Restriction of movement expressed as the inability of performing three consecutive hops is considered a main welfare consequence in farmed rabbits, whereas few information on their hopping behaviour is available. The present study compared the hopping behaviour of 72 reproducing does of two genotypes (Grimaud vs. Hycole) housed in 18 collective parks (2.0 m × 1.0 m, 4 animals) without enrichment, or enriched with a platform, or with platform and pipes. After weaning of litters (33 d), the activity of does was video-recorded for 24 hours. Single, double, triple, and multiple consecutive hops were scored during 30 min per h. The data (total number of events and rate of total events during 12-h observation per park) were submitted to ANOVA by PROC GLM of SAS with genotype, pen enrichment and interactions as main effects and pen as an experimental unit. On average, 985 hopping events per pen were observed during 12 h which corresponded to 20.5 hopping events per rabbit doe in 30 min. Single hops accounted for 56.1% of total hopping events; double hops stand at 19.6%, while triple hops and multiple hops at 12.7% and 11.6% respectively, without significant differences according to genotype or park enrichment. Taking into account the location, hopping events observed on the floor were obviously higher in non-enriched pens compared to pens with platform or platform + pipes (100%, 72.0% and 83.2% of total events; p < .001). The difference was significant for single (54.6%, 42.6% and 51.8% of total events; p = .06), double (22.3%, 12.2% and 14.5%; p = .001) and triple hops (12.2%, 9.21% and 9.88%; p = .10). As for hops performed to move between the floor and the platform, their rate was significantly higher in pens containing only the platform compared to those with platform + pipes (16.6% vs. 9.90%; p < .001) which was also associated with a higher rate of hopping events on the platform in the former pens compared to the latter (11.4% vs. 6.92%; p < .001). In conclusion, the hopping pattern was similar in the two genotypes. The presence of the pipes reduced the use of platforms, as for the lower number of hopping events between the floor and the platform and on the platform. Most hopping events did not overcome two (75.7% of total events) or three consecutive hops (88.4% of total events). Further data are necessary at different time points to get more knowledge about the behaviour of rabbits under commercial conditions with special reference to hopping behaviours and motivations.

Hopping displacements of rabbit does kept in a collective housing system

Pirrone F.;Zomeño C.;Bordignon F.;Trocino A.
2021

Abstract

Restriction of movement expressed as the inability of performing three consecutive hops is considered a main welfare consequence in farmed rabbits, whereas few information on their hopping behaviour is available. The present study compared the hopping behaviour of 72 reproducing does of two genotypes (Grimaud vs. Hycole) housed in 18 collective parks (2.0 m × 1.0 m, 4 animals) without enrichment, or enriched with a platform, or with platform and pipes. After weaning of litters (33 d), the activity of does was video-recorded for 24 hours. Single, double, triple, and multiple consecutive hops were scored during 30 min per h. The data (total number of events and rate of total events during 12-h observation per park) were submitted to ANOVA by PROC GLM of SAS with genotype, pen enrichment and interactions as main effects and pen as an experimental unit. On average, 985 hopping events per pen were observed during 12 h which corresponded to 20.5 hopping events per rabbit doe in 30 min. Single hops accounted for 56.1% of total hopping events; double hops stand at 19.6%, while triple hops and multiple hops at 12.7% and 11.6% respectively, without significant differences according to genotype or park enrichment. Taking into account the location, hopping events observed on the floor were obviously higher in non-enriched pens compared to pens with platform or platform + pipes (100%, 72.0% and 83.2% of total events; p < .001). The difference was significant for single (54.6%, 42.6% and 51.8% of total events; p = .06), double (22.3%, 12.2% and 14.5%; p = .001) and triple hops (12.2%, 9.21% and 9.88%; p = .10). As for hops performed to move between the floor and the platform, their rate was significantly higher in pens containing only the platform compared to those with platform + pipes (16.6% vs. 9.90%; p < .001) which was also associated with a higher rate of hopping events on the platform in the former pens compared to the latter (11.4% vs. 6.92%; p < .001). In conclusion, the hopping pattern was similar in the two genotypes. The presence of the pipes reduced the use of platforms, as for the lower number of hopping events between the floor and the platform and on the platform. Most hopping events did not overcome two (75.7% of total events) or three consecutive hops (88.4% of total events). Further data are necessary at different time points to get more knowledge about the behaviour of rabbits under commercial conditions with special reference to hopping behaviours and motivations.
2021
ASPA 24th Congress Book of Abstract
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3405565
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