Gnawing blocks as cage enrichment and dietary supplement for does and fatteners: Intake, performance and behaviour

L. Maertens*, S. Buijs, C. Davoust

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The aim of this study was to evaluate different experimental gnawing blocks as cage enrichment in rabbits. One hundred and five pregnant rabbit does housed in conventional wire cages were distributed according to their parity number in 4 homogenous treatment groups. Throughout one complete reproductive cycle (from day 18 of pregnancy till weaning of the litter), does either received no enrichment (controls) or a gnawing block hung from a wire on the cage wall. The 3 different blocks had the same basal components (wheat, molasses and oligoelements), but additionally wood mash (WM), wood mash+chicory pulp (ChP) or wood mash and inulin syrup (I) were respectively incorporated. After weaning, each litter continued to receive the same blocks as before and block consumption was measured as well as the performance of the fatteners. Weight development during the lactation was comparable except in does that received the wood powder blocks. These females had a significantly lower weight (P

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-192
Number of pages8
JournalWorld Rabbit Science
Volume21
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Keywords

  • Behaviour
  • Does
  • Fatteners
  • Feed supplement
  • Gnawing blocks
  • Intake

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