Home About Browse Search

Harenius, Anna, 2016. Kaniners grävbeteende : Analys av grävmöjligheter i fångenskap. First cycle, G2E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Animal Environment and Health



A survey was conducted to examine the digging behaviour of rabbits in captivity. This survey contained questions for rabbit owners regarding their rabbits´ living environment and digging opportunities. The survey was made available online and after 23 days a total of 337 different individuals had answered. Nine out of ten respondents thought that domesticated rabbits have a behavioural need to dig. However some of them indicated that the need to dig for rabbits is individual, which could be likely. The majority of the respondents also indicated that they provide their rabbits with digging opportunities on a daily basis. The results nevertheless showed that a small layer of bedding on the bottom of the cage did not provide a sufficient digging opportunity because it was connected with a higher probability of abnormal digging behaviour. The majority of the respondents gave their rabbits’ shavings, straw or hay as litter whilst they responded that peat or earth would be the best digging material for rabbits. The results from the survey supports the literature stating that rabbits may have a need to perform digging behaviour even if they live in captivity. It is however possible that other behavioral needs such as freedom of movement are more important to avoid stereotypic behaviours.
Providing the rabbits with opportunities to dig outside or give them big crates filled with a deep layer of peat, earth or sand, should give them opportunity to perform their natural digging behaviour. This ought to be clarified in the animal welfare legislation in Sweden to increase the knowledge and requirements of how rabbits should be kept in a way that benefits natural behaviour.

Main title:Kaniners grävbeteende
Subtitle:Analys av grävmöjligheter i fångenskap
Authors:Harenius, Anna
Supervisor:Lidfors, Lena
Examiner:Lindqvist, Christina
Series:Studentarbete / Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet, Institutionen för husdjurens miljö och hälsa
Volume/Sequential designation:650
Year of Publication:2016
Level and depth descriptor:First cycle, G2E
Student's programme affiliation:VK002 Ethology and Animal Welfare - Bachelor's Programme 180 HEC
Supervising department:(VH) > Dept. of Animal Environment and Health
Keywords:kanin, enkät, sällskapsdjur, beteendebehov, gräva
Permanent URL:
Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Animal husbandry
Deposited On:18 Aug 2016 09:42
Metadata Last Modified:18 Aug 2016 09:42

Repository Staff Only: item control page