In order to evaluate the effect on sexual behavior and spermatic parameters of white New Zealand rabbits, at the onset of puberty, they were fed a standard diet supplemented with canola oil (obesogenic). Two groups were formed; one of which received daily 180 g of a standard commercial diet supplemented with 13 ml of canola oil during 12 weeks, while the second group (control) were fed daily 180 g of only the standard commercial diet. Starting at 20-weeks of age, seminal volume, en masse and indivi- dual sperm motility, and sperm concentration per mm3 were measured from each individual, as well as the behaviors olfactory exploration, chinning, and first and second attempt at mounting were assessed. No significant differences were found between groups in terms of seminal volume, and en masse and individual sperm motility count and percentage (P>0.05). In relation to sexual behavior, the group fed with supplemental canola oil showed reduced the response time to females in the sexual behaviors of chinning, olfactory exploration, and first and second attempt at mounting when compared to the control group (P<0.01). The data indicate that the addition of canola oil to a standard rabbit diet at the start of puberty and continued for 12 weeks increases the body mass index and reduces the response time in sexual behaviors such as olfactory exploration, chinning, and second attempt at mounting when interacting with female stimulus. Nevertheless, the seminal parameters did not show any modification. Other studies are needed to show the benefits or disadvantages of the addition of varying inclusion percentages of other vegetable oils, to evaluate their effects on reproductive efficiency in breeder male rabbits.
KEY WORD: Farm rabbit; Puberty; Semen; Sexual behavior; Canola oil.