One of the most simple in the implementation of the type of entrepreneurship in the household is a rabbit. Animals are unpretentious in care. They adapt to the environment without any problems. At the same time, the rabbits are distinguished by enviable fecundity, rapid growth, and precocity. Breeding rodents will not bring any problems and difficulties if you first get acquainted with the rules of maintenance, care, and feeding.
The biological and physiological characteristics of rabbits for beginners.
For a proper understanding of the development of rabbits, you need to know about the biological and physiological characteristics of animals.
On average, the period of gestation of offspring in rabbits is 30-32 days.
Newborn baby rabbits have a growth of only 40-90 grams, depending on their breed and the number of babies in the litter.
However, the maturation of animals occurs very quickly:
- immediately after the birth of rabbits, they are blind and bald, each having 16 teeth;
- a little less than a week later the animals are covered with hair;
- after about 2 weeks, rodents begin to see;
- on the 20th day, the babies independently get out of the cage and begin to eat food;
- from the 18th to the 28th day there is a complete change of teeth.
Their weight changes as follows:
- as mentioned above – their “newborn” weight is only 40-90 grams;
- in the first week of life it increases by 2 times;
- by the 10th day – 3 times;
- by the 20th day – 5, or even 6 times;
- By the 30th day of life, the weight of rabbits, as a rule, increases 10 times and ranges from 400 to 700 grams, depending on the breed;
- by four months of life, the dimensions and weight of rodents are almost close to the “adult” – up to 85%;
- by the age of six months, their size reaches 87% of the size of adult animals;
- by the eighth month, the growth of rabbits stops.
Sexual maturity of rabbits overtakes in 3-4 months, depending on how large the breed is.
It is worth noting that the rabbit is able to combine lactation and pregnancy. That is, the fertilization of the female can occur on the day after caul.
The main physiological features of rabbits:
- blood. Its total amount is from 4.5 to 6.7% of the total weight of the animal – from 32 to 67 ml. 100 ml of blood has from 8.4 to 12.4 grams of hemoglobin. In males, this figure varies slightly. The blood clotting time is in the range of 48 to 2 minutes, depending on the height of the temperature;
- pulse. Heart rate reaches from 120 to 160 beats per minute;
- respiratory rate. The number of rabbit breaths at moderate temperatures is 50-60 units. With increasing temperature, respectively, the number becomes larger. So, at a temperature of 35 degrees, the number reaches 282 units;
- thermoregulation. The body temperature of the animal varies from 37.5 to 41.6 degrees depending on the ambient temperature;
- digestion. The volume of the stomach in an adult rabbit reaches 179-200 ml. The length of the intestine is 315.5-469.5 centimeters squared.
Rabbit breeding: where to start, the choice of breed for breeding – meat or skin.
As a rule, rodents are bred for one of two purposes – for meat or for the skin. The first option is more common because rodent meat is tender, tasty and quite nutritious.
Meat rabbit breeding.
For meat rabbit breeding choose the following breeds of individuals:
- french ram;
- white New Zealand;
- red New Zealand.
It is these breeds that are characterized by rapid growth, which makes it possible to grow a crawl weighing 5 kilograms in 4 months.
Down rabbit breeding.
For down rabbit breeding choose the following breeds of individuals:
- Soviet chinchilla;
- gray giant;
- white giant;
- Viennese blue;
- black brown;
- Russian ermine.
What to look for when buying?
A breeder, if he does not have sufficient experience, may make a mistake and not notice the symptoms of a sick animal. That after a negative impact on all offspring.
A healthy rabbit necessarily has the following characteristics:
- animal hair is always smooth, with shine;
- the hair around the animal’s face does not have bald spots or wet marks;
- the back of the ears is covered with hairs, the inner one has pink skin. Auricles do not have kinks;
- the body of the rabbit should not be fat or, on the contrary, exhausted;
- eyes must be shiny, without any spots on the shell;
- the skin has no scratches, no sores, or scratching;
- the back of the rabbit is flat, without humps or pits;
- nose dry;
- the rabbit must have a correct bite – its upper teeth are located in front of the lower ones;
- the loop is pink, without various secretions.
Home rabbit farm: conditions of detention, cultivation and care.
For breeding animals is required to pick up a pair of healthy individuals that have already reached puberty.
It is quite difficult to feed newborns of rabbits left without the care of the mother. Novice breeders.
In a healthy individual with normal development, this condition occurs about once a week in the summer months and once every 2-3 weeks in the winter months.
