Effect of change of cage and/or 44h mother-litter separation on productivity of non-receptive lactating rabbit does. Preliminary investigation


  • A. Bonanno Università di Palermo
  • M. Alabiso Università di Palermo
  • A. Di Grigoli Università di Palermo
  • M.L. Alicata Università di Palermo




The effects of three different bio-stimulation methods, namely change of cage (CC), 44-hour mother-litter separation (MLS) and a combination of the two (CCMLS), for inducing oestrus in non­receptive lactating does, were compared to the peñormance of receptive lactating does (RO). From March to July, 215 lactating does were taken to males for mating on day 9 after kindling. The 155 RO immediately mated. The does refusing to mate were divided in a balanced manner based body weight and parity and subjected to one of the three bio-stimulations. Receptivity in MLS does (72.7%) was higher than in ce (50.0%) and CCMLS groups (55.5%), and appeared more frequently (45.5%) on day 11, just after the stimulus. The fertility rate of mated does and the total number of kits born per litter were 75.0, 70.0, 60.0, 88.4% and 7.8, 6.7, 6.6, 8.2, respectively for MLS, CC, CCMLS and RO. In comparison with RO, the 44-hour mother-litter separation reduced the weaning weight of young rabbits (-30 g MLS; -50 g CCMLS, P<0.05), although it affected neither rabbit loss nor the incidence of mastitis. Based on to the few available cases, the use of MLS, as stimulation for inducing receptivity and improving fertility, seems preferable to CC or CCMLS. lt needs to be verified whether the reduction of pre-weaning growth of young rabbits is compensated during the fattening phase.


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