Data set on early feed intake and growth performances of rabbits fed during the suckling period with pellets differing in diameter or compression rate using a double-choice testing design

Data Brief. 2020 Jan 30;29:105196. doi: 10.1016/j.dib.2020.105196. eCollection 2020 Apr.


Weaning is a critical period for the health of rabbits, with a high sensitivity to digestive diseases. Allowing early consumption of solid feed in the nest of the suckling rabbit could help to maintain its health around weaning. In general, previous studies have focused on feed intake of rabbits when they are able to leave the nest, i.e. around 16 days. Herein, we provide a unique dataset of the dynamics of the onset of feed intake in suckling rabbits from 8 days to weaning. We quantified the solid feed intake behaviour and determined the dietary preferences for pellets according to their physical properties using nine pellets differing in diameter or compression rate. Additionally to the data provided in Paës et al. [1] we provide (i) the description of the nine pellets processing (ii) the description of the 3 point-scale system for nest quality evaluation, (iii) details on the device used to provide pellets in the nest, (iv) milk intake data and milk intake curve calculation and (v) pellet intake data according to physical characteristics.

Keywords: Doe's nest quality; Feed intake; Feed presentation; Nutrition; Onset of feeding behaviour; Pellet compression rate; Pelleting; Rabbit.