Rabbits are very cute animals that are easy to breed. Care and observation of these cute animals helps to relieve stress and improves mood.
Where to begin
First of all, you should decide – why do you breed rabbits. There are meat breeds, there are meat and animal meat.
If you breed animals to provide yourself with meat, you should pay attention to such breeds as the White Giant, the Russian Ermine, and the Gray Giant. They are quite unpretentious to the conditions of detention.
When breeding rabbits for selling meat, choose special meat breeds, for example, New Zealand White, California, Burgundy.
Breeds giving high-quality skins – Chinchilla, Viennese blue, Silver, down rabbits – Angora and White down.
How to choose the right rabbits
After you have decided on the breed, you need to choose healthy animals. A person who is just starting to breed rabbits can make a mistake and get a sick or rejected animal.
Signs of healthy specimens:
Smooth hair with a healthy shine.
This method of keeping is considered the most optimal, as it allows you to control the health of animals, their reproduction, helps to properly breed and feed rabbits.
The advantages also include ease of maintenance, the ability to automate many processes, and facilitate vaccination and care.
However, it is necessary to fulfill a number of requirements so that rabbits really feel comfortable and well in the cages.
It is better to install the cells in a barn called shed (read: more on the shed content of rabbits). Being in the open does not protect against wind, frost, rainfall. The walls and floor of the shed can be made of bricks, logs, wooden boards. The main condition is that they should not have gaps or openings in order to avoid drafts that have a detrimental effect on rabbits. In this case, the room should be well ventilated and lit. Lack of light and fresh air causes deterioration of the hairline.
- Slatted or mesh floor.
- Size for the rabbit with rabbits: length – 890mm, width – 780mm, height – 420mm.
- Cage size for individual content: length – 720mm, width – 600mm, height – 420mm.
- The front wall is mesh, the side and rear are deaf, wooden.
- The cage is equipped with a feeding trough, a drinking bowl.
- In the cages intended for the nesting and keeping of the female with the cubs, a uterine house made of plywood or thin boards is placed.
You can learn more about cells and species at http://kroliki-prosto.ru/razmery-kletki-dlya-krolikov.html, you can also make a cage with your own hands, read about it here.
This method is suitable for those who want to breed rabbits for meat, while spending a minimum of effort and money. For breeding breeding animals and obtaining high-quality skins, this method is not used at all. Giant rabbits are also not found in pits.
Pits can be made both in village villages and in urban conditions. Suitable soils with low groundwater and the absence of rocks and stones under a thin layer of earth. Pits can be arranged in a basement or cellar, even in an urban multi-apartment building.
The approximate size of the pit is 2 meters in length, 2 meters in width, meter in height. Size is given for approximately 20 rabbits. You can leave the floor earthen or make it slatted or mesh, under which a slope or a tray for feces and urine is placed. Straw spreads on the earthen floor, which should be removed after a few days, it will have to be replaced with clean one.
Along the walls there are feeders of different directions and drinking bowls. They try not to put them near the entrance to the burrows dug by rabbits, otherwise, they quickly and very dirty.
In the pit, you definitely need a window that transmits sunlight. The norm of artificial lighting is 40 watts per 10 square meters. For rabbits, the duration of daylight hours is much greater than the brightness of lighting.
More information about the method of breeding and keeping rabbits in holes and burrows can be found here.
Pluses of the content:
- Low costs – one pit can serve for a very long time, it does not wear out, unlike cells.
- No problems with pregnancy and childbirth.
- Various diseases rarely develop.
- Big space savings.
- Ease and convenience of feeding.
- The breeding process is wonderful – often, easily. Rabbits are born and develop stronger and more hardy than with a cellular content.
- In winter, the floor and water in the drinkers do not freeze.
- Inbreeding. It causes fading and congenital deformities of animals.
- Inability to control reproduction.
- Animals run wild over time, it becomes difficult to catch them for vaccination.
- The skins are damaged, especially in males who constantly fight with each other.
- Harder to manure.
A pair of rabbits is selected – healthy and puberty. The female must be in a state of sexual hunting, otherwise she simply will not let the male. How to determine the sexual hunt?
In a normally developing female, hunting occurs approximately once a week. In summer, the interval is reduced to 5-6 days, in winter it increases to 17-20. October and November are the most unfavorable months in this regard.
