Breeding rabbits is a great way to provide a family with tasty and nutritious dietary meat, as well as to make money by donating skins to furriers. Rabbits are also bred for sale, but such a business is risky and will require knowledge, experience, time and financial costs from the rabbit breeder.
Therefore, if you are just starting out or are going to start rabbits, then detailed instructions for caring for rabbits will help you grow large and healthy fluffy pets, avoid common mistakes and disappointment.
Let's start with the question of how to tell a hare from a rabbit. The domestic rabbit is a subspecies of its European wild counterpart, adapted for life next to humans. A dwarf rabbit stands out separately, the weight of which does not exceed 1 kg. Breeding a dwarf rabbit is carried out exclusively for decorative purposes.
The closest relative of the rabbit is the hare.
It is important for the breeder to know that the hare does not lend itself to domestication, therefore, it is not worth taking small hares for breeding, which, unlike rabbits, are born sighted and with wool.
So, the difference between a hare and a rabbit is possible according to the following visual characteristics:
Rabbits are distinguished by the desire to live in groups, to dig long, deep and branched holes, which sometimes harms the household. Therefore, it is preferable to keep rabbits in cages rather than in an open space.
The rabbit differs from other domestic animals in its exceptional need for proper and careful care, which often prevents its mass breeding.
Rabbit care includes:
Experienced rabbit breeders make cages on their own, for which you need:
There are no standards for cell size, however, a parallelepiped cage with approximate dimensions of 40 × 70 × 60 cm is considered optimal, which provides sufficient space for a pair of rabbits, makes it easy to clean and disinfect the cage.
The walls and floor of the cage are made of metal mesh or wooden battens. When using slats, there should be gaps between them within 1-1.5 cm for ease of cleaning and ventilation. The rabbitry door is made of mesh and should be facing the sunny side.
The cage requires litter. For the arrangement, any available materials are used:
If you plan to arrange several cages, then it is best to equip a rabbitry. It is a closed building, where cells are placed in several tiers. A well-insulated log rabbitry is necessary for areas where the temperature in winter drops below -10 degrees.
The roof and outer walls of the outermost cages of the rabbitry are made deaf, preventing the penetration of air and moisture. If necessary, the walls can be additionally insulated with straw and other materials at hand. The roof of the rabbitry is insulated, covered with tar paper or slate. This allows you to protect rabbits from dampness, drafts, and in winter from severe frosts.
It is worth thinking about the rational placement of the rabbitry on the site. It is best to turn its front side to the southeast. This will create a warm and comfortable environment for the animals and protect them from direct sunlight. The space next to the front of the rabbitry is fenced off and a place is created for free walking of rabbits.
The rabbit cage should have a feeder and drinker. Household items are used for manufacturing. The main thing is that they are firmly fixed and do not give the opportunity to climb into them with their paws. The feeder and drinker are simple and semi-automatic. A semi-automatic drinker is arranged as follows:
A semi-automatic feeder for free-flowing dry food can be made in the same way.
Items used for drinking and feeding should not have sharp edges that could be pricked or cut. When making the cage, it is important to eliminate any protruding elements that could harm the animal. Rabbits love to gnaw on objects available to them, so the design of the cages should take this feature into account as well.
For a rabbit breeder planning to breed pets, it will be necessary to equip a special device in the cage that imitates a burrow - a mother plant. Since rabbits in their natural environment live and breed in burrows, they need a similar design in captivity., which you can do yourself.
For this, a wooden box with approximate dimensions of 30 × 40 × 40 is used, made of boards or plywood. A round hole with a diameter of 15 cm is required in one of the walls of the box. And the lid of the box must open freely. A litter of shavings or sawdust is placed at the bottom of the mother liquor.
A rabbit preparing for motherhood is placed in a cage with a queen cell, where the rabbits will spend the first month of their lives. There is no need to equip a drinking bowl and a feeder in the mother tank, but it is imperative to maintain cleanliness and carry out regular cleaning.
Feeding rabbits in an apartment will not cause trouble for a novice rabbit breeder, the main thing to remember is that rabbits are almost omnivorous and eat a lot. The exact calculation of the need for feed is determined empirically and depends on the weight of the animal. If it is necessary to prepare supplies for a year, 1 adult rabbit will need 300-500 kg of products, 2/3 of which are grass or hay.
The summer ration of rabbits differs from the winter feeding in terms of calorie content, feed composition, and the presence of vitamins.
In summer, the following are suitable for rabbits:
In winter, grasses are replaced with hay, straw, and silage. The winter diet should contain more dry and nutritious food than in the summer. Food leftovers from the table (except meat and bones) are suitable as a variety for rabbits.
