Preliminary study of the individual variability of the sexual receptivity of rabbit does

M. Theau.Clément, A. Tircazes, G. Saleil, D. Monniaux, L. Bodín, J.M. Brun


The aim of this preliminary experiment was to investigate the individual variability of the sexual receptivity of a rabbit doe in the presence of a buck (lordosis position, 0-1  variable). Twenty primiparous does maintained without reproduction were tested over 4 mo (3 tests per week at a 2- or 3-day interval) after their first kindling. Out of 48 tests, the receptivity rate was 52.5±50.0% on average and varied from 20.0 to 73.3% depending on the test day. The does were lactating at the beginning of the test period and a strong receptivity decrease was revealed at the peak of lactation. Receptivity did not vary according to the tester buck or to the test operator. The individual receptivity of does varied from 8.6 to 81.3%; three of them had a receptivity rate lower than 30% and four of them a receptivity rate greater than 70%. No relationship was revealed between average receptivity and body weight or body weight variations around first litter weaning. The repeatability of sexual receptivity of non-lactating does was 23.2%. Lowly receptive does had a shorter average oestrus time (<2 tests) and a longer dioestrus time (≥6 tests), whereas highly receptive does had a longer oestrus time (>4 tests) and a shorter dioestrus time (≤3 tests). The correlation between average receptivity and average oestrus time was 0.80. These results indicate a fairly high individual variability of the expression of rabbit sexual receptivity and of its duration, and justify the exploration of an eventual genetic origin in a subsequent experiment.


rabbit; sexual receptivity; oestrus behaviour

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 Universitat Politècnica de València

Official journal of the World Rabbit Science Association (WRSA)

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