Rabbits are one of the most successful objects for livestock farming. If these animals are provided with competent care, they will reproduce beautifully and quickly. In addition to the fact that rabbit meat is an excellent dietary meat, rabbit fur, although not very valuable, is widely used. Therefore, in order for you to succeed, you need to know how to breed rabbits correctly. Let’s look at 4 basic rules you need to know.
Rule 1. In time to recognize the disease
Today there are many different breeds of rabbits. Each has individual characteristics, but there are also common behavioral norms for the whole family. Taking care of animal health is crucial; the prevention of rabbit disease is ideal. The rabbit breeder should learn to determine the initial stages of the disease, otherwise one dead individual can infect the entire herd.
Having noticed the first alarming signs, you should isolate the animal and call a veterinarian. It is not difficult to determine the first symptoms of the disease – the rabbit becomes inactive, gets blocked in a corner. He may have a cloudy look, uneven breathing, the color and appearance of feces will change. It is better to vaccinate the entire herd for prevention, as rabbits are prone to many diseases.
Beginning rabbit breeders need to keep in mind that rabbits have very delicate skin, cells for their maintenance should not have sharp protrusions and corners. If the animal does get hurt, immediately disinfect the wound.
Rule 2. The right cage for rabbits
Unfortunately, one of the common mistakes of beginning rabbit breeders is a careless attitude to the living conditions of animals. This issue should be treated more carefully. Despite the fact that rabbits can be bred in enclosures, cages and pits, cages are best suited for domestic rabbits.
There are special standards for rabbit cells. The sensitivity of animals to colds requires the absence of drafts in their homes. There should not be any sharp temperature drops, the average temperature that suits rabbits is 12-18 degrees, with humidity 60–70%. Illumination of cells should be close to natural, but without direct sunlight.
It is especially important to keep rabbits clean. Animal waste products must be regularly cleaned from the cages, and sanitary sanitation of the home should be maintained. Rabbit feces and urine, decomposing, secrete substances that can lead to disease, and even the death of animals.
It is very important to know about the features of the content in the cold season. Frosty winters have special requirements for warming premises for breeding rabbits. Indoors rabbitry is heated, more or less, simply. But the cells that are outdoors, you need to carefully insulate. On the floor, lay a dense layer of hay or straw, and wall the walls with plywood, not forgetting about the ventilation. Without the threat of a cold, rabbits quickly gain weight and grow healthy.
You can easily make a cage for rabbits with your own hands, the video below
Rule 3. Proper nutrition of rabbits
The basic rules for the proper breeding of rabbits necessarily include good nutrition. Novice rabbit breeders do not interfere immediately with the assimilation that rabbits are not at all unpretentious animals, including in relation to food. A uniform diet will inevitably lead to metabolic disorders, diseases and possible death of the animal. In any guide for a beginner rabbit breeder, you can find that the rabbit diet consists of hay, grain, fresh grass, various root crops and branches. Of course, it is better to arrange rabbit food on a schedule at the same time. Regular nutrition is great for growth.
Today it is possible to purchase specially developed compound feeds for rabbits enriched with microelements and vitamins. In the spring, fresh, slightly dried grass must be introduced into the diet of animals. However, not every grass is suitable for feeding rabbits, because there are herbs that contain toxic substances. Dry grass, hay and straw no longer contain poisons. An experienced rabbit breeder makes his pets complex dishes from animal feed, vegetables, grains with vitamin supplements.
Vitamins are of great importance for the active growth and formation of quality fur in animals. Vitamin supplements in the winter are of paramount importance when there is no fresh, vitamin grass. As vitamin supplements, fish and meat and bone meal are used. A little salt should also be added to the rabbits ’diet; animals can develop poorly without it. In no case should it be allowed that rabbits get food with mold or the slightest signs of decay – this is mortally dangerous for rabbits.
Rule 4 Breeding rabbits is unthinkable without healthy offspring
There is an opinion that the number of rabbits is growing extremely fast and the herd can grow tens of times over a year. Rabbits, indeed, reproduce actively, but the achievement of such an increase requires a high labor return from the farmer. The general advice for beginners is that you need to start rabbit breeding with the purchase of several females from different litters, just one male. It is better to mate animals when they are already older and stronger, that is, not earlier than 7–8 months of age, although puberty occurs already at the age of 4 months.
Pregnancy in rabbits lasts from 27 to 33 days. Naturally, you need to take care of the female in every way so that she does not experience any stress. It is necessary to equip a nest from hay. Before the birth, the rabbit nibbles from the abdomen, thus preparing a nest. It is imperative that there is always fresh water in the cage, otherwise the rabbit can eat droppings.
Newborn rabbits are blind, without hair, weigh about 50 grams. Due to the high fat content and nutritional value of breast milk, a week later their weight doubles, and by the age of the month it reaches 500 grams. They need special attention and care of the owners. The first few weeks it is necessary to ensure that all rabbits are fed, and no one is outside the nest, as this is fraught with hypothermia and, as a result, the death of the baby. Although rabbits begin to eat food at 3 weeks of age, it is advisable to keep them with their mother for a couple of months.
For young animals, a special diet should be provided – nutritious, light feed. Be sure to include feed vitamins, raw and boiled vegetables, milk powder.
An instructive video on the proper purchase of rabbits. This is the personal experience of a person who is faced with unscrupulous sellers.