Breeding rabbits at home is a great way to provide for the family diet, nutritious and delicious meat, it is possible to make money by selling skins to the furrier’s production. Rabbits can be breed up for sale, but this business is quite risky and requires the breeder’s experience, knowledge, financial and time costs.
If you are just going or are you starting to breed these animals at home, the allowance for the care of rabbits can help you to grow healthy and big fluffy Pets, to avoid frustration and common mistakes.
How to distinguish a rabbit from a hare?
To start with the question of how to distinguish the rabbit from the hare. A pet rabbit is a subspecies of its wild European counterpart, which is fit only for life with people. We must highlight a dwarf breed, its carcass weight less than 1 kg. Content of dwarf types are only for decorative purposes.
The closest relative of the rabbit is the hare.
The breeder needs to know that the hare defies domestication, because breeding to take leverets, which, unlike rabbits, are born with fur and sighted, don’t.
So, unlike the rabbit from the hare can be identified by such visual signs:
- size lefth – the rabbit ears are wider and shorter (up to 8 cm), in contrast to the hare (8-17 cm);
- size – mass of adult rabbit can reach up to 12 kg (common in our country hare can rarely weigh more than 6 kg);
- the rabbit face is larger and widerthan the rabbit of comparable size;
- color rabbits different color scheme for its diversity (dominated mostly shades of dark yellow, grey, brown colors), but in General, the color tends to homogeneity even during the presence of spots. Color rabbit is often spotty and not flashy, its main task is to disguise the color.
Rabbits tend to live in groups, they prefer to dig extensive, deep and long burrows, which can sometimes cause damage to the household. Because rabbits are best kept in cages and not in the street.
How to care for correctly at home for rabbits?
Rabbit from other Pets has a special need for careful and proper care, it very often prevents its mass content in the home.
Care for rabbits includes:
- separation of females and males, young animals up to 3 months and adult animals. Pets with any signs of disease should be immediately isolated from healthy animals;
- rational distribution: each animal requires between 0.5−1 sq. m of free space;
- the provision of water, diverse and nutritious food;
- observance of cleanliness, it involves the replacement of litter subject to pollution, daily cleaning of cages disinfection of equipment and cages at least 3-4 times per month and during the movement of rabbits. For disinfection a 1% solution of formalin or boiling water;
- daily inspection of animals, vaccination and prevention of diseases;
- the walking of animals in the warmer time of the year and the ventilation of the cells. During the existence of the Warren paddock is best done all year round.
How to equip and select the cage for the care and maintenance for Crawley in the apartment?
Experienced breeders do often cells with their hands, which will require:
- wooden slats and boards;
- sheets of plywood;
- the metal mesh.
In relation to the size of the cell some standards, but the best is the cell in the form of a parallelepiped with approximate dimensions of 50×80×70 cm This is enough space for a few animals, makes it easy to disinfect and clean the cage.
The floor and walls of cells are made of wooden slats or metal mesh. During the application between rails must be gaps in the area of 1.2−1.6 cm for ventilation and ease of cleaning. The door of the Warren is made from mesh and have to be on the Sunny side.
In the cage requires bedding. For her organization used any available materials:
- pine branches;
- hay or straw;
- sawdust, etc.
When refers to the organization of several cells, it is desirable to build a rabbitry, which is a closed room where the cells are in tiers. Well insulated log cabin rabbitry is required for areas where winter temperatures are less than -15 degrees.
External walls and roof extreme cells rabbitry need to do deaf, it will prevent the penetration of moisture and air. If necessary, the walls can be additionally insulated with straw or other improvised means. The roof of the rabbitry should be insulated and covered with slate or roofing felt. This gives you the ability to protect animals from drafts, dampness, and in winter from severe frosts.
You need to consider and the rational location on the site of the Warren. Preferably its front side to draw in the South-East. This will allow you to create a comfortable and warm environment, Pets, and also to protect from the direct rays of the sun. The space in front of the facade of the Warren need to keep and organize free-range animals space.
Liquor, drinking bottle, feeder
To properly care for the rabbits at home, in a cage have to be a drinker and a feeder. Used for the manufacture of household items. Most important, they were fixed steadily and did not allow them to climb legs. The drinker and feeder can be semi-automatic and simple.
Semi-automatic drinking bowl equipped thus:
- you need two flat tin cans of canned goods of various sizes and plastic plastic bottles with a volume of 1.2−1.5 litres;
- the smaller tin is attached inside in the middle more, not allowing animals to get into the drinker paws or splashing water;
- the neck of the flask is installed in a tin can larger in size, and the plastic bottles tilted so that taking into account the disappearance from the jar of water she was filling.
Bulk dry feed semi-automatic feeder can be done in exactly the same way.
Used items for feeding and watering must be no sharp edges that can cut or prick. During the construction of cells to exclude any protruding elements that could cause harm to the pet. Rabbits love to chew on available items, because the design of the cell is obliged to take into account this feature.
For a farmer, who plans the content of these animals, it is necessary to organize the cell in a special room, similar to the hole – liquor. Since under natural conditions rabbits in burrows to live and reproduce, and at home they need the same design, to make it possible with their hands.
