Main Article Content

Walied Hussein KISHK
Mostafa AYOUB


This experiment was designed to study the behavioural and physiological responses of two breeds of rabbits to natural oestrus induction methods in non-receptive female rabbits to mating. One hundred multiparous female rabbits from Baladi Red (BR) and New Zealand White (NZW) breeds (50 from each breed) and twenty mature bucks from two breeds (10 from each breed) were used in the study. The following two methods were used: (1) doe-litter separation in the suckling females, or (2) presence of a doe beside buck cage in the non-suckling females. Basic behavioural (time of standing, walking and sitting %) and sexual behavioural activities (frequency of male circling around female, female circling around male, male mounting female and actual mating) were recorded for each male and female rabbits. Receptivity and conception rates were calculated in each treatment group. Also, serum concentrations of estradiol-17β hormone were determined in does under investigation. The results of this experiment indicated that animals after application of natural inducing oestrus treatments are more active than before treatments. Time of standing was significantly higher than time of sitting in both breeds after treatments compared with those before treatments. Moreover, animals after application of treatments showed significantly higher frequency of female circling around male, male mounting female and actual mating, and insignificantly higher frequency of male circling around female, than those values recorded in animals before application of treatments. Oestrogen levels significantly increased after presence doe beside buck cage and insignificantly increased after doe-litter separation in both breeds. Both treatments showed pronounced improvement in terms of receptivity and conception rates, irrespective of breed. NZW does were significantly superior over BR does in most studied traits. Highly significant positive correlations were found between both sexual behaviour and oestrogen level with receptivity and conception rates. Generally, natural methods used to induce oestrus led to a positive change in the basic and sexual behaviour as well as improvement in the physiological performance of non-receptive female rabbits for mating.

  • oestrus induction
  • behaviour
  • doe-litter separation
  • male effect
  • rabbit does
  • Article Details



    Bakker, J. & Baum, M. J. (2000). Neuroendocrine regulation of GnRH release in induced ovulators. Frontiers in Neuroendocrinology, 21, 220−262.

    Berepubo, N. A., Nodu, M. B., Monsiand, A. & Amadi, E. N. (1993). Reproductive response of prepubertal female rabbits to photoperiod and/or male presence. World Rabbit Science, 1, 83−87.

    Diaz, P., Rodriguez, J. M., Gosalvez, L. F. & Roman, M. R. (1987). Cyclic ovarian activity in post partum rabbits. Journal of Applied Rabbit Research, 10, 122−125.

    Duncan, D. B. (1955). Multiple range and multiple F-tests.Biometrics, 11, 1−42.

    EL-Kelawy, H. M. (1997). Effects of hCG injection and breed on reproductive performance of rabbits, under Egyptian conditions. World Rabbit Science, 5, 61−64.

    Enas, Abd El Wahed (2017). Studies on estrus induction methods in female rabbit does. M.Sc. Thesis, Suez Canal University, Faculty of Agriculture.

    Forcada, F. & Abecia, J. A. (1990). Circulating progesterone levels, ovulation rate and sexual behaviour in rabbits
    during pseudo-pregnancyinduced by vasectomized males and HCG injection. Journal of Applied Rabbit Research, 13, 74−79.

    Gonzalez-Mariscal, G. (2001). Neuroendocrinology of maternal behavior in the rabbit. Hormones and Behavior, 40, 125−132.

    Hassan, A. K., Mohamed, A. Y. & Akrum, M. H. (2015). Behavioural activities, physiological body reactions, hematological parameters and hormonal profiles for bucks of New Zealand White and Baladi Red exposed to short term of high temperature . Asian Journal of Poultry Science, 9, 191−202.

    Ilès, I., Benazzoug, Y., Messili, A., Boukhari, S. & Boiti, C. (2013). Oestrus induction in primiparous lactating rabbits by a 48 hours mother-litter separation: endocrine and behavioural responses. World Rabbit Science, 21, 161−168.

