The aim of this work is to describe the postnatal growth performance (period from birth to weaning) in Brown hare (Lepus europaeus) leverets in a rearing centre of Southern Italy. Three morpho- metric variables (body weight, hind foot length and ear length) were measured weekly from birth to wean- ing (at 21 days) in 78 leverets. Data were analysed by proc GLM (SAS) considering the effect of sex and birth period (1. January-February, 2. March-April, and 3. May-June). Birth period influenced significantly live weight at 14th day of life, lower in period 2 than in 3 (553 vs. 607 g; P≤0.05) and hind foot length at birth, shorter in period 1 compared to the period 2 and 3 (4.4 vs. 4.7 and 4.8 cm; P≤0.05), and at weaning, shorter in period 1 than in 3 (8.6 vs. 9.6 cm; P≤0.05). Leverets increased within 21 days their body weight 6.26, 6.76, and 6.97 fold in period 1, 2, and 3, respectively. Maximum growth speed (over 40g/d in all birth periods) was reached at the 3rd week. These results were consistent with the best performances described in literature for this species. Our data can be useful to evaluate the development of leverets in other rearing centres in Southern Italy. Furthermore, our data can be helpful for aging young Brown hares captured in the field, for example in those studies aimed to analyze the competition between Brown hare and endemic Italian hare (Lepus corsicanus) in Mediterranean ecosystems.

POSTNATAL GROWTH OF BROWN HARE (LEPUS EUROPAEUS) IN A SOUTH ITALY REARING CENTRE

COSENTINO, Carlo;GAMBACORTA, Emilio;FRESCHI, Pierangelo
2009

Abstract

The aim of this work is to describe the postnatal growth performance (period from birth to weaning) in Brown hare (Lepus europaeus) leverets in a rearing centre of Southern Italy. Three morpho- metric variables (body weight, hind foot length and ear length) were measured weekly from birth to wean- ing (at 21 days) in 78 leverets. Data were analysed by proc GLM (SAS) considering the effect of sex and birth period (1. January-February, 2. March-April, and 3. May-June). Birth period influenced significantly live weight at 14th day of life, lower in period 2 than in 3 (553 vs. 607 g; P≤0.05) and hind foot length at birth, shorter in period 1 compared to the period 2 and 3 (4.4 vs. 4.7 and 4.8 cm; P≤0.05), and at weaning, shorter in period 1 than in 3 (8.6 vs. 9.6 cm; P≤0.05). Leverets increased within 21 days their body weight 6.26, 6.76, and 6.97 fold in period 1, 2, and 3, respectively. Maximum growth speed (over 40g/d in all birth periods) was reached at the 3rd week. These results were consistent with the best performances described in literature for this species. Our data can be useful to evaluate the development of leverets in other rearing centres in Southern Italy. Furthermore, our data can be helpful for aging young Brown hares captured in the field, for example in those studies aimed to analyze the competition between Brown hare and endemic Italian hare (Lepus corsicanus) in Mediterranean ecosystems.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11563/2766
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