Acoustic characteristics of vocalisations emitted by the domestic rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) during copula ejaculation and electro-ejaculation with or without anaesthesia
Keywords:animal welfare, calls, painful procedures, copulation, mating, rabbit
AbstractVocalisations can be used as reliable indicators of pain, but little information is available in rabbits, where acoustic tools for farming environments can be used for welfare judgements. The aim of this study was to compare vocalisations produced during copula ejaculation and electro-ejaculation (EE), with or without general anaesthesia, in domestic rabbits. Vocalisations of nine New Zealand white adult males were digitally recorded. The number of males vocalising and vocal characteristics including high, low, maximum and fundamental frequencies and duration of the vocalisations were analysed. There were no differences in the number of males vocalising or any vocalisation parameter between the 1st and 2nd ejaculation while copulating, even though the fundamental frequency increased in all males in the 2nd ejaculation (P=0.008). More males vocalised while mating than while being electro-ejaculated (P=0.03), and all vocalisation parameters were greater during EE than while mating (P=0.004). The use or not of anaesthesia during EE did not modify any of the parameters evaluated. It was concluded that: 1) more males vocalised during copula ejaculation than while being electro-ejaculated; 2) bio-acoustic analysis allowed us to identify aversive utterance vocalisations, which are characterised with higher frequencies, that those from non-aversive stimulus; and 3) at least with the anaesthetic combination and the responses studied, anaesthesia had no effect on the acoustic characteristics of the vocalisation emitted during EE in rabbits.
Abril-Sánchez S., Freitas-de-Melo A., Damián, J.P., Giriboni J., Villagrá-García A., Ungerfeld R. 2017. Ejaculation does not contribute to the stress response to electroejaculation in sheep. Reprod. Domest. Anim., 52: 403-408. https://doi.org/10.1111/rda.12922
Abril-Sánchez S., Crosignani N., Freitas-de-Melo A., Terrazas A., Damián J.P., Beracochea R., Silveira P., Ungerfeld R. 2018. Sedation or anaesthesia decrease the stress response to eletroejacuation and improve the quality of the collected semen in goat bucks. Animal, 12: 2598-2608. https://doi.org/10.1017/s1751731118000320
Aguirre F.V., Vázquez R.R., Hallal C.C., Orihuela A., Flores S.M., Flores P.I. 2015. Stress induced by electro-ejaculation in domestic rabbits. XXIV Congress of the Latin American Association of Animal Production. November 9-13. Puerto Varas, Chile. pp. 271.
Cools R., Roberts A.C., Robbins T.W. 2008. Serotoninergic regulation of emotional and behavioural control processes. Trends Cogn. Sci., 12: 31-40. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tics.2007.10.011
da Silva Cordeiro A., Näs I.D., Oliveira S., Violaro F., Almeida A.D., Neves D. 2013. Understanding vocalization might help to assess stressful conditions in piglets. Animals, 3: 923-934. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani3030923
Damián J.P., Ungerfeld R. 2011. The stress response of frequently electroejaculated rams to electroejaculation: hormonal, physiological, biochemical, haematological and behavioural parameters. Reprod. Domest. Anim., 46: 646-650. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1439-0531.2010.01722.x
Damián J.P., Ungerfeld R. 2010. Vocalizations are reliable indicators of pain during electroejaculation in rams. In Proc.: 44th Congress of the International Society for Applied Ethology, 4-7, August, Uppsala, Sweden, pp.184.
Dawkins M.S. 1998. Evolution and animal welfare. Q. Rev. Biol., 73: 305-328.
Donovan J., Brown P. 1998. Anesthesia. Curr. Protoc. Immunol., 27: 141-145.
Fumagalli F., Damián J.P., Ungerfeld R. 2015. Vocalizations during electroejaculation in anaesthetized adult and young Pampas Deer (Ozotoceros bezoarticus) males. Reprod. Domest. Anim., 50: 321-326. https://doi.org/10.1111/rda.12494
Giuliano F., Allard J. 2001. Dopamine and Male Sexual Function. Eur. Urol., 40: 601-608. https://doi.org/10.1159/000049844
Hull E.M., Muschamp J.W., Sato S. 2004. Dopamine and serotonin: influences on male sexual behavior. Physiol. Behav., 83: 291-307. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0031-9384(04)00357-9
Jürgens U. 1979. Vocalization as an emotional indicator a Neuroethological Study in the Squirrel Monkey. Behaviour, 69: 88-117.
Manteuffel G., Puppe B., Schön P.C. 2004. Vocalization of farm animals as a measure of welfare. Appl. Anim. Behav. Sci., 88: 163-182. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.applanim.2004.02.012
Morton E.S. 1977. On the occurrence and significance of motivation-structural rules in some birds and mammals sound. Am. Nat., 111: 855-869. https://doi.org/10.1086/283219
Ohl, D.A., 1993. Electroejaculation. Urol. Clin. North Am., 20: 181-188.
Orihuela A., Aguirre V., Hernández C., Flores-Pérez I., Vázquez R. 2009a. Effect of Anesthesia on Welfare Aspects of Hair Sheep (Ovis aries) During Electro-Ejaculation. J. Anim. Vet. Adv., 8: 305-308.
Orihuela A., Aguirre V., Hernández C., Flores-Pérez I., Vázquez R. 2009b. Ejaculation on the Serum Cortisol Response, Heart and Respiratory Rates in Hair Sheep (Ovis aries). J. Anim. Vet. Adv., 8: 1968-1972.
Seyfart R.M., Cheney D.L. 2003. Meaning and emotion in animal vocalizations. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1000: 32-55.
Watts J.M., Stookey J.M. 1999. Effects of restraint and branding on rates and acoustic parameters of vocalization in beef cattle. Appl. Anim. Sci., 62: 125-135. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0168-1591(98)00222-6
Watts J.M., Stookey J.M. 2000. Vocal behaviour in cattle: the animal’s commentary on its biological processes and welfare. Appl. Anim. Behav. Sci., 67: 15-33. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0168-1591(99)00108-2
White R.G., DeShazer J.A., Tressler C.J., Borcher G.M., Davey S., Waninge A., Parkhurst A.M., Milanuk M.J., Clemens E.T. 1995. Vocalization and physiological response of pigs during castration with or without a local anesthetic. J. Anim. Sci., 73: 381-386. https://doi.org/10.2527/1995.732381x
This journal is licensed under a "Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)".