The reproductive performances of intensively reared does were evaluated under farm conditions in Greece, during the summer (hot) and winter (moderate) period. Litter size at birth (respectively 6.9 vs 7.8 live young), litter size at weaning (5.95 vs 7.06) and pre-weaning mortality rate (16.94% vs 9.60%) were significantly affected during hot period, while litter weight and individual weight at birth did not seem to differ between hot and cold period (461 g vs 466 g; and 68 vs 65 g, respectively). Rectal temperature of does and respiration rate were higher in the hot period (39.09ºC vs 38.93ºC; 128.08 respiration/min vs 115.37 respiration's/min; P<0.001). The effects of parity order and animals revealed that parity order significantly influenced total born, born live, stillborn and weaned rabbits, litter weight and individual weight at birth, as well as the does' respiration rate. However, the interaction between parity and period was not significant for any of the recorded parameters.
rabbit; does; performance; high ambient temperature