Rabbits do not take up much space in the backyard, but if desired, they can be bred in the country or in the garage. Subject to content standards, their number is rapidly increasing, which makes it possible to turn a hobby into a profitable business. In order for rabbit breeding to be successful, a number of simple rules should be followed.
Features of breeding rabbits
Breeding rabbits using the cellular method of keeping is most beneficial. Rabbits need a certain amount of feed per day. It is extremely difficult to control how much each animal ate when kept in the wild. The cellular method allows you to avoid infection of the entire livestock during diseases. An attentive host will quickly find a sick rabbit, and its minimal contact with other individuals will prevent the rapid spread of infections.
In a confined space, rabbits gain weight faster because they move little. Fattening animals for slaughter takes less time
To place a large number of cells in a small area allows the shedov method of maintenance, which is an improved cellular method. It involves the arrangement of cells in several tiers that are fastened together. Cells, or sheds, are installed both outdoors and indoors. For the construction of sheds, construction equipment is not needed. A standard set of tools that is in every home will come in handy.
Breeding rabbits in the pit way is the least popular. This is the most ancient way. Used it due to the fact that it was not easy to get materials for the construction of cells. With a large number of goals in the stockyard, a lot of cells are required. A hole was pulled out in the ground and furry animals settled there. The depth of the pit was not more than 150 cm. 4 m² were allocated for 8 rabbits.
Of the advantages of pit maintenance, it is worth noting the minimum cost of arranging rabbitry and keeping pets, close to the natural conditions of detention. With pit content, animals independently dig holes in which they feel comfortable in the most severe frosts. The disadvantages include the following:
- lack of full control over the food intake of each individual,
- the rapid development of airborne diseases.
The free keeping of rabbits involves the arrangement of an aviary. This method is good in that you do not have to build rabbitry. The disadvantage is the lack of control of food intake and the rapid spread of diseases, the inability to keep animals in the cold season. With free keeping, the rabbits should be given a lot of space, which is possible only in the village. In a city, places on a personal plot are not always enough.
If there is already an outbuilding on the territory, then inside it should be reserved for new residents. If rabbitry is built from scratch, then choose a place that is on a hill and is not very blown by the winds.
In summer, it is not necessary to install cells in the room. A canopy is made over them, which will protect from the weather and close them from the wind. If the cells are made mobile, then in the summer they are installed on the street, and in winter they are transferred to the room. If it is not possible to build rabbitry, a garage, a balcony or any other room that is pre-insulated is suitable for wintering.
When keeping animals in winter, care must be taken to ensure that a ventilation system and artificial light sources are installed in the rabbitry.
To equip houses for fluffy pets, use improvised means or purchase building material in specialized stores. It is better to build cages from plywood or sheets of fiberboard, particleboard. One side of the makeshift house should be made of fine-grained metal mesh. The optimal cell size is 120 × 60 cm, height - 40 cm. The numbers depend on the size of the pets. There are giant breeds that need a lot more space. Learn about the breed standards from the breeder when buying rabbits.
Hygiene of rabbits is of great importance in the prevention of diseases. Rabbits must be kept in clean and dry cages.
With a lack of space, cells are placed in 2 or 3 rows. Higher designs are hard to care for. Pet houses are installed at a distance of 60 cm from the ground.
Breeding rabbits involves their mating and the birth of rabbits. Houses for females should contain a mother liquor. It is installed in a cage separately. The size of the cage for the rabbit must exceed the above standards. A drinker and feeder are installed and fixed in each cage. Otherwise, the pets will turn them over, which will complicate the care.
Breeding rabbits at home does not take much time. Pets need a balanced diet and cleanliness.
The diet of rabbits consists of food of plant origin. Only herbs that contain poisonous substances are excluded from the diet. There should be no dew or rainwater on the plants. Wet green foods cause problems with the digestive tract and lead to the death of rabbits. The most suitable green foods are alfalfa, wheat grass, burdock leaves, young nettles, thistles, corn leaves, peas, colza, sainfoin. Green feed is given to the parents in crushed form.
Rabbits need fresh root crops. They like peeled potatoes, turnips, carrots
The diet of rabbits should be enriched with vitamins and minerals. To do this, it includes some fruits and vegetables, give meat and bone meal and grain crops. Of vegetables, it is better to give preference to the fodder variety of beets, potatoes, earthen pear (Jerusalem artichoke), carrots, cabbage and pumpkin. Sugar beets are given in minimal quantities, pre-chopped and mixed with bran.
