Response of fattening rabbits reared under different housing conditions. 1. Live performance and health status

Z. Princz, A. Dalle Zotte, Sz Metzger, I. Radnai, E. Biró-Németh, Z. Orova, Zs Szendro

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In a 2 × 2 × 2 factorial experiment the effects of housing system (pair caged (cage): 2 rabbits/0.122 m2 vs open top pen housed (pen): 13 rabbits/0.86 m2; same stocking density), floor type (wire mesh vs plastic net) and environmental enrichment (with vs without gnawing stick) were studied on live performance, health status and welfare (ear lesions) of growing rabbits (n = 176). The housing system significantly influenced the body weight at 11 weeks of age (2630 vs 2557 g; in cage or pen, respectively) and the feed conversion (3.12 vs 3.38 g/g; in cage or pen, respectively). Floor type did not affect the traits tested. Gnawing stick consumption affected the body weight at 11 weeks of age (2553 vs 2622 g; without or with gnawing stick, respectively), the percentage of ear lesions (18.5 vs 1.20%; without or with gnawing stick, respectively). Some of the live performance traits of rabbits reared in pens was slightly lower. The presence of gnawing stick, especially in pens, reduced the aggressive behaviour and improved the welfare.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)86-91
Number of pages6
JournalLivestock Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2009



  • Cage
  • Floor type
  • Gnawing stick
  • Growing rabbits
  • Pen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • veterinary(all)

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