Of course, the maintenance of rabbits in the winter outside has rules and features. Many livestock breeders are concerned about how well pets tolerate cold, which frosts they can withstand without harming their health. Watering and feeding in the winter time also has nuances. In this article we will talk about how to properly organize the street content, how to insulate the cells and queen cells, than to feed ushastik in the winter. Also touch on the diseases that animals suffer in the cold.
Pros and cons of street life
The maintenance of rabbits in the winter outside is possible. They do not like drastic changes, but the change of seasons is a natural thing, so the animals adapt well. Rabbits withstand temperatures of -12 degrees and for a short time - up to -17-20 degrees. Warm fur gives them protection from the cold.
If the cells are properly insulated, the pets will survive even a thirty-degree frost without much damage. But for a long time to leave them in this cold can not. If during winter time in your region there are very low temperatures, you need to prepare for them carefully. Or keep rabbits indoors.
Street content has advantages. For example, saving on "living space" and care. Also, animals in the fresh air become hardened, improves immunity. In winter, there are fewer infections, and there is no evaporation of ammonia from natural waste. Ammonia is very harmful for rabbits.
However, street content has negative sides. So, if animals are kept on the street, they may have:
- catarrhal diseases;
- weight loss;
- suspension of reproduction;
Different breeds can tolerate low temperatures in different ways. Before you start a rabbit, learn the features of the one you are going to purchase. In general, animals with thick long fur with a lot of fluff withstand cold better.
We organize warm housing
For the successful maintenance of rabbits in the winter will need insulated cages. Rabbit dwellings should be at a height of 80 cm from the ground. On the floor we arrange latticed wooden pallet. It is necessary that the floor itself was also made of wood, without metal. We cover the pallet with a thick, dense layer of natural insulation - straw, hay. This coating saves heat, protects against cold air coming from the bottom, and will absorb excess moisture.
The doors of the cells are also insulated. At home, this can be done with plywood sheets cut to size or with glass frames. The advantage of the latter is to provide access to light in the cell.
Insulate for the winter and the wall. Suitable foam, blankets, felt. The material is fixed outside the cage. For better thermal insulation over the top stretch plastic wrap or nail plywood.
Warming the cage, do not forget that the rabbits need fresh air, ventilation. It is necessary to leave holes through which air will penetrate, but there should be no draft. In the spring, the insulation is necessarily removed, otherwise the rabbits are threatened with overheating, fungus and harmful bacteria.
Despite all the measures described, in case of severe frosts, it is better to bring the cells into the room. Also, the cells must be in another building that will protect them. Houses put closer to the wall, but with a gap under the insulation.
Using animal greenhouses
Conventional polycarbonate greenhouses can provide shelter for rabbits in the winter. After harvesting, they create an open-air cage where animals are released. It is made of mesh, which is placed around the perimeter of the greenhouse. To keep the rabbits from digging, the fence is buried 50 cm in the ground.
The content of rabbits in the winter in the greenhouse has many advantages. Animals feel at ease, often begin to dig holes in the ground and build nests in which the little rabbits are bred. Polycarbonate is an excellent insulating material that retains heat indoors. However, ventilation is also provided, so that the pets will be comfortable.
In addition, the content of rabbits in the greenhouse will save time and materials needed for cell insulation.
Also rabbits in the greenhouse in winter give a positive bonus - soil fertilizer. In the spring, when you put your pets back into summer cages and plant plants in greenhouses, they will grow much better.
Content with other animals and the need for lighting
In the wintertime, some farmers transfer cages from rabbits to sheds or other agricultural premises. It is worth remembering that other animals should not be in them.
Noise is a big stress for rabbits, they can get sick and die. In addition, in places where other agricultural animals live, there is always a lot of toxic ammonia fumes. In such conditions, all Ears can die overnight.
If the pets live in the barn alone, it is necessary to provide them with full coverage. It is desirable that the light was natural, and they received ultraviolet light. The area of the windows in the room must be at least 10% of the floor area.
However, if the lighting is not enough, rabbits feel good in the winter with artificial lighting. For these animals you need a light day from 8 to 10 hours, but not more than 16 hours. Intensity - 30-40 lux.
If the winter maintenance of rabbits coincides with the period of intensive fattening, the illumination can be reduced to 10 lux. On large farms, artificial lighting is included from 6.00 to 21.00.
Eating rabbits in the cold
In winter, the breeding and maintenance of rabbits requires a special diet. They are undemanding, but the lack of calories and vitamins will lead to weight loss, problems with the immune system, hypothermia. That is, animals will not be able to tolerate low temperatures without damage to health.
