In this article, we consider the breeding of rabbits at home for beginners. As soon as all the processes of care and feeding are debugged, the task will seem easy. Unpretentiousness and rapid growth of eared animals make rabbit breeding one of the most profitable areas of economic activity. However, in order to get what you want, you need to work hard for a start and provide your pets with comfortable conditions of detention.
Before you breed rabbits at home, it is important to familiarize yourself with basic information regarding the physiological characteristics of animals. The table of contents of the rabbit directories contains a large number of sections. Let's try to walk briefly on each of them.
Newborn rabbits are blind, and without a fur coat. Care for the little rabbits, who feed them and warm them, helps the kids to survive. Nutritious breast milk and a good appetite allow little rabbits to grow quickly. With a good content at the age of 1.5-2 weeks, the animals already open their eyes, and the skin is covered with fur.
A newborn rabbit can not be taken in hand - the rabbit does not like extraneous odors, they can even throw their own babies because of this.
At the age of 14-16 days, baby rabbits for the first time leave the nest, exploring the cage and getting acquainted with food. Up to 18 days in babies have milk teeth, so mother's milk is vital for animals up to this point.
We consider age
With the beginning of the change of teeth for permanent rabbits try to eat on their own. But you should not hurry to separate them from their mother, they do it at the age of 50-60 days. By this time of keeping, the young animal's digestive system is formed.
Rabbits grow up to 8 months. At this development of the body ends. But puberty comes earlier - 3.5-5 months.
When breeding Ushastik take into account that the reproductive ability of females and males decreases after the onset of four years of age. At this stage, it is recommended to change the breeding stock.
Interestingly, rabbits are the only animals where a pair of albinos can be used for breeding - their offspring will be strong, healthy and have good characteristics.
The average life expectancy of eared animals is 7-10 years. Speaking about the features of care for rabbits at home, consider the main aspects - nutrition, maintenance and reproduction of animals.
How to choose animals
Economic activity begins with the definition of specific goals. If the farm is started up to get dietary meat, then the choice should be stopped on one of the meat breeds of animals. In addition, they allocate skin and meat-skin directions.
The simplest is the care and maintenance of animal meat lines. Such rabbits have a calm disposition, and the quality characteristics of their meat is much higher than that of other breeds.
Consider how to choose individuals for breeding rabbits:
- do not buy rabbits under 2 months (early weaning from a rabbit negatively affects their health);
- the animal's fur should be dense, uniform, clean and shiny;
- the animal looks healthy - without discharge from the nose, peepholes and ears, without a scab and other injuries;
- The rabbit is active, agile and not too scared.
It is better to choose as a seller a nursery with a good reputation. There you will receive not only excellent pedigree specimens, but also valuable recommendations on how to care for rabbits at home.
How and when to pair
Cultivation of rabbits means the high-quality maintenance and stable increase in a livestock. The rate of breeding rabbit herd depends on the number of breeding individuals. Purchase is made at the rate of 5 females per one male. For a small household, 15–25 animals are enough. Males at least 6 months old and females older than 5 months are allowed to mate. Approximate weight - 2.5-3.5 kg.
For the mating, the rabbit who has come to the hunt is taken to the male and left to be alone. Human assistance is not required.
If you happen to the rabbit crawl in late February, the offspring will appear in the last days of March. The young stock will be ready to slaughter and receive rabbit meat in July-August.
The second mating of the same rabbit can be carried out in mid-May. Then the offspring of rabbits will appear in the middle of the first month of summer and will be ready for slaughter in September.
The third animal mating is planned for the beginning of July, the offspring is expected in early August, slaughter - October-November. Further, it is better to give the rabbits time to recover.
Crossbreeding of different breeds is allowed. But lack of experience will not allow to predict the results of selection.
The content of rabbits at home can be divided into two types - indoor and outdoor. In the first case, it means the breeding of animals in specially equipped premises. Often used sheds. The main requirements for the construction are good ventilation, protection from drafts and sunlight, normal air humidity.
The content of the open way involves the arrangement of enclosures and cages for rabbits directly on the street.
The breeding of eared animals deserves special attention. The female must be in a separate compartment equipped with queen cells. Cubs are with her up to 2 months, after which they are deposited in a separate cage. It is recommended to divide the young stock into males and females when they reach the age of three months.. Otherwise, it is impossible to avoid fights between rabbits and unplanned cases.
Ready-made cages and animal enclosures can be bought in specialized stores or made independently of wood and metal. It is extremely not recommended to use plywood - this material easily soaks and collapses. Plastic is also not suitable for the manufacture of rabbit houses, - rodents easily make a hole in it with their powerful teeth. A good cell should contain two compartments. The first is for feeding and walking, the second is for sleeping.
Keeping the rabbits at home in an open way implies warming the cells for the winter or moving them to a warm place. For example, in the same barn.
Next, talk about how to grow healthy rabbits.
Basics of care
Growing rabbits at home is based on the constant monitoring of the maintenance and general condition of the animals.
Caring for rabbits is not difficult, you just have to follow the basic rules:
- daily clean the cells and enclosures from manure and food debris;
- water bowls and feeders should always be clean;
- protect pets from overheating, cold and drafts;
- do a visual inspection of the rabbits for sores and external damage.
