The aim of this work was to evaluate the behaviour of rabbits fattened in an alternative pen housing system, and to study its effects on growing performances. Two hundred and twelve hybrid rabbits (Hyplus), half males and half females, homogeneous in weight, were divided into three experimental treatments: control group, housed in traditional two place cages (cm 40x30x28h); P30, with 30 rabbits reared in wire net floor pens (cm 200x100x70h) at the density of 15 heads/m2; P15, with 15 rabbits reared in wire net floor pens (cm 100x100x70h) at the same density. To evaluate different behaviours and to relate them with growth performances, 36 male rabbits, 12 for each experimental group, chosen at random and individually marked to recognise them, were recorded by video camera in the last week of fattening. A relation between some behavioural parameters and weight gain appears at linear regression analyses. For all the treatments, growth is tightly related to activity and resting. Particularly, weight gain is negatively related to motility (b=-0.121), aggressiveness (b=-0.158) and sitting-up behaviour (b=-0.040). Conversely, feeding behaviour and lying positively influence growth performances (b=+0.034 and b=+0.065, respectively). The caged rabbits, which had the best growth, are also characterised by less locomotory activity, less aggressiveness and longer resting time. The pen housed animals, which show the worst weight gain, had a significantly higher motility, increased by the necessity of running away from aggressive rabbits and by fighting, and so spending less time in eating. Aggressiveness is not only detrimental for animals subjected to it but also for those which exercise an aggressive behaviour, spending time and inducing a stressing situation.
|Autori:||Lambertini L; Paci G; Morittu VM; Vignola G; Orlandi R; Zaghini G; Formigoni A|
|Titolo:||Consequences of behaviour on productive performances of rabbits reared in pens|
|Anno del prodotto:||2005|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.4081/ijas.2005.2s.550|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|