Of crops, oats, wheat, barley, corn and peas are preferred. Also in the diet include bran and cake, salt and chalk, yeast. Mineral supplements, milk and whey are given in small quantities.
The winter diet consists of hay harvested in summer, grass flour, dried twigs and leaves of fruit orchards.
During the year, the rabbit eats 200 kg of green feed and concentrates, 150 kg of hay, 11 kg of mineral additives. The rabbit will need a little less feed. This is an average, which depends on the size of the animal. Partially green feed or hay is replaced with granular mixtures, which are sold in specialized stores. They are balanced and include vitamin and mineral supplements.
During the breeding of rabbits in the cells required to maintain cleanliness. Pet care includes not only timely replacement of bedding, but also daily cleaning of drinkers and feeders. The water in the drinker should always be clean, and the food in the feeders should be fresh. Rabbits have a sensitive digestive system, and dirty water or soured food often causes them to die.
Once a season, it is advisable to disinfect all cells.
Breeding and raising rabbits at home is simplified by the fact that the animals mate all year round and give a large offspring. It is allowed to start bringing pets at the age of 5-6 months, which is related to their features. Females and males already reach puberty by this age. Another feature of rabbits is that in females the hunting period is 6 days, and the resting period is from 7 to 9 days.
Reproduction of rabbits is very rapid. Rabbits are born helpless and completely naked. Care must be taken with care and care.
A case is carried out in a male cage or in neutral territory. After the end of the mating, the rabbit is sent to her cage. To make sure that the mating went well, the rabbit is re-planted with the rabbit in a week. The pregnant animal of the rabbit will not let it in.
In order for the rabbit to have enough strength for carrying and giving birth to viable rabbits, 10-14 days before the date of mating, protein feeds are introduced into its diet, mineral and vitamin complexes. Active animals, which are the best representatives of the breed, are allowed to mate.
The female rabbits hatches about 30 days. Deviations in 3-4 days are allowed. The behavior of the rabbit helps to determine the date of birth, which 3-4 days before the birth of the offspring becomes restless and begins to equip the nest. In the installed and covered with straw straw mother she puts down, which vomits from her abdomen. If the female is not involved in arranging the nest, a person should take care of this, who will have to pick the fluff from the rabbit and cover it with the nest. Childbirth more often occurs at night. Rabbits interfere in the process of birth only as a last resort. Hands touch offspring is undesirable. The rabbit, smelling an extraneous smell, will abandon her offspring.
A person after childbirth is required to identify dead rabbits and remove them from the cage. The young rabbit cares for the young. She comes to the mother liquor to feed the offspring.
Less rabbits are born in winter than in summer. If during the round-up, the rabbit produced more than 10 rabbits, some of them are best planted with another nursing female, who does not have such a large offspring.
When choosing rabbits for breeding at home, it is worth taking into account that there are breeds of various orientations, each of which has pros and cons, individual characteristics. There are meat and down breeds. The former provide large quantities of tasty meat, while the latter are valued for their high quality wool. From slaughter for the sake of skins. There are also hybrid breeds that are optimal for beginner rabbit breeders or people who have not decided on the reason for breeding animals.
Breeding of meat breeds is not much different from breeding of fur. Caring for meat hybrids involves enhanced nutrition during the development of rabbits. Fur hybrids do not need enhanced nutrition. It is worth noting that fur species are ready for slaughter by the age of 6 months. Meat breeds gain maximum weight 2-3 months later.
It is profitable to breed breeds that are resistant to disease. But with gross violations of the conditions of the disease, they affect any breed.
To calculate the profitability of breeding rabbits by any method, you need to draw up a project. It includes the cost of construction of buildings, if the content is made in the barn, the cost of feed, the cost of vaccines for diseases, the price of rabbits, the cost of equipment for equipping rabbits. When drawing up a plan, take into account all the subtleties of home technology. If it is planned to grow on an industrial scale, then take into account the presence of a market for meat and skins. 2 plans are presented in the form of a comparative table. The first plan should include spending on raising pets only in the summer, and the second should include the cost of maintaining a winter. This will help to evaluate the profit obtained with any content method.
