Effect of buck presence on sexual receptivity and kindling performance of rabbit doe
Livestock Research for Rural Development
Department of Animal Sciences, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria
Sexual receptivity and fecundity were determined in rabbit does with different exposure to the male. Forty heterogeneous, mature and non-lactating does were assigned to four treatments including: VTC - Male exposure with visual and tactile contact; VIC - Male exposure with visual contact; NVC - Male exposure without visual contact and NOC - Complete isolation of does from bucks (control group). The does were maintained in this condition for 30 days after which they were hand mated, each to two bucks. Mating was assisted or forced where it didn't occur spontaneously. At mating the sexual behaviour, readiness and libido of the does were recorded. At parturition, fertility and prolificacy were determined. Sexual receptivity measured by behavioural attitude and rate of spontaneous mating were higher in the VTC and NVC exposed group. Mating time was also significantly reduced in these groups. Prolificacy and fertility index were both lowered in the NOC and VTC does compared to the NVC and VIC does. In conclusion results from this study indicated that the presence of the male improved the sexual receptivity of the doe. However prolonged visual and/or tactile contacts between the opposite sex appeared to be detrimental to the breeding efficiency and overall productivity of the doe.