STRAIN DIFFERENCES IN THE ENDOCRINE BASIS OF MATERNAL NEST-BUILDING IN THE RABBIT

in Reproduction

Summary.

The Dutch-belted and grey chinchilla strains of rabbits, Oryctolagus cuniculus, were compared for incidence of maternal nestbuilding after normal pregnancy, pseudo-pregnancy induced by human chorionic gonadotrophin (hcg), castration during pregnancy, oestradiol treatment during pregnancy and treatment of the castrated doe with oestradiol and progesterone. In both strains all does built nests at the end of normal pregnancy, but only 85% of the Dutch-belted does and 31% of the grey chinchilla does at the end of pseudo-pregnancy. All other treatments induced maternal nest-building in both strains; but the grey chinchilla rabbits required longer treatment for the induction of nestbuilding after castration and more oestradiol for the induction of nestbuilding during pregnancy. The critical period for the induction of maternal nest-building after castration in the pregnant rabbit is before Day 20 of gestation in the Dutch-belted and about Day 25 for the grey chinchilla strain.

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     An official journal of

    Society for Reproduction and Fertility

 

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