Seasonal or year-round breeding of rabbits in the country is a profitable occupation that allows you to fully meet their own needs in dietary meat. Older people, who lack the strength to feed pigs and cattle, are very fond of keeping animals. Rabbits bring up to 5 broods of rabbits in a year, which in 3-4 months themselves are able to produce offspring, and by 4-5 months they can weigh 5 kilograms or more.
Very profitable occupation for giving
If you are used to spending the summer in the country, then raising rabbits can be relatively simple for you. Such a pastime will bring not only pleasure, but will also be a financially profitable occupation.
The ability of these animals to often produce offspring, their precocity and high rate of growth of muscle mass make it possible to always have fresh rabbit meat on the table with a delicate taste. Meat has an extremely low content of unhealthy cholesterol and is 90% absorbed by the human body.
Rabbit hair is characterized by high density and softness. It is perfect for sewing fur products. Young children love rabbit gloves, slippers and vests, which gently fit to the body, warming it even in extreme cold.
In this article we will tell you how to breed rabbits in a dacha and grow a viable offspring that is resistant to temperature extremes and various infections.
Peculiarities of keeping rabbits
For beginner rabbit breeders, keeping rabbits at a dacha is a specific activity. This is due to the small area of home ownership and the inability to equip a spacious economic zone.
Be sure to decide what you are going to keep rabbits in the country, and where to start it will be most convenient. It is very important to first study the habits of these animals and follow the simplest rules:
- animals react poorly to loud noises, therefore cells or aviaries should be in a secluded place;
- bright light damages their eyesight and leads to fading of fur, which loses its natural luster;
- place the cages with the open side to the west or east so that direct sunlight falls on the animals only during half of the daylight hours;
- Try to feed the rabbits at the same time, filling the daily diet with plenty of green fodder;
- observe sanitary and hygienic standards and clean the cells at least 2-3 times a week;
- conduct timely vaccination of young animals and periodically show problem animals to the veterinarian;
- to strengthen the health of the young, take the babies away from the rabbit no earlier than they are 2 months old.
The performance of your mini-farm depends on the creation of proper conditions, and rabbits in the country will have excellent health, quickly gain weight and be fruitful regularly.
Choosing the least capricious breeds
For summer residents who take only the first steps in rabbit breeding, it is extremely important to understand which breeds are best for breeding and how to contain such animals.
Professionals distinguish rabbits of meat, downy and meat-fur (universal) breeds. If you decide to have Belgian flanders, which are 70 cm long and have a weight of 10 kilograms or more, you should stock up on a large amount of food. You also need to prepare larger cells, which is not always possible.
Representatives of universal breeds that are unpretentious in content, have tasty meat, and their fur can be used for clothing and toys, are best suited for breeding in a dacha-like setting.
If you plan to live in a country house only in the warm season, then it is best to breed Californian and New Zealand white rabbits. Such animals have a muscular body and gain 40-50 g of live weight per day. Already in three months they can weigh 3-3.5 kg, and when slaughtering in 5 months, you can get up to 4.5-5 kg of dietary meat.
When year-round rabbits are raised in the country, gray giants, Soviet chinchillas, butterflies, sheep and representatives of the universal black-brown breed give excellent results.
How to choose manufacturers
If you decide to fatten eared pets and do not plan to cross them together, you can acquire animals from the same litter, placing them in individual cages. In this case, you are guaranteed to save yourself from being around and having to decide where to put the newly born rabbits in the fall.
With year-round breeding, it is best to acquire future producers from different breeders. This is guaranteed to protect against closely related crossbreeding, which inevitably leads to a gradual degeneration of the population and the emergence of nonviable offspring.
Be sure to ask to show the rabbit, the offspring of which you decided to breed in the country. This will help with a high degree of confidence to assess the industrial prospects of animals.
For a tide of fresh blood in the livestock, purchase a male breed of meat. In the conditions of our country, a gray giant is perfect for this, the offspring of which will be hardy and have larger sizes.
Remember that mating of animals in close relationships reduces the performance of the mini-farm, so regularly purchase new producers in other farms.
The content of animals in the summer
When planting rabbits at a dacha only for the summer, it is easiest to install several cells on one of the walls of the farm building. Animals are very sensitive to drafts and, if they are present, they immediately start to hurt. Therefore, choose a quiet corner in which the animals will feel most comfortable.
Take care of a canopy that will protect animals from rain and overheating. The optimal temperature for keeping rabbits is 12-18 degrees Celsius. The animals do not feel much discomfort and when the temperature deviates from the norm by 5-6 degrees.
