The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of regular daily handling In the first week after birth on weight gain and the fear reaction towards a new environment and human beings in domestic kits (Tonic Immobility test: Tl, Emergence test: ET). Two groups in the same environment and fed the same diet were analysed: handled group and control (17 litters, 9 kits/litter per group). No differences in weight gain were recorded. During ET at 33 d of age, handled kits took less time to enter the arena than control group kits. Tl duration was shorter in handled kits, which required more inductions than the control group. It was found that minimal human contact imposed before nursing reduced the fear of humans in rabbit kits. Our handling method requires minimal contact and can be used to reduce fear and improve welfare in rabbits. Moreover, the short length of the handling procedure allows stockpersons to produce tamer rabbits, reducing stress levels.

Effect of handling in pre-weaning rabbits / D. Zucca, V. Redaelli, S.P. Marelli, V. Bonazza, E. Heinzl, M. Verga, F. Luzi. - In: WORLD RABBIT SCIENCE. - ISSN 1257-5011. - 20:2(2012 Apr), pp. 97-101.

Effect of handling in pre-weaning rabbits

D. Zucca
Primo
;
V. Redaelli
Secondo
;
S.P. Marelli;E. Heinzl;M. Verga
Penultimo
;
F. Luzi
Ultimo
2012-04

Abstract

The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of regular daily handling In the first week after birth on weight gain and the fear reaction towards a new environment and human beings in domestic kits (Tonic Immobility test: Tl, Emergence test: ET). Two groups in the same environment and fed the same diet were analysed: handled group and control (17 litters, 9 kits/litter per group). No differences in weight gain were recorded. During ET at 33 d of age, handled kits took less time to enter the arena than control group kits. Tl duration was shorter in handled kits, which required more inductions than the control group. It was found that minimal human contact imposed before nursing reduced the fear of humans in rabbit kits. Our handling method requires minimal contact and can be used to reduce fear and improve welfare in rabbits. Moreover, the short length of the handling procedure allows stockpersons to produce tamer rabbits, reducing stress levels.
Behavioural test; Body weight; Fear; Handling; Rabbit kits
Settore AGR/20 - Zoocolture
2012
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2434/209892
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