Peveler, J. L., Hickman, D. L. 2018. Effects of music enrichment on individually housed male New Zealand White rabbits. JAALAS 57(6), 695–697.
The beneficial effect of music has been demonstrated in many species. Although commercially available music CDs intended for use with rabbits are available, these enrichments have not been critically evaluated to determine whether they reduce distress. In this study, we used an aging colony of male rabbits to evaluate how the provision of music enrichment affected the wellbeing of the colony. After 6 mo of music enrichment, the rabbits in the colony demonstrated a significant decrease in fecal cortisol, suggesting that their stress was reduced. Six months after removal of the music enrichment, the rabbits demonstrated a significant increase in fecal cortisol and the heterophil:lymphocyte ratio, suggesting that they were stressed. These findings suggest that music enrichment with a commercially available music discs for rabbits can be used to improve the wellbeing of animals used in biomedical research.