Next Article in Journal
Cats Have Increased Protein Digestibility as Compared to Dogs and Improve Their Ability to Absorb Protein as Dietary Protein Intake Shifts from Animal to Plant Sources
Previous Article in Journal
Dietary Supplemented Curcumin Improves Meat Quality and Antioxidant Status of Intrauterine Growth Retardation Growing Pigs via Nrf2 Signal Pathway
Open AccessArticle

Investigation of Pre- and Post-Weaning Mortalities in Rabbits Bred in Egypt, with Reference to Parasitic and Bacterial Causes

College of Life Science and Engineering, Foshan University, 18 Jiangwan street, Foshan 528231, China
Faculty of Science, Kafrelsheikh University, Kafr el-Sheikh, 33516, Egypt
Parasitology Department, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Beni Suef University, Beni-Suef 62511, Egypt
Animal Production Research Institute, Agricultural Research Center, Dokki, Giza 12651, Egypt
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Animals 2020, 10(3), 537;
Received: 8 January 2020 / Revised: 13 March 2020 / Accepted: 18 March 2020 / Published: 24 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Companion Animals)
Pre- and postweaning stages are critical in the management of rabbits due to the increased risk of mortalities. Mortality rates during pre- and postweaning periods were 67.10% and 31.90%, respectively. The preweaning mortality was mainly due to causes related to does (95.23%) and infectious agents, including Escherichia coli, and Salmonella (4.77%). The postweaning mortality was mainly referred to managemental factors and infectious causes, including Eimeria species, E. coli, and Salmonella.
This study was conducted to investigate the causes of mortality in young rabbits. A total of 110 V-Line breed female rabbits aged 5 m were used in this study. Rabbit kits were examined daily in pre- and postweaning stages to detect clinical disorders that caused death. The postmortem examination was carried out on dead kits. Furthermore, rabbits were examined for the probable bacteriological and parasitological causes of death. Fecal samples were collected from each dead kit and examined by standard microbiological procedures for bacterial pathogens and macroscopically and microscopically for the presence of endo- and ectoparasites. Throughout two breeding seasons, 2238 newborns were obtained, of which 1736 died, accounting for a 77.57% mortality rate. During preweaning (1st month of age) and postweaning (up to 3 months of age), 1501 (67.10%) and 235 (31.90%) deaths were recorded, respectively. A postweaning fecal examination revealed that 198 out of 229 (86.50%) were diarrheic rabbits due to Eimeria infection. Cittotaenia spp. eggs were detected in 4.37% of fecal samples, and mites (Sarcoptis scabiei) were present in 6.55%. E. coli was detected in 100% of examined animals during pre- and postweaning periods; however, Salmonella spp. were 97.22% and 43.67, respectively. Managemental risk factors were the main causes in preweaning mortality, including insufficient milk supply (37.37%), cannibalism (26.38%), mange infestation of a rabbit doe (22.20%), mastitis (4.30%), lack of doe care (5.00%), bronchopneumonia (2.13%), and enteritis (1.80%). However, risk factors in postweaning mortality included sudden death with general septicemia (13.80%), enteritis (9.63%), bronchopneumonia (5.43%), mange infestation (2.04%), and malnutrition (0.81%). In conclusion, the etiology of preweaning mortality in kits was related mainly to the doe, especially managemental risk factors. However, a combination of multiple pathogenic agents (parasites and bacteria) and managemental factors was reported in the postweaning stage. Careful attention must be paid to avoid these causes. View Full-Text
Keywords: pre- and postweaning; rabbits; mortality; Eimeria; Salmonella; E. coli; management pre- and postweaning; rabbits; mortality; Eimeria; Salmonella; E. coli; management
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

El-Ashram, S.; Aboelhadid, S.M.; Abdel-Kafy, E.-S.M.; Hashem, S.A.; Mahrous, L.N.; Farghly, E.M.; Kamel, A.A. Investigation of Pre- and Post-Weaning Mortalities in Rabbits Bred in Egypt, with Reference to Parasitic and Bacterial Causes. Animals 2020, 10, 537.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

Back to TopTop