Influence of elevated platform (wire-mesh or wooden) in the cage on domestic rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) activity

S. Peeva1*, E. Raichev1, D. Georgiev2, A. Stefanov3

1Department of Animal Production – Non-ruminants and Other Animals, Faculty of Agriculture, Trakia University, 6000 Stara Zagora, Bulgaria,

2Department of Biology and Aquaculture, Faculty of Agriculture, Trakia University, Stara Zagora, 6000, Bulgaria

3Student Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Trakia University, 6000 Stara Zagora, Bulgaria

(Manuscript received 29 June 2017; accepted for publication 12 August 2017)

Abstract. Placing an elevated platform in the cage of rabbits is an option to increase its area. The aim of this study was to determine whether raised platform affected the overall activity of breeding rabbits and to evaluate the influence of used material (wire-mesh or wood). Two experimental groups of three male Californian rabbits at four months of age, equal body mass and condition were formed. Their activity was examined in three cage types: without platforms, with wire-meshplatformsandwithwoodenplatformsusingcameratraps.Separationofcagevolumebymeansofanelevated platformincreasedtheactivityof breeding rabbits. The rabbit activity was also influenced by the platform material. It was almost three times higher when the platform was made from wood than from wire-mesh.