How to choose decorative rabbits for further breeding
There are several basic rules for choosing a healthy rabbit for further breeding. What you need to pay attention to:
- baby age, which should be at least 1.5 months;
- furry baby should be cheerful, curious and well-fed;
- rabbit fur should be even, smooth and shiny;
- on the skin of an animal there should be no damage, scratches, swelling and pustules.
All decorative rabbits feel great in apartment conditions. To date, there are several breeds of these charming pets, but many beginner rabbit breeders prefer to have short-haired pets, since caring for them is much easier. In general, these pets are very comfortable in terms of maintenance, because they will not need to be walked, they will not spoil furniture, do not make any extraneous sounds, and besides, they are very pleasant to hold in your hands. Such a pet lives for a long time, about 12 years.
Breeds of decorative rabbits
The most popular breed of domestic decorative rabbits is the "lop-eared ram." Animals got this name due to their long hanging ears. But besides him, there are other types:
- forest dwarfs shorthair – such rabbits have a short glossy hair and small ears;
- breed Rex – the hair of these animals has a plush texture;
- “Lop-eared sheep” – they have already been mentioned above, these rabbits have long hanging ears, and they also have a very calm disposition;
- Angora rabbit – this pet has a fairly long coat, reaching 20 cm in length (care for this should be constant and very thorough);
- hermeline – these pets have a very dense and dense fur coat, so it will be uncomfortable to live where the climate is mostly hot. Moreover, the females of these rabbits are very obstinate, and the males are lazy. For beginner rabbit breeders, this breed is not the best choice.
The content of decorative rabbits at home: tips for beginners
All decorative rabbits, regardless of their breed and nature, require very careful care, so there is no way to do without certain knowledge. Experienced rabbit breeders do recommend that the first step is to purchase a cage and all the necessary accessories and attributes, and only then the animals themselves. You will also need to take care of a comfortable temperature in the house in advance, because these fluffy animals are very sensitive to heat, sub-zero temperatures and high humidity. Domestic rabbits do not tolerate drafts and caustic substances in the air at all.
The most suitable temperature for these pets is from 18 to 20 degrees. Humidity should not exceed 50%.
In the heat, you can wipe the rabbit’s ears with a cloth soaked in cool water. The fact is that the ears for these animals are the heat exchange organ on which the wreaths are located. It is with the help of the ears that the bunny can independently cool or heat, leaning them against certain objects.
All decorative rabbits are very, very fragile animals. They have a very weak spine and fragile bones, so you need to pick them up very carefully and hold tight, because if a hare falls out of his hands, he can very seriously suffer and even die.
All rabbits should be kept in cages only. Contact with other pets is contraindicated. First of all, such communication is stress in itself. Secondly, cats or dogs will attempt to play with domestic bunnies, and there is a high probability of injury.
In no case should you bring such animals to families with small children. Many negligent parents often do not explain to children the rules for communicating with small animals, and children, in turn, all the time try to grab the hare by the ears, by the fur coat and legs. Thus, the poor animal begins to experience severe stress, which can lead to illness or even death.
As it became clear, all decorative rabbits are very tender and susceptible creatures, therefore their cells should not stand in the drafts and in direct sunlight: from the drafts, these animals can easily get sick, but from the stuffiness and even die. All equipment (a nursery, a tray, a feeding trough and a drinking bowl) should be very well fixed, since a bunny can be periodically played with them and tilted into a cage, which is not advisable, as the litter of a rabbit should always be dry.
Speaking of litter: it should be either straw or sawdust. Three times a week, at least it is necessary to change the litter, otherwise, because of the dampness in the cage, the animal can catch some kind of stomach disease.
Many, not knowing the details of the maintenance and care of decorative rabbits, speak of an unpleasant odor emanating from these animals. But experienced breeders in a hurry to dispel these conjectures: such animals have no smell at all, if you take care of them properly. Regular cleaning of the cage and care of the animal itself will ensure cleanliness throughout the house without extraneous odors.
So, it has already been said that the cage of the animal should be in a dry place away from drafts and sunlight, and sawdust or hay should serve as a litter. Now it’s worth understanding everything in detail:
- litter thickness should be approximately 3-5 cm;
- feeding trough should not be very light, a ceramic one is best (then the rabbit is unlikely to be able to turn it over with ease);
- drinker recommended set automatic so that they always have access to fresh and clean water;
- rabbits don’t need in walks in the fresh air, but in good and dry weather they can sometimes be brought out to grass, using a special leash;
- if the animal is walking in an apartment or house, all windows and doors should be closed to prevent drafts. Also, the process should be carefully monitored to prevent possible injuries;
- for all decorative rabbits we need a special comb-brush so that you can scratch the animal’s fur coat, on which the cones often go astray.
