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Building design features and wind effects on rabbits in cages

Wasiu A. Lamidi
Abraham A. Adewumi


Rearing rabbits in the tropics has been discovered to be a lucrative alternative to providing white meat to the populace. While red meat is available, evidence reveals that they are more expensive; hence, the need to increase rabbit production especially as they can be conveniently reared at home backyards and as they can easily convert family’s leftover foods into meat. However, rabbits’ comfortability during rearing cannot be compromised, thus the research was borne out to investigate their welfare through their respiratory and pulse rates when reared in different housing designs. Buildings were constructed: width = 1.2 m; length = 4.8 m; height = 1.2 m, all at 0.5 m height from the ground, each with pens in accordance with desired building openings and building orientations, all were for a pen per doe. Factors considered were the season of the year at two levels: dry and rainy seasons; building orientations at three levels: 0o, 45º, and 90º to the prevailing wind’s direction and ventilation side openings: four levels of 50 %, 60 %, 70%, and 80 %, all replicated thrice to be 2 x 3 x 4 x 3 factorial design. Measured were pulse and respiratory rates at 10.00 h and 14.00 h daily. Interactions between different openings, orientations and seasons were significant at p≤0.01 on the pulse rate of does. The range of wind speed was between 3.61 and 5.04 km/h, this falls within the thermo-comfort range for does. There were higher R2 values, which depicted high correlations between the animals’ and the wind directions or wind speeds. The low wind speeds recorded cumulatively resulted in normal pulse rates and respiratory rates in does at all orientations. The effects of all building designs did not change the normalcy in both respiratory and pulse rates in the rabbits’ lives in the reared environment.

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eISSN: 0855-0743