The knowledge of rabbit well-being under different rearing conditions is limited; since the oxidative status could be used as indicator of animal welfare, a research to determine the effect of rearing period on the oxidative status in slow growing rabbits reared under conventional rearing system was performed. Materials and methods. Forty weaned rabbits (35 days of age) of a local population were reared in cage under conventional system (15 rabbit/m2). At 57, 80 and 100 days of age blood samples were collected from the ear vein of the rabbits and to evaluate the oxidative status, the following parameters were analysed: superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), and thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS). The data were analyzed by single and multiple regression analysis and chosen by stepwise selection in the final model by the forward (probability to enter = 0.05) and backward (probability to leave = 0.01) methods. The data were analysed by variance analysis, considering the rearing period as main categorical factor. Results. The results showed high correlations among the parameters studied. The linear regression showed that CAT, SOD and GPx activities had a negative correlation with TBARS (b= -2.41, -1.62 and – 0.12 respectively, P<0.0001). The multiple regression and stepwise analysis selected SOD as the most important index related to the lipid peroxidation (P<0.001). During the rearing period the levels of antioxidant parameters, such as SOD and GPx activities, significantly decreased, while the level of TBARS increased (P<0.01). Conclusions. The oxidative status progressively increased with increasing of rearing period, probably aging reduces antioxidant efficiency.
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