Título: Intelligent cages for pet rabbits
Nowadays in Brazil pet rabbit breeding is expanding and dwarf rabbits are becoming common inside homes. The cages available are small, without attraction and can favor the laziness. This case report describes the use of an enriched environment (intelligent cage) for rabbits and verifies the possibility to put a nest under the floor for rabbit does. A Mini Lion Head doe and a Fuzzy Lop male were used for observations. The cages were built with 1.20 x 0.80m (0.96 m2) for does and 0.90 x 0.78 m (0.70 m2) for males. For environmental enrichment, a PVC pipe, a platform, a wood swing, a hanging plate, some dangling chains and a place for treats were added. For the doe, before the parturition date, a nest was adapted underneath the floor. A camera with night vision was used to monitor the animals for 24 periods of 50 minutes each. Observations were made every 30 seconds, as a frame, with a total of 2400 records for each rabbit. In order to build the ethogram, sixteen types of behavior were considered. The permanence in the different zones inside cages was also considered. The rabbit doe performed various types of behaviors and some of them were very important from the welfare point of view such as exploratory and ludic behaviors. This animal visited all zones of the cage, showing higher preference for above the platform. The nest was well prepared and used by the doe for the followings kindlings.A large range of exploratory and ludic behaviors were observed for the male and this animal spent part of time in self-grooming. New studies need to be made with a greater number of animals to confirm the high capacity of intelligent cages to promote safe housing and welfare conditions for the rabbits.
Disponível em:: http://www.rbc.acbc.org.br/images/Gaiolas_inteligentes.pdf
Palavras-chave:: Pet animal, welfare, rabbit breeding, friendly systems