To provide vitamins in winter, rabbits need needles. Spruce and pine branches are the best way to add vitamin C to your diet.
Chalk is required to be added to the year-round diet, in the calculation of 1-2 g, salt 0.5-1 g per day.
Nutrition of young animals requires additional attention, taking into account the still weak digestion. Therefore, only tender herbs and roots are suitable for young rabbits. Pumpkin and zucchini, Jerusalem artichoke, boiled potatoes are especially useful for rabbits. But you should refrain from giving solid feed (hay, straw, grain).
The diet of pregnant and lactating rabbits needs to be increased and diversified due to nutritious foods: cereals, legumes, bran, compound feed, root crops.
Rabbits should not be given moldy, rotten, sour and other spoiled foods.
The following should be excluded from the herbal diet:
As in humans, rabbit diseases are usually divided into viral and non-viral. Most often, rabbits are susceptible to digestive disorders and respiratory diseases.
Colds, inflammation of the mucous membrane of the respiratory tract are the result of the action of cold, dampness, drafts, crowding. Such diseases can be diagnosed if there is a sneeze, nasal discharge, redness of the oral mucosa, and general weakness.
Digestive disorders are caused by improper feeding of animals. Signs of such diseases: discharge, covered with mucus, containing blood, diarrhea, etc.
The best way to prevent the development of these diseases is to properly feed, care, and protect animals from the harmful effects of the weather.
Veterinary medicine also knows more than 30 viral diseases that rabbits are susceptible to. Among the most dangerous are:
The most dangerous diseases of rabbits are considered myxomatosis and necrotizing hepatitis (VGBH).
Myxomatosis spreads extremely quickly and as widely as possible, the incubation period of the disease does not exceed 2 weeks. Almost all sick animals die. Signs of myxomatosis are the presence of tumors near the head and genitals.
It is almost impossible to notice the symptoms of necrotizing hepatitis due to the lightning-fast spread of the infection. The disease lasts for 1-3 days. The main causes of infection are interactions with sick animals. Necrotizing hepatitis causes tremendous harm to the farm, as all sick rabbits die.
As a prophylaxis for viral diseases, animals are kept separately, and newly acquired rabbits are placed in a separate room for quarantine, the duration of which can be up to 3 months.
The fight against myxomatosis and necrotizing hepatitis is carried out using an inexpensive and effective procedure - vaccination. Only healthy animals should be vaccinated, starting at 45 days of age. In practice, both separate vaccines against HBV and myxomatosis, and a combined version, are known.
It is better for a novice rabbit breeder to contact a veterinarian for vaccination. He should examine the rabbit before vaccination and suggest a vaccination schedule. On average, rabbits need to be vaccinated every 6 months.
The maintenance and care of eared pets involves a lot of subtleties that are difficult to reflect within the framework of the article. Therefore, if you are seriously thinking about the business of selling young animals, meat or skins, then you should pay attention to the specialized literature, the authors of which will give exhaustive answers to your questions. We wish you success in such a difficult task as rabbit breeding!
And finally, we suggest watching a short video on how to care for and keep rabbits:
Rabbits are very intelligent and sociable animals. They need constant care of a person and easily find mutual understanding with him.
Compared to dogs and cats, pets, rabbits are quite unpretentious. With proper care, they can live up to 12 years of age, bringing a lot of joy to both adults and children.
Caring for your rabbit involves a balanced and thoughtful diet. It is necessary to track what and in what quantities the animals eat. There is a special compound feed to which they need to be taught. Due to the hard granules, the rabbit's teeth are well grinded, the growth of which never stops.
In summer, the best diet for rabbits is fresh grass.
In winter, hay is introduced into the diet. The trough should contain solid food: carrots or other root vegetables, hard branches of fruit trees. Prepare mash with boiled vegetables or potatoes with bran. In a small amount, salt, bone meal and chalk should be present in the diet. Feeding takes place twice a day, the break between which is 12 hours.
Proper feeding is very important when breeding rabbits.
An important prerequisite is the constant addition of water to the drinkers. Without water, feed is not fully assimilated. If the food is dry, then the "eared" needs 0.5 liters per day. water. In summer, there is no such need for water, since the feed is juicy.
The farmer is responsible for the daily supervision of the rabbits. Caring for them includes cutting off rapidly growing claws so that the animals cannot harm themselves or their fellows.
