IMIS | Flanders Marine Institute

Flanders Marine Institute

Platform for marine research

In:

IMIS

Publications | Institutes | Persons | Datasets | Projects | Maps
[ report an error in this record ]basket (0): add | show Printer-friendly version

Food quality affects diet preference of rabbits: experimental device
Somers, N.; D'Haese, B.; Bossuyt, B.; Lens, L.; Hoffmann, M. (2009). Food quality affects diet preference of rabbits: experimental device, in: Somers, N. (2009). Feeding facilitation, the hidden interaction in mammalian herbivore assemblages? A case-study on rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus L.) and large grazers. pp. 99-114
In: Somers, N. (2009). Feeding facilitation, the hidden interaction in mammalian herbivore assemblages? A case-study on rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus L.) and large grazers. PhD Thesis. UGent/INBO: Gent. 175 pp., more

Also published as
  • Somers, N.; D'Haese, B.; Bossuyt, B.; Lens, L.; Hoffmann, M. (2008). Food quality affects diet preference of rabbits: experimental device. Belg. J. Zool. 138(2): 170-176, more

Available in Authors 

Keyword
    Terrestrial
Author keywords
    diet selection; feeding trial; grazing; herbivore; rabbit

Authors  Top 

Abstract
    When foraging, small mammalian herbivores do not show a preference for the forage with the highest biomass, which can be explained by several hypotheses (e.g. antipredator considerations, more difficult handling of tall swards and/or the higher nutritional quality of shorter grasses). We tested the ability of rabbits to discriminate between plants of different nutritional value and whether they prefer the most nutritious. A feeding trial in which rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus (Linnaeus, 1758)) were offered two different types of grasses (fertilised and unfertilised) was executed under experimental conditions. The rabbits preferred the grasses with the highest protein percentage, when conditions were controlled for sward height/plant biomass. This observation is equivalent to results obtained in geese and provides experimental evidence about the capability of rabbits to select for plants with the highest nutritional quality.

 Top | Authors