Título: Performance of kits that born in semi-group housing system or individual cages before and after weaning
Animal welfare is a subject of great interest and the housing of rabbit does in semi-group housing system is under investigation, but there is a lack of information about the effect on performance of kits in this system. A total of 1362 crossbred kits from the first four cycles of 48 rabbit does housed in semi-group housing system (24 does, six per pen, part-time system) and individual cages (24 does) were allocated at weaning into wire mesh cages (50 × 80 × 34 cm), eight kits per cage, maintaining or not the original litter (mixed or non-mixed). The kits were weighed at 18, 28 (weaning) and 56 d of age and their performance was evaluated. The feed intake (FI) of jointly does and kits was measured during the periods kindling – 18 lactation days (K-18L) and 18 days until weaning (18L-W). Kits from semi-group housing system were heavier at 18 d (300 vs 293 g, P≤0.01) being this related to a higher FI in the period K-18L (P≤0.05). Regrouping had a negative impact on the feed consumption of animals housed in semi-group housing system, so in the period 18L-W the FI in individual cages was higher (499 vs 526 g, P≤0.01). No differences were observed in kits’ weight at 28 and 56 days, feed intake, daily weight gain or feed conversion ratio, and mortality of kits. In conclusions, no residual effect of the housing system was recorded on fattening rabbits performance and, considering performance aspects, kits from semi-group housing system can be housed litter-mixed or non-mixed in fattening cages.
Data de publicação: Quinta, 18 Mai 2023
Disponível em: http://rbc.acbc.org.br/images/ARTIGO_RBC_-_MAIO_2023.pdf
Palavras-chave: Animal welfare, growth performance, housing systems, part-time group-housing, rabbit breeding