The female, ready to mating, can be identified by the following features:
- during the sexual hunt the rabbit becomes restless, begins to toss around the cage, pluck out its own down;
- the animal’s appetite deteriorates, sometimes the animal refuses to eat;
- if you stroke the rabbit on the back, she will lie on the floor and lift the back of the body;
- the loop (sex organs of the rabbit) acquires a characteristic pink color and slightly swells.
Mating should be done at a moderate temperature. In the summer – in the morning and evening when the heat subsides; in the winter – in the daytime, when the air has already warmed up.
For mating, the rabbit must be placed in a depleted and free from feeders, drinkers, and other cells of the male. It is not recommended to replant animals in an unfamiliar cage, because instead of mating animals will be mastered in a new place.
Cages for young.
Small animals should be placed in groups in spacious cages. Until they reach the age of three months, there is no need to distinguish between rabbits by gender, after which they should be seated in separate rooms.
Individuals prone to aggression must be isolated from the main “composition”.
For keeping rabbits in the warm season they use cages that have lattice facades on both sides. For the winter months, more closed rooms are used – the facade consists of a lattice on one side only.
Each female carrying offspring should have a separate cage. Before producing offspring, a cage with a female must be equipped with a queen cell – a closed wooden box with a round manhole. Later, the rabbit will arrange a nest in it, where he will grow rabbits.
Any special facilities for mating should not be organized. It is enough to translate the female into the male’s cage, feed the animals in a timely manner and clean the room.
Growth and development of rabbits.
The patrimonial activity of the rabbit takes place mainly at night and lasts from 10 minutes to 1 hour. After giving birth, the female eats its afterbirth and stillborn baby rabbits, if any.
Please note that clean water must always be present in the cage since the generic activity causes even greater thirst. If the rabbit is not given enough time, it will satisfy the natural needs of the body at the expense of its offspring.
It is necessary to keep a constant watch around, as the rabbit can throw out the newly emerged offspring from the cells. If this happens twice, the rabbits are culled.
It is not necessary to feed the babies themselves; the rabbit feeds the offspring once a day, less often – twice. Determine, fed rabbit or not, you can by their behavior. Hungry animals squeak and try to get out of the cage while well-fed animal lies quietly.
Remember also that the cage with newborn rabbits does not need to be cleaned. Mother cleans the nest by herself.
For the first time, the selection of rabbits should occur no earlier than at two months of age. It is then that the assessment of compliance of animals with regulatory indicators.
Slaughter of rabbit meat breeds occurs in 4 months.
For the slaughter of rodents on the skins will need to wait 6 months, because at this time the adult molting of animals ends.
What rabbits eat, proper feeding.
The diet of rabbits must be rich in order to saturate the animals with all the necessary nutrients. It is on the quality of nutrition that offspring will depend to a greater extent.
The following feed must be present in the rabbit menu:
- green: meadow grasses, corn, peas, burdock, sow thistle, wormwood, nettle, yarrow and others;
- blue: hay, dry greens from fruit trees, twig food and grass meal;
- juicy: vegetables and fruits;
- grain: wheat, barley, oats, corn, peas;
- top dressing: yeast, salt, chalk, milk, whey, meat and bone meal;
- granulated feed.
Breeding characteristics of rabbits – how to maintain, care and feed.
For the first time mating in rabbits occurs in 5-11 months. 2 weeks before this event, the diet of the animal must be enriched with protein and vitamin feed. The menu of the male will also need to add oats, milk and eggs, which increase the development of sperm.
In just 20 minutes after mating, the male sex cells penetrate the rabbit’s oviducts. After 10-12 hours, fertilization occurs.
Pregnancy of an animal lasts from 26 to 35 days depending on the breed. A couple of days before giving birth, it is necessary to exclude succulent feeds from the diet of the female and focus on hay.
Understand the approximation of labor activity can be on the following grounds:
- the animal becomes restless, organizes a nest for the future offspring and covers it with down;
- The rabbit’s belly goes down, the nipples swell.
Disease prevention, vaccinations.
Rodents are extremely resistant to diseases, therefore vaccination is a necessary procedure. Although the vaccinated offspring is not guaranteed against diseases, diseases will never end in epidemics.
Rabbits need to be vaccinated against the following diseases:
- myxomatosis – the vaccine is given intramuscularly at 28 days from birth, again – at 120 days;
- VGBK – put intramuscularly in 45 days, again – in 6 months;
- pasurellosis – the vaccine is administered through the oral cavity at the age of 2.5 months;
- Coccidiosis – the vaccine is diluted in a liter of water and injected through the mouth in 3 months.
Breeding rabbits can be a very profitable business. However, without proper knowledge, you can “run into” sick or rejected animals that do not bring good offspring. Therefore, it is worthwhile to take care in advance about the choice of the seller, about home improvement for animals and their care.