This should be done with nail scissors very carefully. The instrument must be thoroughly disinfected so as not to introduce infection. It is advisable to boil the scissors. It is also possible to use nippers or nail clippers. A nail file is used to trim the edges of the marigolds. To prevent the rabbit from being frightened by the unusual procedure, before starting it should be stroked and treated with something tasty. Claws should be trimmed once a month.
The hair dryer blows hot air and makes a noise. Such drying will scare the animal even more. He may die of fright. It is better not to use this device, but to be patient and wait for the coat to dry naturally. In this case, you need to hold the pet in your arms, wrapped in a dry towel. If your home has a fireplace or heater, sit with an eared eagle near a heat source on a sofa or armchair.
Rabbits can be bathed only in exceptional cases, but you should not resort to water procedures unnecessarily. Washing is extremely stressful for them.If your pet gets dirty while walking, limit yourself to partial bathing - wash only its paws and tummy. Use a rabbit detergent and watch the temperature of the water.
If you know the main features of caring for this flower, then you can easily reproduce the required copy. Orchid propagation is carried out in different ways, we will consider each of them in more detail.
Babies are small new plants that can form new varieties of orchids. Such side shoots usually appear in those plants in which the nitrogen content is increased. If you see "kids", then try very often to spray the orchid and wait for them to grow up and release the roots. Now you can separate the new plant, treat it with charcoal powder and plant it separately.
This method of propagation of an orchid is to use layers, such layers are found in sympodial orchids. Air suckers are very often formed in shoots with elongated or cylindrical thickened shoots.
In this case, you will need a small greenhouse over the bent part of the stem. It can be made from a small plastic container and cut a slot on the side. Now start moisturizing the moss and wait for the dormant buds to awaken.
The leafless shoot, which is in the greenhouse in a horizontal position, needs to be heated and regularly moistened. In about a month, the dormant buds will awaken, and young plants with leaves and roots will grow from them.
After rooting, small orchids must be carefully separated from the mother shoot, then processed, you can also transplant the orchid into a small pot. Keep them in the greenhouse for a while.
This method is convenient to propagate almost all varieties of orchids. The rhizome of flowers will simply need to be divided, while leaving two or three pseudobulbs on each plot. But this breeding method is only suitable if the orchid is large enough.
Remove the flower from the pot, then carefully separate the soil from the roots. Cut through the rhizome with garden shears, leaving two or three bulbs on each cut. Sprinkle the slices with charcoal, plant each plant fragment separately.
If the question arises of how to care for an orchid in this case, then everything is simple. Water the new flowers a little, spray them every day until new shoots or leaves appear. This confirms that the orchid has taken root.
As a child, each of us dreamed of some kind of animal: from dogs and ponies to cats and hamsters. And if earlier these were such "traditional" pets, now exotic animals - ferrets, chinchillas and decorative rabbits - have gained popularity. If you decide to buy a rabbit, you should know how to care for a decorative rabbit.
Caring for a decorative rabbit will not be so difficult, because rabbits are clean creatures, they can be picked up and stroked, they will respond to their name. You need to educate him correctly so that in the future he does not interfere with you and is obedient.
The rabbits themselves feel quite comfortable at a temperature of -20 degrees, but they are very sensitive to overheating and stuffiness. If your pet is very hard to tolerate stuffiness, then breeders are advised to wipe his ears with a cloth with cold water. If he gets heat or sunstroke, see your veterinarian.
If you bought a dwarf rabbit, then it will bring you no less trouble. Dwarf rabbits themselves take care of their fur coat. Therefore, you shouldn't worry about it. Since rabbits are not very fond of swimming, then they need to be washed only in special cases. In principle, caring for decorative rabbits and dwarf rabbits is not particularly different, the main thing is to carefully pick them up, since dwarf rabbits have a very weak spine.
The first question when buying a decorative rabbit is "What to feed a decorative rabbit?" In fact, the question of rabbit nutrition is pretty simple. Pet stores have a fairly large selection of rabbit foods that include wheat, corn, vegetables, herbs, and other healthy ingredients. But in addition, chalk and tree twigs should be present in the rabbit's feeder, because they love to gnaw on the bark. And so the question "How to feed the decorative rabbit" you will no longer have.
If you want to dilute your pet's diet and search for "How to feed a rabbit at home" in a browser search engine, then do not forget about such "green" foods: leaves, grass. If you bought a rabbit, but there was a problem and it got sick, even if your care of the decorative rabbit was correct. What then is to be done? If your pet has diarrhea, then you can make prophylaxis at home as well. You should give him a solution of pharmacy chamomile, clean the cage, remove the food.