Rabbits are subject to stress, so noisy work is prohibited near the cages. Dogs, cats and other animals should not have access to the cages.
Properly breeding rabbits at home means not to neglect the recommendations of specialists and be sure to vaccinate animals according to the vaccination schedule.
We have already considered in general terms the breeding and maintenance of rabbits at home, it's time to talk about the diet of fluffy animals.
Effective rabbit breeding is based on taking into account all the needs of the rabbit body. And, first of all, we are talking about a balanced diet. The basis of nutrition is grass, fresh or dried. Additional components of the menu - grain, vegetables, fruits, tree branches, silage.
It is recommended to feed animals with concentrated feeds, enriched with vitamins and important trace elements.
If you have your own garden, you can independently grow vegetables and greens, thereby reducing the cost of purchasing feed. Succulent and nutritious herbs are suitable for eared fish - for example, clover, legumes, lupine, oats, alfalfa, rye. Animals love parsley and celery. The special value of fragrant plants lies in their ability to increase appetite.
When keeping and breeding rabbits, be sure to consider that they can be called omnivorous vegetarians. Rodents eat practically all vegetables grown in the garden - peas, corn, beets, potatoes, carrots, cucumbers and zucchini. As for the last two positions, their introduction into the diet should be strictly metered, otherwise there is a high likelihood of developing diarrhea.
Young sunflower leaves, leaves, stems and fruits of Jerusalem artichoke have a high nutritional value.
Novice breeders is difficult to understand how much you need to harvest animal feed and how to correctly calculate the rate per pet. To simplify the task, we consider approximately the annual feed consumption per rabbit with litter:
- green grass - about 400 kg;
- hay - 100 kg;
- vegetables and fruits - 120 kg;
- grain and feed - at least 300 kg.
Detailed feeding of rabbits is described in the article "How to feed rabbits."
Country estate and garden
First, let's talk about how to breed rabbits in the village. It is the villagers or gardeners most often become successful rabbit breeders.
In a city, taking care of rabbits at home is more difficult due to lack of food. In regions of our country, where the air temperature in winter rarely drops below 25 degrees, in most cases open keeping of animals is practiced.
Fresh air helps to strengthen the immune system and increase appetite. The natural change of temperature regimes positively affects the quality of rabbit fur, which is important when growing meat and animal rulers.
In the village you can keep rabbits in a hole. This method of maintenance allows you to quickly breed livestock with minimal cost. As animals actively move, many walk and dig holes, obesity in them is extremely rare. Additionally, the pit method has a very positive effect on the immunity of animals.
The main advantage of this method of keeping rabbits is a very significant saving of space. Having equipped one pit having parameters 2х2 m, it is possible to place a rabbit herd up to 200 heads.
Yes, and the arrangement of the pit for animals is less expensive and complicated than the construction of cells. It is enough to go deep into the soil at 1.5-2 m and reinforce the walls with any available materials - wood, sheets of metal or slate. Then you can safely run breeding rabbits, they will independently dig their minks and arrange sleeping places.
But there are also significant drawbacks to this method of raising rabbits - it is impossible to control mating, animals become wild, and closely related individuals cross.
Eared apartment resident
We figured out how to keep usastik in the village. It's time to talk about keeping and raising rabbits in the apartment. As pets most often give birth to ornamental individuals, but meat giants are no exception.
It is logical that the content of the rabbit in the apartment does not imply the cultivation of an animal for meat. Ushastik becomes the universal favorite and a full member of the family.
Caring for a resident is not much different from the standard content of rabbits in aviaries or cages. The only significant difference is that in most cases the pet will be trained to the tray. Inborn accuracy allows the animal to quickly master the wisdom of apartment etiquette. Read more in the article "How to teach a rabbit to the tray."
The menu of a rabbit living in an apartment does not differ from a standard rabbit diet. It is necessary to immediately abandon the desire to pamper your pet with delicacies from the table - this can lead to a serious breakdown of the digestive tract or even the death of the animal.
But the cage for the apartment pet - a necessity.
We have already figured out how to raise a rabbit in an apartment or on the street. Now let's talk about the most common mistakes that beginner breeders make.
The first mistakes occur at the stage of choosing the breed. For example, you liked the characteristics of the meat hybrid, but lack of information about the characteristics of breeding the breed line will lead to the collapse of the idea of breeding a large herd of rabbits. It is better to choose a breed that is in high demand among the owners of your region.. This will guarantee a good adaptation of animals to the local climate.
Small-sized cells are another common mistake of inexperienced breeders. Even if the purpose of the work is the rapid fattening of animals for meat, too close conditions of housing will give, rather, a negative result.
Rabbits' too frequent matings and early weaning of the little rabbit from their mothers lead to the appearance of a sick and weak young generation. These animals and so grow quickly, you should not overload the body of tribal rabbit.
Another misconception - vaccination negatively affects the quality of rabbit. The lack of necessary vaccinations will most likely lead to the death of the eared livestock than make the meat unfit for consumption.
If the article was useful to you, leave likes and share it on social networks with friends.
Tell us in the comments about your first personal experience of raising rabbits at home.