Note: An original system to separately control litter and female feed intake without modification of the mother-young relations.
This paper describes an original system allowing separate control of the feed intake of the mother and of her litter without rearing them in separate cages, and thus without modifying young / mother relations. This system involved several modifications on tradilional wire cages. Firstly, the female's feeder was modified to prevent the ingestion of pellets by the suckling rabbits. Secondly, young had access to a specific feeder. Lastly, a wire mesh partition divided the cage in two areas, to avoid the doe having access to the young's feeder. Females need to be adapted to their new feeder at least two weeks befare the beginning of the control of feed intake. About 10% of the females did not adapt to this system while the others recovered their initial feed intake within one week. Neither the milk intake nor the growth of the suckling rabbits were modified by this system. Therefore, it allows independent feeding plans for females and litters.
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