When calculating profits, they take into account that they will earn money not only from the sale of meat or skins, but also from the sale of rabbits. The maximum benefit will be obtained when breeding breeds that are most valued on the market (chinchilla, German sheep, white and gray giant, New Zealand red rabbit (NZK), etc.). It is worth reading about the news in the field of breeding. Scientists are constantly working on the development of new highly productive breeds. Breeding such rabbits is not more difficult than animals of ordinary breeds.
With a competent approach, breeding rabbits for beginners is always beneficial. Diseases in animals in most cases appear due to errors made by farmers during the rearing of pets. In general, rabbits are unpretentious and suitable for keeping outdoors. Before breeding furry animals, they arrange a place on the farm yard for them. The secret to running a successful household is only to comply with maintenance standards and ensure good nutrition.
How to buy a healthy individual?
Rabbit breeding at home will be successful if you initially acquire healthy rabbits. What pay attention when buying:
- Activity. A healthy individual is active and playful. If the pet is lying all the time and looks sad, most likely, he is unwell.
- Body type. Rabbits should be moderately well-fed, strong, with developed muscle mass.
- The appearance of the skin. When a rabbit is sick, his fur loses its luster and looks messy. Farmers always inspect the coat in the anus. If it is dirty there, the animal has digestive problems.
- Eyes. A healthy pet has clear and shiny eyes. Swollen eyelids, redness, and secretions are a sign of illness.
- Nose. A healthy rabbit has a slightly wet nose, and the fur around it is clean. Any crust under the nose or discharge from the nasal passages is an excuse to refrain from buying.
- The ears. It is important to inspect the auricles inside. If there are crusts, scabs or scratches, as well as a brown mass, the rabbit is infected with psoroptosis.
- The back of a good rabbit is flat, without deflection.
- The abdomen is soft to the touch.
Inspection of the rabbit before purchase
After examining the animal before buying, it is worth asking the owner to provide documents and vaccination data. Only after that you can buy rabbits for breeding at home.
Choice of rabbit type
There are several types of rabbit housing. It is important to immediately determine which type will be used. Each of them has its advantages and disadvantages. Farmers practice breeding rabbits in the following ways:
- in cages or cages,
- in the pits.
Next, these types of rabbit housing will be examined in detail, which will allow them to evaluate their pros and cons and make the right choice.
Most farmers prefer to breed rabbits in cages. In pet stores a wide range of dwellings for eared pets is presented. It is not necessary to buy ready-made cells, you can make them yourself from available materials. For example, some make them from old furniture - a table or a curbstone. This approach significantly reduces the cost of keeping rabbits.
When manufacturing cells, it is important to consider the basic requirements for them. Consider them:
- The size of the home. A suitable area for one pet is 80x60x45 cm. The height can be greater, but not less than 45 cm, since the rabbit should fit inside when it rises on its hind legs. The size of the dwelling for the female with offspring is at least 90 cm in length and at least 80 cm in width.
- Materials The cage is made from environmentally friendly materials - wood, not coated with varnish or paint. The front part is sutured with a metal mesh.
- Floor. Particular attention should be paid to the floor. If you keep rabbits on a wire rack, they may develop subdermatitis. Ideally, lay linoleum on the floor, because it is easy to clean and will not damage the paws of animals.
- Roof. The rabbit cage must be protected from rain and direct sunlight.
- Inside the house is equipped with drinking bowls and feeders. It is better to immediately fix the food containers on the walls of the cage so that the rabbits do not overturn them.
- House. In the rabbit's cages, a rest house is required. In the future, he will serve as a mother liquor.
- Door. It is hinged and a lock is installed. It is important to ensure that the opening is not too small. The owner should be comfortable in the cage.Fodder containers enter the doorway without hindrance.
Breeding rabbits in cages
Breeding rabbits in cages has several advantages:
- animals are kept singly or in small groups, which avoids massive infection with infections,
- the farmer controls the mating process by preventing inbreeding,
- in summer, the cells can be transferred to the street, and in winter - to the insulated room,
- there is the possibility of equipping dwellings with automatic drinkers.
