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Chapitre d'ouvrage

Feeding behaviour of rabbits

Abstract : As a non-ruminant herbivore, the rabbit has a unique feeding behaviour compared to other domestic animals. It belongs to the Lagomorph order (Leporidae family: rabbits and hares; Grassé and Dekeuser, 1955) and, consequently, expresses one main specifiity: caecotrophy. In brief (see details in Chapter 1) caecotrophy is a complete behaviour involving the excretion and immediate consumption of specifi faeces, named soft faeces or ‘caecotrophes’. Consequently, the daily intake behaviour of the rabbit is comprised of two meals: feeds and caecotrophes. Although the rabbit is not a rodent, one of the main features of its feeding behaviour is to gnaw. Information about feeding behaviour has mainly been obtained with the domestic rabbit, bred for meat or fur production or as a laboratory animal. It has basically involved rabbits receiving ad libitum a balanced complete pelleted feed, supplemented or not with dry forages or straw, but generally without a real free choice of feed. This chapter reviews regulation of the intake behaviour according to several factors: age, type of feed and so on. The last part of the chapter is devoted to the feeding behaviour of wild and domestic rabbits in a situation of free choice.
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Déposant : Thierry Gidenne <>
Soumis le : lundi 11 mai 2020 - 11:41:35
Dernière modification le : mercredi 14 octobre 2020 - 03:57:44


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Thierry Gidenne, François Lebas, Laurence Fortun-Lamothe. Feeding behaviour of rabbits. J.C. De Blas; J. Wiseman. Nutrition of the rabbit, Chapter 13 (3), CAB International, 2020, 978-0851992792. ⟨hal-02569326⟩



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