Therefore, keeping rabbits on the street is possible only when the owner does not save on feed. To successfully winter, the animals need a varied, but nutritious food. 50-60 g of cereals per one individual per day. Juicy food in the form of vegetables is not less than 200 g. These are pumpkin, carrot, Jerusalem artichoke, cabbage, beet. Another 150 g to 200 g daily intake of food - hay.
When caring for rabbits in the winter, it is necessary to introduce vitamin supplements. You should also give them to bite off the branches of acacia, willow, apple, birch, oak, maple, poplar, alder, and coniferous species. This is good for health, rabbit teeth, in addition, pets will have something to do, otherwise they may fight each other.
Feed animals need at least 6 times a day. Bags should be warm.
A separate topic is the watering of rabbits in winter. Not the most economical, but the least troublesome option - heated drinkers. If there is no money for this, animals are watered at home twice a day, pouring only warm water. Rabbits should not drink the cooled liquid.
Mating rules in cold
Breeding rabbits in the winter on the street is not easy, but possible. If you look at the table of contents of any book devoted to animal husbandry, we see that mating and childbirth are described especially. This is not surprising, because the health of bunnies and young animals is critical for the economy.
So, tell you how to breed rabbits in the winter. First, for mating in cold time, you need to select already giving birth to females, which brought healthy, strong offspring. Young individuals who have never passed through okrol may experience serious problems. During the winter, the rabbit can give birth 2 times if the care is good.
For successful mating, the temperature of the rabbits should not be too low. Mating is carried out only in well-insulated houses on those days when there is no severe frost.
Reproduction during this period is good because in the cold the strongest, strongest rabbits are born. If they are conscientiously looked after, very sturdy, prolific animals with fine wool grow up. That is why many experienced farmers prefer to breed rabbits mostly in winter.
Caring for females and offspring
We told how to keep rabbits in the winter. But you need to be aware of how to take care of pregnant females and babies. In the cold, they need special care.
It is difficult to overestimate the role played by the proper equipment of the queen cells and good nutrition. Places where you have to live with a little rabbit kids, you need to warm with special care. Pregnant females and baby rabbits need a lot of light. In order to satisfy this need, artificial light must be made in the queen cell.
Rabbits can give birth in cages on the street, even at -20 degrees, but only in well-insulated houses and under supervision.
The mother liquor must be disinfected before delivery. When the kids have appeared, you need to shift them and mom in a cardboard box with a pre-prepared nest. For normal cultivation is required to create a rabbit temperature of about +35 degrees. Make sure that the female feeds the young several times a day and that all the babies have enough milk.
After two weeks, baby rabbits can be released from the nest. For more details on the topic, see the article "How to make queens for rabbits."
Special feeding for bunnies
The female will take better care of the baby rabbits if the specific nutrient requirements of her body are met.
There are special mixtures for feeding pregnant and lactating females. They have the optimal composition. Granulated, combined feed will provide the rabbit with everything you need. Now let's see if the female can add something else or enough ready-made mixes to the diet.
Boiled potatoes, carrots and sprouted oats will be useful for her. Highly recommended to give the vine. This is a real storehouse of vitamins for the animal after childbirth and small rabbits.
Concentrates should form the basis of the diet of pregnant and lactating rabbits. They are given at least 3 times a day. Access to clean water should be permanent. Both food and water should be given only warm, otherwise the female can freeze.
What consequences can be from cold
If you keep rabbits in the winter outside, there will always be risks. So, animals that live in the cold in the open air often have cold and infectious rhinitis. The second disease is a complication of the first.
If at least one rabbit starts a runny nose, sneezing, lethargy, unwillingness to eat, it should be urgently taken to a warm room and treatment should begin. If there is pus in the nasal discharge, you should show the animal to the doctor.
The second common problem is poddermatitis, in which the tender skin on the paws of animals is inflamed. Occurs when exposed to cold and damp. To avoid illness, you must strictly monitor the dry litter and ventilation in the cells.
No need to discount the possibility of frostbite. Initial signs: skin swelling, redness. At this stage, the problem is easily eliminated by transferring the animal to heat and smearing the skin with camphor ointment. Worse, if blisters appear, and it is very bad when the skin on the affected limb looks dried and wrinkled. In the latter case, the rabbit does not help, in the second stage the blister is opened and the wound is smeared with the above ointment until complete healing.
Now, knowing everything about winter keeping of animals, you can safely say: "I breed rabbits correctly" and give advice to familiar farmers about their maintenance in the winter outside.
Share the experience of growing rabbits in the comments, tell us how your pets tolerate the winter.
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