Proposal of a nest box for the reproduction of wild rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) in cages
This paper reports on the design of a nest box consisting of two compartments for the breeding in cages of wild rabbits(Oryctolagus cuniculus). The first compartment was a chamber measuring on the inside 17×23×20 cm (base and height), conforming to the small body size of the wild rabbit and similar to its breeding burrows. A plastic tray was placed inside the chamber, in which the doe could build her nest. The other part of the nest box was a tunnel with an inner cross-section of 9×8 cm leading to the nesting chamber and designed to make the doe enter the nest slowly. The does made considerable use of the boxes as nesting places since, out of a total number of 41 births, 85.4% of the does gave birth to all of their kits inside the nest box, and in 71.4% of these cases the does suckled their litters there. No differences were found in the use of the nest box between does born in breeding burrows and those born in the nest boxes tested here. It was concluded that this nest box is appropriate for breeding captive wild rabbits.
captivity; game farming; nest box; Oryctolagus cuniculus; wild rabbit
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1. Maternal behaviour in peripartum influences preweaning kit mortality in cage-bred wild rabbits.
World Rabbit Science vol: 18 issue: 2 first page: 91 year: 2010