix: 83.9%), however later the percentage of does in the individual cages decreased until day 13. At almost every day less rabbit does preferred the individual cages in the Solid than in Wire or Mix group. Rabbit does preferred their own cages, more rabbit does stayed in the own cages than the expected probability (25%) on all days (day 1: Solid: 64.6%; Wire: 68.4%; Mix: 74.6%; day 13: Solid: 28.0%; Wire: 38.0%; Mix: 34.5%). In Mix group rabbit does which were housed in solid wall cages before grouping preferred to stay in the solid wall cages in all days (day 13: 59.1%) and that of housed in wire-mesh cages before grouping preferred to stay in wire- mesh cages (day 13: 65.6%). No significant differences were found between the different types of pens in almost the all production traits. The productive performance fits to the results of Pannon Breeding Program. On the other hand in Wire and Mix groups the does mortality were 6.3% and 12.5% and the kindling rates were 62.5 and 68.8%. The ratio of injured rabbits was higher than 50% in each system. Based on the results it can be concluded that the main problems of group housing of does (aggressiveness, injuries) have not been solved with this system.
rabbit does, group housing, preference, aggressive behaviour, productive performance