The behaviour of farm rabbit does around parturition and during lactation.
The effects of parturition and lactation were assessed on eleven multiparous rabbit does caged under farm conditions. Frequency and time for different activities (drinking, eating, caecotrophy, nesting, grooming, chewing, attention to neighbour and resting) were studied for the day of parturition, and days 1, 10 and 28 of lactation. Parturition: Does spent most time during the dark period in drinking (85%) and eating (63%). Conversely, 79% of the time spent in caecotrophy and 55% in resting were recorded during the light period. Eating time was 104 minutes per day, being higher during the dark period and after delivery. Females rested 33 minutes per hour and started one of the observed activities 39 times per hour. A general tendency to reduce main activities was observed around parturition with the exception of time spent nesting. Lactation: Does spent most time during the dark period in drinking (59%), eating (59%), grooming (55%) and neighbour (72%) while they spent less time resting (46%). The level of activity in parturition seems to be maintained or increased on the following day and reduced afterwards. Does were resting 31, 35 and 41 minutes per hour, and started one activity 67, 27 and 24 times per hour during 1st, 10th and 28th lactation days, respectively.
rabbits; behaviour; parturition; lactation
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E. Martínez-Paredes, L. Ródenas, J.J. Pascual, E. Blas, G. Brecchia, C. Boiti, C. Cervera
World Rabbit Science vol: 23 issue: 3 first page: 197 year: 2015