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Behaviour and reactivity of female and male rabbits housed in collective pens: effects of floor type and stocking density at different ages

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Behaviour and reactivity of female and male rabbits housed in collective pens: effects of floor type and stocking density at different ages

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dc.contributor.author Trocino, Angela es_ES
dc.contributor.author Filiou, Eirini es_ES
dc.contributor.author Zomeño, Cristina es_ES
dc.contributor.author Birolo, Marco es_ES
dc.contributor.author Bertotto, Daniela es_ES
dc.contributor.author Xiccato, Gerolamo es_ES
dc.date.accessioned 2018-06-29T10:45:00Z
dc.date.available 2018-06-29T10:45:00Z
dc.date.issued 2018-06-28
dc.identifier.issn 1257-5011
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10251/104848
dc.description.abstract [EN] At 33 d of age, 376 crossbred rabbits of both genders were housed in sex-mixed groups in 16 open-top collective pens (1.68 m2) in a factorial arrangement, with 2 types of flooring (wooden slats vs. plastic grid, W vs. P) and 2 stocking densities (12 vs. 16 animals/m2). Behavioural recordings (time budget), reactivity towards unknown humans (tonic immobility and human approach tests) and environment (open-field and novel object tests) and hair and faeces sampling for corticosterone analysis were performed during the 8th wk of age and at a pre-slaughter age (during the 11-12th wk of age). The effects of age and gender were also taken into account. Rabbits housed in W pens rested more in the crouched position (41.4 vs. 35.5% of the observed time) (P<0.001) and showed lower allogrooming (P=0.05), running (P<0.01) and biting pen elements (P=0.01) than those housed in P pens. The percentage of rabbits that interacted with humans during the human approach test (24.0 vs. 48.1% of rabbits in the pen; P<0.01) and number of rabbit-object contacts during the novel object test (on av. 50.4 vs. 87.2; P<0.001) were lower for rabbits in W pens compared to those in P pens. During the open-field test, the percentage of rabbits that spontaneously entered the arena was lower for rabbits from W pens than for those from P pens (60.0 vs. 72.5%; P<0.05). Finally, the hair corticosterone level was higher in the former than in the latter rabbits (on av. 14.0 vs. 12.5 ng/g; P<0.05). As the stocking density increased, only the time spent resting increased (66.7 to 69.1% observed time; P<0.01), and the percentage of rabbits that spontaneously entered the arena during the open-field test decreased (73.8 to 58.8%; P<0.01). When age increased, the rabbits were less active at the reactivity tests and interacted less with an unknown object or person. Differences according to gender were weak. In conclusion, the wooden slatted floor challenged the welfare of growing rabbits as it constrained their movement, conditioned their reactivity towards a new environment, and increased their stress level, whereas the increase in stocking density did not impair rabbit welfare. es_ES
dc.description.sponsorship This work was supported by the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Commission [grant number 600376, CUP C91J13001170006]. The authors wish to thank Dr. Andrea Zuffellato (AIA S.p.A., Italy) for his technical support and assistance. es_ES
dc.language Inglés es_ES
dc.publisher Universitat Politècnica de València
dc.relation.ispartof World Rabbit Science
dc.rights Reserva de todos los derechos es_ES
dc.subject Collective housing es_ES
dc.subject Time budget es_ES
dc.subject Fear es_ES
dc.subject Stress es_ES
dc.subject Gender es_ES
dc.subject Age es_ES
dc.title Behaviour and reactivity of female and male rabbits housed in collective pens: effects of floor type and stocking density at different ages es_ES
dc.type Artículo es_ES
dc.date.updated 2018-06-29T09:57:04Z
dc.identifier.doi 10.4995/wrs.2018.7747
dc.relation.projectID info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/EC/FP7/600376/EU
dc.rights.accessRights Abierto es_ES
dc.contributor.affiliation Universitat Politècnica de València. Instituto de Ciencia y Tecnología Animal - Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Animal es_ES
dc.description.bibliographicCitation Trocino, A.; Filiou, E.; Zomeño, C.; Birolo, M.; Bertotto, D.; Xiccato, G. (2018). Behaviour and reactivity of female and male rabbits housed in collective pens: effects of floor type and stocking density at different ages. World Rabbit Science. 26(2):135-147. doi:10.4995/wrs.2018.7747 es_ES
dc.relation.publisherversion https://doi.org/10.4995/wrs.2018.7747 es_ES
dc.description.upvformatpinicio 135 es_ES
dc.description.upvformatpfin 147 es_ES
dc.type.version info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersion es_ES
dc.description.volume 26
dc.description.issue 2
dc.identifier.eissn 1989-8886
dc.contributor.funder European Commission


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