In hot weather, be sure to water the roof of the shed with water, and also place plastic bottles with ice in the cages.
Do not overdo it and do not let the humidity increase above 70%. The rabbit living in conditions of high humidity will surely begin to feel depressed, lose its appetite and drastically reduce the rate of weight gain.
Year-round rabbit stay in the country
In winter, you can only start rabbits if you live in the country house and have the opportunity to regularly feed and clean the pets.
You will need to build a special utility room that is resistant to Russian frosts. It should be provided with natural or artificial ventilation system, which will reduce the level of humidity and get rid of unpleasant odors.
Do not do without the system of electric or stove heating, the work of which will need to be constantly monitored, avoiding fire and fire.
The maintenance of animals in the winter at the dacha will require preliminary harvesting of hay and other fodder, as well as the purchase of animal feed saturated with vitamin supplements and easily digestible microelements.
Such a room in the daytime should be lit. Rabbits normally tolerate twilight, but can be blinded in the spring from the bright rays of the sun.
Suitable for country breeding methods
It is usually difficult for a summer resident to allocate a lot of space for rabbits. Therefore, he has to choose one of several ways to grow a large number of animals in a limited area.
There are general and cellular methods of keeping rabbits in the country, each of which has pros and cons.
With the general maintenance it is required to equip one room of a large area in which animals of different sex and age will live together. Most often, extensive enclosures are built, which can be found in the article "Peculiarity of keeping rabbits in enclosures."
Some rabbit breeders build pens right on their summer cottage, giving the animals the opportunity to feed on green grass and dig holes. Read more about this in the article "About the pens for rabbits."
In recent years, the pit of eared pets is gaining popularity. To do this, it is required to dig a hole of arbitrary shape with a depth of 1-1.5 m (depending on the breed of rabbits). With such content, animals get the opportunity to dig and ditch their holes by themselves, and the temperature regime is most suitable for their health.
About the method itself, as well as its advantages and disadvantages, see the article "Breeding rabbits in the pits."
Practical cellular content
The most practical is the cellular content. Cages with animals can be set on each other and move from room to room. It is convenient for separate keeping of females and males. It guarantees the rabbit breeder full control over the birth rate and does not allow the males to have not yet fully formed bunnies.
Cell structures are very easy to clean, as well as to carry out anti-parasitic and sanitary-hygienic measures. A normal rabbit cage should have a depth of 50-60 cm, a height of at least 50 cm and a length of about 1 m.
When the content of rabbits with offspring of about 40 cm in length will be the mother liquor, and the rest - a place for walking. Cells are mounted on a special stand, having a height of at least 60 cm. This allows you to protect the structure from moisture and frost penetration in winter.
Installed in several tiers, cellular structures reduce labor costs for feeding and cleaning, allowing the rabbit breeder to conduct a quick daily inspection of pets.
The construction of the Shed and its practicality
In industrial rabbit breeding, sheds are often equipped - buildings with a shed, in which animal cages stand on both sides of the open aisle. They provide natural ventilation, but there are no drafts.
Standard sheds have a length of about 60 m, a width of 3 m. The cages in them are set in three tiers, allowing you to simultaneously contain up to 500 adult animals.
Due to such design features, the breeder has the ability to use vehicles, maximally mechanizing the process of feeding and harvesting. Labor costs are sharply reduced, and the profitability of production is growing.
It is possible to build such a room for the cage maintenance of rabbits in the country, but it rarely makes sense, since you simply do not have enough space. Reducing the length of the sheds can contribute to the appearance of drafts and animal diseases.
Read more about the advantages and disadvantages of this method of breeding rabbits in the article "Content of rabbits in sheds."
Watch your pet's health.
Despite the fact that rabbits can absorb almost any vegetable food, you need to be very careful when drawing up their daily diet. In the summer, you will not experience any special problems with this, giving animals a variety of greenery and tree shoots to grind their teeth.
Make sure that poisonous plants do not get into the feed, and the water in the trough has always been purified and fresh.
Remember that excessive consumption of cabbage leaves and legumes, as well as the peel of root vegetables can lead to bloating in the rabbit, and even his death.
Dampness and drafts lead to the development of pneumonia and respiratory diseases, and excessively high temperatures lead to overheating of the animals and their thermal shocks.
Do not forget to carry out preventive vaccination against infectious diseases in a timely manner. At the slightest signs of illness, move the animals into quarantine cells, removing them from the main herd. Be sure to use the services of a veterinarian.
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