Effects of a split 48-hour doe-litter separation on productivity of free nursing does and their litters

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To prevent the weight loss of litters, and the distress of both rabbit does and their litters due to doe-litter separation (DLS), without losing its beneficial effects on fertility, the DLS, lasting 48 h before artificial insemination (AI), was split into two periods of 24 h with a short controlled suckling.Initially, 105 does of different parity were divided into three groups. During the post partum, the free-nursing does were treated as follows: regular DLS (R-DLS), the nest-box was closed for 48 h, from days 9 to 11, before AI; split DLS (S-DLS), the nest-box was closed for 24 h and, after suckling, for other 24 h before AI; control, does had free access to the nest-box.Fertility improved (P≤0.05) in both R-DLS (60.9%) and S-DLS (59.4%) does compared to control does (44.1%). R-DLS and S-DLS does showed lower rabbit losses from days 14 to 35 (P≤0.001) and higher litter sizes at weaning (P≤0.05) than control does. Whereas the S-DLS did not affect the growth-rate and the weight of nursed rabbits until the weaning, the R-DLS reduced growth from days 9 to 14 (9.3, 13.2 and 14.0 g/day for R-DLS, S-DLS and control, respectively; P≤0.001) and the weaning weight of rabbits (732, 777, 780 g for R-DLS, S-DLS and control, respectively; P≤0.01). Productivity improved by 35.4% and 44.2% with R-DLS and S-DLS, respectively.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)287-295
RivistaLivestock Production Science
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2004


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • veterinary(all)

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