Servizio Comunitario di Informazione in materia di Ricerca e Sviluppo - CORDIS

Quantification of the intake of rabbit faeces and thus map through grazing

Quantification of the intake of rabbit faeces and thus Map through grazing. Two experiments were conducted to quantify rabbit faecal pellet ingestion during grazing by calves and lambs, the most susceptible livestock.

Calves: Overall the calves ingested the equivalent of one faecal pellet in every 54 bites. Level of faecal contamination had no effect on the proportion of faecal pellets ingested. Rate of ingestion of faecal pellets increased at lower sward heights.

Lambs: Overall the lambs ingested the equivalent of one faecal pellet in every 857 bites. Higher levels of contamination were associated with lower proportions of pellets ingested. Sward height had no significant effect on the proportion of faecal pellets ingested.

From these results it was estimated that calves and lambs could ingest between 140 - 1329 and lambs 53 - 498 Map infected faecal pellets per hectare grazed, respectively. Sheep are better able to avoid ingestion of non-food items than cattle that potentially ingest infective doses of Map from rabbits on a daily basis.

Reported by

Scottish Agricultural College
Scottish Agricultural College, Bush Estate,
ML12 6NP Penicuik
United Kingdom
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