All about the cells: how to choose, how to contain the animal in it
It’s worth immediately clarifying that you don’t need to buy a huge cage for such small pets: the most suitable option is a cage 1 m in size. If the rabbit is large enough, you can buy a cage 1.4 m in size. It is not recommended to buy smaller housing, even if the little rabbit is still very small, because very soon it will grow up, and in a small cage it will be closely uncomfortable. Rabbits are very mobile, so he will need at least a little space for movement. A cell that is 4 times larger than the animal itself is the norm that must be observed.
The bottom of the cage must necessarily consist of a tray and a grate so that it can be easily cleaned.
If the animal is female, and it is planned that such a female will soon give birth to babies, then in the cage you can install a special house where she can hide her offspring. But here it is worth considering immediately that the cell itself must be spacious. For the rest of the rabbits houses are optional, they can only be installed for dwarf breeds.
Where to place the cage
The first thing to immediately eliminate is the location of the cell near the battery or under the air conditioner. Many inexperienced owners, ignoring the advice of breeders, may decide that sources of heat and cold are the most suitable place for animals. But they forget that everything that is good for a person can be dangerous for a small and fragile animal. It will be necessary to remember once and for all: overheating and hypothermia are fatal for decorative rabbits!
It is also worthwhile to keep the furry pet away from noise sources, so you do not need to put the pet’s cage next to your computer, hoping that it will be convenient to work and observe the animal at the same time.
It is worth forgetting about such popular places for this as a corridor, an entrance hall and a kitchen. Again, it can be very noisy here, there may be constant drafts.
It is best to put a cage in the corner of a quiet room where the sun does not shine directly through the window, where there are no drafts or noise. In private homes, owners often install special aviaries and awnings, which is very convenient.
How to clean the cage and get rid of the smell
The cell tray should be cleaned at least two to three times a week, the litter should always be dry and clean. From time to time, it does not hurt to wash the cage completely, using special disinfectants for this, which then need to be washed off very carefully. In summer, cell cleaning should be done more often.
It is worth saying that decorative rabbits are very clean animals, therefore they do not exude any smell. But an unpleasant “aroma” from bedding or feed is a very possible phenomenon.
Only sexually mature rabbits smell, and nothing can be done about it. Bathing will not save you from the smell, and if it disturbs the household too much, then the animal can be sterilized (if there is no purpose in breeding rabbits). Such an animal can be sterilized at an early age.
The main diet of this animal should consist of feed, hay, twigs, water and special mineral stones. Babies need to be given 1 tablespoon of feed per day. Adult rabbits should eat 1.5–2 tablespoons of the feed every day.
There should be a lot of hay in the cage, you need to constantly monitor this. In order for the rabbit to sharpen its teeth, it is necessary to give it branches of fruit trees, as well as aspen, birch, poplar and oak. In summer, twigs can be taken from deciduous trees, and in winter – from conifers.
Treatment of decorative rabbits
The most common diseases among these animals are stomatitis, coccidiosis, pasteurellosis, infectious rhinitis, myxomatosis, staphylococcosis. This requires regular vaccination, which can be done by an experienced veterinarian.
Often they are overtaken by an upset intestine, diseases of the eye and ears, which also require the advice of a doctor. The intensive growth of the incisors can be regulated by feeding the rabbit with sprigs, as discussed above. Worms are very dangerous for these pets, because a rabbit may very well die from them, therefore 3-4 times a year a pet needs to be dewormed.
Beginning rabbit breeders who plan to breed these furry animals are interested in the question of when the animal can bring offspring. The following signs can easily determine the puberty puberty:
- the rabbit is overly active and quite aggressive;
- stops going to the tray and leaves his excrement wherever he wants;
- begins to dig the floor or bottom of the cell;
- marks territory;
- the female begins to pull down the fluff and arrange a place for posterity;
- both males and females begin to molest everyone around, starting from the rest of the pets and ending with the owners.
As soon as the furry pet begins to show such habits, he can be “knitted” to obtain offspring.
It is very important for a rabbit to have fun, as a toy he will use a balloon, a ball with a bell inside, a box with many holes for entry and exit, as well as wooden carrots, linen rags and even cardboard toilet paper bushings. The game for these pets is an important part of life. If you deprive the rabbit of fun, he will begin to peel the wallpaper in the house.