Research on the interaction among nutrition, reproduction and lactation in rabbit does. A review


  • R. Parigi-Bini Università degli Studi
  • G. Xiccatto Università degli Studi



The rabbit doe, at the beginning of its reproductiva activity (first pregnancy first lactation or firs( concurrent pregnancy and lactation), hás a negativa energy and material balance. The net body composition at the first parturition changes definitely during lactation, with an important loss of lipids (about - 40 %) and energy (- 20 %). lf the rabbit doe is concurrently pregnant, the energy deficit becomes greater and the nitrogen and mineral balances become negativa as well. Consequently the second kindling litter size is lower, (- 10 % of total youngs born and - 20 % of rabbits born alive). Moreover, the composition of new born pups shows a lower lipid content which can influences negatively their viability. The energy and nitrogen requirements for maintenance, and the coefficients of utilization of digestible energy (DE) and digestible proteins (DP) for milk energy and protein production are given. In the case of a negativa balance, the coefficients of utilization of body energy and protein for milk production are also reportad.

The author's research had also the object of studying the effect of the diet on the reproductiva performance of does. In particular, the increase of energy intake due to diets supplemented with fat causes an increase of milk production, which is favourable for the litter but does not reduce the maternal energy deficit. In addition, the number of pups born alive at the second parturition is negatively affected. 

A single "feeding strategy" is not able to solve the problem of nutritiva deficit or avoid the unwanted effects of the concurrent pregnancy and lactation. Therefore we have to operate at breeding level, programming a less intensiva remating system, reducing the number of suckling youngs and preparing the future reproducing does from their weaning.


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