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Body condition score and related productive responces in rabbit does.

  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2008
  • Tipologia: eedings
  • Parole Chiave: Rabbit doe, Body condition score, Reproduction, Artificial insemination, Fertility.
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A simplified 3-point scale method for in vivo scoring body condition is proposed as an useful and rapid tool to support experimental and on-farm management of nutrition and reproduction of rabbit does. The productive responses of lactating rabbit does scored and inseminated at 11 days post partum (pp) are verified, as well as performance of non-pregnant does scored and re-inseminated at 32 days pp when non-lactating. After their first parturition, 96 New Zealand White rabbit does were checked for 126 days over three successive 42-day reproductive cycles. The body condition scoring was based on feel by hand the loin and the rump for bone protrusions and muscle fullness. The loin was evaluated for poor, intermediate and wide level, the rump for poor and wide level. The body condition was scored “0” with poor loin; “1” with intermediate loin and poor rump; “2” with intermediate and wide loin and wide rump. The highest fertility was obtained with intermediate body condition score (BCS) for both lactating (52.0, 84.9 and 58.6% for BCS 0, 1 and 2; P<0.001) and non-lactating does (53.1, 84.4 and 64.5% for BCS 0, 1 and 2; P<0.05), indicating the negative effect of poor or excessive body fatness. A poor BCS led to lower litter size at birth in lactating (7.2, 8.2 and 8.3 for BCS 0, 1 and 2) and non-lactating does (8.4, 11.1 and 9.6 for BCS 0, 1 and 2; P<0.05), and higher losses of kits from day 1 to 11 of nursing (10.3, 2.2 and 4.5% for BCS 0, 1 and 2; P<0.001). The main part of does culled for infertility (44.4%) or death (46.7%) showed the BCS 2. When lactating does resulted nonpregnant at an 11-day artificial insemination (AI), their frequency in the BCS 2 showed a higher increase from parturition to AI (from 30.8 to 52.2%) than they were pregnant (from 26.8 to 37.7%). The lactating does that were non-lactating in the previous cycle showed a higher incidence at BCS 2 (54.8%) than they were lactating (43.8%) or nulliparous (39.6%). These latter indications suggest that failures in fertility at 11-day AI and culling rate are imputable more to the excessive body fatness of does than to their poor body condition.