Why use a wooden box with approximate dimensions 40×50×50 cm, made from plywood or boards. In one of the walls of the box will require a hole of circular shape with a size of 12-20 cm. And the lid of the liquor required easy to open. On the bottom of the box are covered with a litter of sawdust or shavings.
The female who is preparing for motherhood, is transplanted to the cell liquor, it has little bunnies have to spend the first month of their lives. There is no need to equip the cells of the feeder and the drinker, but regular cleaning and to maintain cleanliness a must.
Feeding animals in a novice breeder will not cause trouble, and most important, do not forget that rabbits are almost omnivorous and eat a lot. The exact calculation of the need in the feed can be determined empirically and will depend on the weight of the animal. While the necessity of procurement of stocks in year one adult is required 350-600 kg of food, a third of which is hay or grass.
The summer diet of animals differs from that of the winter diet on the presence of vitamins, composition of feed, calories.
In summer, rabbits are best suited:
- the leaves of strawberries, grapes, lettuce, currant, raspberry and other trees and shrubs that grow in the garden;
- grasses, especially clover, dandelion, alfalfa, mother and stepmother, nettle, plantain, cress. Grass should be fed dry, and even better a little dried to improve the digestive system;
- dry food: feed, pulses and grains;
- some vegetables and fruits (pears, apples, zucchini, cabbage, etc.);
- root vegetables (beets, potatoes, Jerusalem artichokes, carrots, celery, etc.). Tubers must be free of earth, as pure as boiled and raw;
- in the winter the grass need to replace silage, straw, hay. Winter diet is bound to contain more nutrients and dry food, than in summer. For rabbits as the diversity of suitable food remains of the table (apart from bones and meat dishes);
- in the winter, to ensure the vitamins the animals require needles. Pine and spruce branches is the best way in the diet to add vitamin C;
- year-round daily menu is necessary to mix the chalk, given 1-2 grams, salt of 0.7−1 grams per day;
- nutrition of the newborn rabbits will require further attention, given the still weak digestion. Because rabbits are suitable only root vegetables and delicate herbs. Especially useful for rabbits zucchini and pumpkin, boiled potatoes, Jerusalem artichokes. But from giving of solid foods (grain, straw, hay) should refrain;
- daily menu lactating and pregnant rabbit needs variety and increase its nutritional products: legumes, cereals, roots, fodder, bran;
- rabbits absolutely forbidden to give a sour, rotten, moldy and other spoiled food.
From a daily menu of herbs you want to exclude:
- wolf berries;
- the celandine;
Diseases and their prevention
Illness rabbits, like humans, can be divided into non-viral and viral. Rabbits usually are respiratory diseases and digestive disorders.
Inflammatory processes in the mucosa of the respiratory tract, colds are the result of exposure to damp, cold, crowding, drafts. To define these diseases can be during the presence of nasal discharge, sneezing, General weakness, redness of the oral mucous membranes.
Disorders of the digestive system are caused by wrong feeding Pets. The symptoms of these diseases: diarrhea, mucus that contains blood, secretions, etc.
The best method to avoid occurrence of the above diseases is to protect your Pets from the harmful effects of the weather, proper care and feeding.
Also, veterinary medicine is known to more than 50 viral diseases that affect rabbits.
The most dangerous among them are the following:
- colibacillosis is an intestinal infection that affects animals in violation of the rules of detention and communication with infected rabbits. The main symptom of the disease – diarrhea;
- spirochetesthat affects the genitals of the animal. Main symptoms: redness, swelling, sores, bleeding in the genital area;
- salmonellosis, which is expressed in viral lesions of the intestine. Main symptoms: vomiting, fever, diarrhea, weakness. Forbidden to eat the meat of sick animals and carcasses of rabbits must be burned;
- the most dangerous diseases of rabbits are necrotizing hepatitis and myxomatosis.
Myxomatosis is spread as widely as possible and extremely fast, the incubation time of the disease does not exceed 14 days. Almost all of the sick animals die. The symptoms of myxomatosis presence of tumors near the genitals and head.
Sources of disease may be fleas, mosquitoes, ticks. Also the infection is transmitted from an infected animal to a healthy airborne way. A sick rabbit should be isolated immediately. While isolated rabbits who may have had contact with the infected animal. Myxomatosis poses no threat to humans.
Signs of necrotic hepatitis is almost impossible to notice due to the rapid spread of the disease. The disease is for 2-3 days. The main reasons for the defeat of the interaction with infected animals. Necrotic hepatitis can severely damage the economy because all the sick rabbits die.
As preventive measures of viral diseases are used to separate rabbits, and newly acquired animals are quarantined in a separate room, the duration of which can reach up to six months.
Struggle with necrotizing hepatitis and myxomatosis can be produced using efficient and inexpensive procedure of vaccination. It is necessary to vaccinate only healthy animals after one month of age. In practice known as the combined version of the vaccine, as well as separate ways from myxomatosis and VGBK.
A beginning farmer for the vaccination should contact your veterinarian, who shall inspect the animal prior to vaccination and to develop a specific vaccination. Rabbits on average required vaccination every six months.
Care and maintenance eared Pets involves a lot of nuances that are difficult to display in one article. If you are seriously decided to build a business by selling pelts, meat, or calves, you need their attention to relevant literature, where the authors give to the questions satisfactory answers.