Reducing aggressive behaviour in rabbit does housed in groups
There is an increasing interest in housing rabbit does in groups; however, a system that would prevent excessive aggression and be applicable on farms has not been implemented. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of housing with the possibility of making burrows and the presence of a male on aggressive behaviours in group-housed breeding does of two different genotypes. At 24 wk of age, 6 groups of 6 Mecklenburg does (MC, n=36) and 6 groups of 6 commercially used crossbreed Hyplus does (n=36) were randomly assigned to 2 housing systems consisted of concrete floor with deep litter (DEEP) or ground and deep litter with the ability to dig burrows (DIG). Four days after grouping, a male rabbit was added to each group for 10 following days. Each doe was observed for 30-min periods twice a day, at 10:00 and 22:00 hr for 5 days throughout the experiment (after the group formation, after the male was added, after the male was took out, 14 days after kindling, and 35 days after kindling).
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