Housing of rabbit does: reproductive performance, health and bone quality

Rabbit does welfare


  • Lukáš Zita Czech University of Life Sciences Prague
  • Adam Kraus
  • Eva Chmelíková
  • Cyril Hrnčár
  • Ondřej Krunt


biochemistry, bones, haematology, housing system, reproductive performance


The objective of the present paper was to evaluate the health status reflected in haematological and biochemical traits of the blood, reproductive performance and bone quality of rabbit does on first parturition housed in several housing systems with or without mirrors. The animals were randomly allocated into 6 experimental groups: pens with soil covered by deep litter with the possibility of digging burrows (A), pens with soil covered by deep litter with the possibility of digging burrows enriched with a mirror (B), pens with plastic slatted floor with elevated resting area (C), pens with plastic slatted floor with elevated resting area enriched with a mirror (D), combi-park system (E) and combi-park system enriched with a mirror (F). Litter size after birth and the number of weaned kits was found to be highest in group A, D, E and F compared to other groups. However, the biochemistry analyses showed every investigated trait as significantly affected by housing conditions except the UREA and CHOL, it has to be stated that values of the blood traits were in accordance with the reference values of rabbits. The effect of housing system on tibia and femur characteristics was found to be significant in fracture toughness, where the lowest value of this trait was detected in group E and F compared to other groups in both investigated bones. According to these findings, it is possible to recommend every tested housing system from a health point of view for farmers dealing with alternative housing systems.


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Animal Science