    Khalil, H. A., Kishik, W. H., Omnia M. A. E. & Awad, M. M. (2014). Evaluation of Some Productive, Reproductive, Physiological and Behavioral traits of Baladi Red Breed Compared to New Zealand White Rabbits Under the Same Manageable Conditions. Egyptian Journal of Animal Production, 51(3), 200−209.

    Lebas, F., Coudert, P., Rouvier, R. & de Rochambeau, H. (1986). The rabbit husbandry, health and production. FAO Anim. Prod. and Health Series, Rome.

    Maertens, L., Luzi, F. & Grilli, G. (1995). Effects of PMSG induced oestrus on the performance of rabbit does: A review. World Rabbit Science, 3, 191−199.

    Manal, A. F. (2010). Flushing or doe relocation as biostimulation methods for improvement of sexual behaviour and performance of multiparous rabbit doe after a summer resting period. World Rabbit Science, 18, 151−158.

    Marai, F. M. & Rashwan, A. A. (2003). Rabbits behaviour under modern commercial production conditions: A review. Archiv fur Tierzucht, Dummerstorf, 46(4), 357−376.

    Marongiu, M. L. & Dimauro, C. (2013). Preliminary study on factors influencing rabbit doe reproductive efficiency: Effect of parity, day of mating, and suckling on ovarian status and estrogen levels at day 6 of pregnancy. The Canadian Journal of Veterinary Research, 77, 126−130.

    McCroskey, R. A. (2000). Behaviour of the rabbit. (A Review). Pan-American Rabbit Science, Newsletter 5, 18−31.

    McNitt, J. I. (1992). Endocrinological approaches for commercial rabbit production. Journal of Applied Rabbit Research, 15, 364−397.

    Mehaisen, G. M. K. & Abbas, A. O. (2014). Effect of hormonal eCG treatment versus rearing-fasting program on embryo recovery, reproductive performance and hormonal profile in nulliparous rabbit does. Egyptian Journal of Animal Production, 51(1), 27−34.

    Melo, A. I. & Gonzalez-Mariscal, G. (2010). Communication by olfactory signals in rabbits: its role in reproduction. Vitamins and Hormones, 83, 351−371.

    Pau, K. Y., Orstead, K. M., Hessand, D. L. & Spies, G. H. (1986). Feedback effects of ovarian steroids on the hypothalamic–hypophyseal axis in the rabbit. Biology of Reproduction, 35, 1009−1023.

    Pfaus, J. G., Jones, S. L., Flanagan-Cato, L. M. & Blaustein, J. D. (2015). Female sexual behavior. In: Physiology of Reproduction, Knobil and Neill's, Fourth Edition, Chapter 50, 2287−2422.

    Rebollar, P. G., Bonanno, A., Di Grigoli, A., Tornambe, G. & Lorenzo, P. L. (2008). Endocrine and ovarian response after a 2-day controlled suckling and eCG treatment in lactating rabbit does. Animal Reproduction Science, 104, 316−328.

    Rebollar, P. G., Pérez-Cabal, M. A., Pereda, N., Lorenzo, P. L., Arias-Álvarezand, M. & García-Rebollar, P. (2009). Effects of parity order and reproductive management on the efficiency of rabbit productive systems. Livestock Science, 121, 227−233.

    Rebollar, P. G., Ubilla, E., Alvarinoo, J. M. R., Illera, J. G. & Silvan, G. (1992). Influence del nivel de receptividad sexual sobre el estradiol plasmatico y la respuesta ovulatoria durante el postparto en la coneja. Revista Española de Fisiología, 48, 13−18.

    Statistical Analysis System, SAS (2004). User Guide: statistics. SAS Ins., Cary, NC. USA.

    Virag, G. Y. & KustosandI Szabo K. (1999). Effect of 48 hours doe-litter separation on rabbit doe's reproductive performance and offspring's growth. World Rabbit Science, 7, 155−159.