During the hunt, the female becomes restless, begins to rush around the cage, pluck out the fluff in her mouth, drag a bundle of hay in her mouth, appetite decreases sharply or completely disappears. If the female is stroked on the back, she will instinctively lie on the floor and raise the back of the body. For a more accurate establishment of the period of sexual hunting, the genitals are visually assessed (popularly called the “loop”).
In the normal state, the loop has a pale pink color, during hunting becoming a pronounced pink color. In addition, it is somewhat swollen. The duration of the hunting period can be 3-5 days.
The male should be young enough, not obese, not exhausted. It is undesirable to allow more than 4 coatings per day in the male.
In summer, mating is best done in the morning or evening, in winter – in the daytime. This is due to the most suitable air temperature. In heat and cold, animals show less activity.
For mating, the female is planted in the male’s cage. Otherwise, he will be confused and, instead of having sexual intercourse, will be mastered in a new room. First you need to remove the feeders, drinking bowl, any other objects from the cage. Cells are usually cleaned and disinfected before mating.
For a more guaranteed result, it is worth waiting for the female to double cover, and then move it back to its native cage.
See also an additional and full article – mating and mating of rabbits.
Determination of pregnancy in rabbits
Experienced rabbit breeders conduct control mating 5-6 days after the first coating. Most often, a pregnant female is not given to the male for re-mating.
After 2 weeks, you can try to feel the stomach of a covered female. The animal is taken out of the cage, deployed to its head, holding the female by the skin in the sacral region with one hand. Another at this time is probing the stomach, in a pregnant rabbit in the back half you can feel the embryos as one or two chains parallel to each other. The size of the embryo at this time is 2-3cm. Probing is done very carefully so as not to harm the babies and not cause an artificial birth.
When 5-7 days remain before delivery, the female begins to prepare the nest and bedding for the cubs. To do this, she uses straw and grass from a nursery. The day before the baptism, the rabbit plucks its own fluff and lining it with a nest.
Feeding before mating
A complete diet provokes the activation of sexual activity of animals. Underfed or obese females most often do not fertilize, males develop poor-quality seed.
Mandatory feed before mating will be hay of legumes, silage, oats, carrots, a mixture of cake with bran, salt, meat, bone and fish meal. You can give tree branches, sprouted grains of barley and oats.
In winter, females are given high-quality hay, silage, root crops, grain mixtures (corn, legumes, oats), bone and meat flour, bran, salt, and boiled or raw potatoes. Fish oil is also introduced into the diet – 2 g per day, chalk – 2 g. The number of feedings is 3 per day.
Feeding pregnant and lactating females
Female and rabbits
At this time, proper, varied nutrition is especially important because undernourishment causes disturbances in the normal development of the embryos and reduces milk production in the nursing female.
In summer, the female is given a large amount of dried grass, in winter – high-quality hay. In addition, a silo with the addition of meat and bone meal and concentrated feed, root crops is included in the diet. Lactating men are given daily milk. 100 g, chalk – 2 g, salt 1 g.
You must not feed moldy and frozen food, so as not to provoke a miscarriage.
5-10 days before delivery reduce the amount of roughage (dry leaves, hay) and completely stop giving silage. There must be water or snow in the cage in winter! Otherwise, the female, experiencing a lack of water, can eat all her litter.
The number of feedings of a pregnant and lactating rabbit is from 3 to 5 times a day. When the rabbits begin to leave the nest, increase the amount of feed.
Major breeding errors and advice to rabbit breeders
When breeding rabbits, beginning rabbit breeders are able to make such mistakes that will cause disastrous consequences. Lack of experience and lack of knowledge are the main reasons.
- A pregnant female may have a spasm of the uterus, which will cause the death of the animal. A provocateur is often severe fear and stress. Therefore, an experienced breeder approaches the nest, trying to produce as little noise as possible.
- If the uterine house is not correctly positioned, the female will drag the rabbits from corner to corner, eventually causing their death. It should reduce the area of the house.
- With an excessive amount of milk in the rabbit, the cubs may die of starvation due to the glands becoming very dense and the rabbits cannot grab them. In this case, breast massage and timely decantation of excess milk is necessary.