If the farmer does not have a suitable room where rabbits could live in the winter, you can breed them in pits. This method is successfully practiced even in the middle lane. It is cost effective. Other advantages of pit breeding will be considered below:
- animals live in conditions close to natural,
- they constantly breed
- pet immunity is getting stronger
- rabbits lead an active lifestyle, which improves meat quality indicators,
- space saving - in the pit, whose area is 4 m2, 150-200 individuals can inhabit.
Now consider the disadvantages of the pit content. These include:
- Inbreeding. The farmer cannot control kinship, therefore, without replacing the male, the genus degenerates gradually.
- Epidemics. When one individual is infected, the disease spreads rapidly among animals. Great risk of losing the entire livestock.
- Loneliness. The animals begin to be afraid of humans, do not go hand in hand, it is difficult to catch them in the pit.
- Because of fights between males it is impossible to sell skins, as they are damaged.
Attention! Rabbits of large and fur breeds are not suitable for pit maintenance.
The arrangement of the pit is not fraught with large material and physical costs. Farmers dig a pit about 1-1.5 m deep, and its area is 2x2 meters. The walls of the pit are lined with wood or slate. A layer of sand is poured at the bottom of at least 20 centimeters, after which a fine mesh is laid on top. One of the walls is not completely sheathed, leaving a space at the bottom where rabbits will dig holes.
It is important to take care of rain protection. The roof is better to make removable and inclined. It is worthwhile to provide ventilation and lighting inside the pit for the winter, when the roof is closed to protect pets from cold and snow. Inside the pit is equipped with feeders and drinking bowls.
Attention! For normal reproduction, animals need a daylight duration of 16 hours.
Rabbits do not freeze in the pits in winter, since there the air temperature remains within the acceptable limits. These animals are sensitive to drafts, which are absent with this method of keeping.
In order for the animals to remain healthy and breed well, they need to eat fully. Each farmer decides for himself whether he will give feed to rabbits or independently compile their diet. The first method is simpler than the second one, so it does not require the owner of the farm to have a deep knowledge of how much to give concentrates, greens, and succulent food to pets. The advantages of self-compilation of the diet is that this method is less costly.
The basis of the rabbit diet in winter is concentrates and hay. From cereals, animals receive protein and vitamins. They need hay for normal digestion and for grinding teeth that are constantly growing.
In summer, rabbits are given greens:
- sow thistle
- dill, parsley,
- tops of garden plants - carrots, potatoes.
Attention! Do not feed rabbits with tomato tops, wet grass, and poisonous plants.
Vegetables should also be present in the diet of eared pets - carrots, sugar beets, Jerusalem artichoke, zucchini, cabbage (in small quantities). Vegetables contain many vitamins, thanks to which the immunity of animals is strengthened. It is forbidden to feed rabbits with red beets, as well as vegetables and fruits, which contain a large amount of fiber.
Branch feed is another important component of the rabbit diet. Rabbits are given branches of maple, willow, mulberry, acacia, shoots of grapes, raspberries and currants. Branches are especially useful at the beginning of summer, when most vitamins and minerals are concentrated in them.
Important! To maintain immunity in winter, when the food supply is scarce, vitamins and mineral supplements are given to rabbits.
Cultivation in personal subsidiary plots
Rabbit breeders argue that raising rabbits successfully and cost-effectively is not only on large farms or peasant farms, but also on personal subsidiary farms of people, or on small plots of land. Since diet rabbit is always in great demand in the Russian market, because, among other things, rabbit breeding in Russia is not too popular.
In addition, rabbit fur is used for sewing gloves, hats, collars, fur coats and other fur products, which are always in demand in the harsh Russian climate. It is claimed that up to thirty rabbits can be freely grown on a plot of at least 15 m 2 without any special labor and expense. In summer, such a livestock population can be fed with gardening waste: weeds, herbs, cut branches, root crops, vegetable and fruit peelings, seeds and fruits of cereal plants. In winter, it is quite easy to get concentrated, mineral feed, and coarse branch fodder and hay can also be prepared with the help of a personal plot.
Since rabbits are unpretentious, they can be kept both in specially equipped pits (burrows), sheds or rabbitries, and in sheds adapted for breeding rabbits, aviaries, or in cages directly in the open.
