Normal behaviour and behaviour problems

image of Normal behaviour and behaviour problems
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A thorough understanding of healthy animal behaviour and the impact of environmental factors is essential to help prevent, diagnose and resolve behaviour problems. Observation of the rabbit, handling, and behaviour problems are all addressed in this chapter. A questionnaire is included at the end of the chapter.

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5.1 Bar chewing can be a sign of frustration caused by lack of space and environmental enrichment.
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5.2 An activity feeder encourages foraging and physical movement, providing both physical and mental stimulation.
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5.3 This apartment balcony has been transformed to provide a freely accessible run, while maintaining the original hutch as a safe retreat and location for a litter tray.
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5.4 Infrared photograph showing the importance of the senses, as indicated by higher blood flow (brighter areas).
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5.5 This rabbit is alert and anxious. Note the wide eyes and tense, elongated neck muscles. This rabbit is relaxed. Note the semi-closed eyes and head resting back on the shoulders.
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5.6 The appropriate way to hold a rabbit. Note that the bodyweight is supported and forward motion is blocked by placing fingers between the forelegs.
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5.7 Dorsal immobility response. Note that this demonstration was conducted at ground level to avoid injury and that support was provided along the whole length of the rabbit’s body.


An example of a rabbit behaviour questionnaire.

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