Experts say that the effectiveness of rabbit breeding is practically proved: rabbit breeding allows you to get huge amounts of environmentally friendly meat. Indeed, among all the animals used in agriculture, rabbits differ in precisely the fact that they have the highest fecundity. The average female for a year gives from 4 to 7 scents, which corresponds to an offspring of 45-55 individuals, which means that in marketable weight this will correspond to approximately 80-110 kilograms.
Rabbit Breeding Information for Beginners
As mentioned above, the average female gives up to seven pupils per year, in the offspring there will be up to 10 rabbits. The gestation period of the cubs, that is, pregnancy in rabbits, lasts about a month (28-31) days. Three days after the baby is born, the female is ready for another pregnancy, and on the fifth day she can mate. Thus, with proper care, a prolific female can give up to 12 aisles per year.
However, the fertility of rabbits is gradually decreasing, therefore, rabbits breeders recommend replacing females intended for offspring once every one and a half years, and males less often: once every two years. Rabbit production is allowed to be sold when the rabbit reaches a market weight of 3 kg, but the maximum marketable weight can be up to 5 kg. When the rabbit reaches six months of age, growth slows down, fat accumulates. Therefore, the further maintenance of rabbits is economically disadvantageous.
Accordingly, starting from six months of age, rabbits can be sold. According to farmers, in a year it is realistic to get up to a thousand rabbits from 30 males and 155 females. For a small farm, it is most profitable to organize a mini-farm or a whole system of pits and holes for keeping rabbits. Large-scale production requires a shed system or a combination of several rabbitries. In general, rabbits are poorly resistant to infectious diseases; therefore, mass deaths of a large number of animals on the farm are not uncommon. In this regard, it is recommended to vaccinate rabbits twice a year, give them "silver water" containing silver ions Ag +, which has a bactericidal effect.
The nutrition of rabbits should be varied and appropriate to the needs of animals. Based on economic indicators, we can say that a mini-farm for raising rabbits pays off in a year on average. Larger production also pays off quickly, but it requires a lot of cost to get started. But it should be understood that difficulties can not be avoided in the rabbit business: everywhere there is competition, difficulties with the regulatory side of farming, morbidity and mortality of livestock. However, it is typical for rabbit breeding that the cost of feed for 1 kg of meat is much lower than the cost of feed for 1 kg of meat of any other animal.
Keeping and breeding rabbits: what you need to know?
Rabbits are quite popular for breeding around the world as they are very prolific, in addition, in addition to meat, the production of rabbits gives fluff, wool and fertilizers. Adverse conditions are easily tolerated, undemanding, their breeding does not require large expenditures. Female rabbits are very prolific, therefore, give a high offspring. In addition, the rabbits have a rapid qualitative growth, therefore, by the second month of life they are already able to eat and move independently, without the help of their mother.
They are born blind, but by the tenth day of life they begin to see, on the seventh day they are covered with down, a month later the body of the rabbit is already completely covered with hair. Rabbits are born in size comparable to a human palm, and weigh up to 50 grams, but after a few days their weight doubles and also increases rapidly. This is due to the high nutrient content in rabbit milk. On average, a rabbit's life span is 8 years.
It is important to take into account that the female should not have a large amount of fat: she will not be able to bring a normal offspring. In order to avoid obesity of a female, it is necessary to give her a minimum of concentrated feed, grain and mixed feed, and more - green and dry food, to have more space so that she has the opportunity to move actively.
Rabbits have a very good sense of smell: they are difficult to get used to a new diet, food that they have never eaten, and females easily identify foreign cubs. Rabbits have fragile bones, which is why they often suffer from fractures of the extremities and spinal injuries.
The main breeds of rabbits
Large individuals with thick light gray hair. They are used to produce fur and meat on an industrial scale. On average, their weight is 6 kg. Females of this breed are especially prolific: they give from 8 rabbits in a litter. The wool of these rabbits is in great demand, as it is widely used in the fur industry. Females of this breed are distinguished by a developed maternal instinct: they independently arrange nests before a scent, carefully monitor rabbits, which by three months can reach 3 kg in weight. Animals of this breed are easily adaptable to different and changing conditions.
Large animals that are bred for meat and wool. The body has a streamlined shape, in length from 50 to 65 cm. The legs are voluminous, strong, short. In weight reach up to 8 kg.
High fertility (up to 10 rabbits). The color of these rabbits can be as follows: agouti, light gray, dark gray, black.
Medium rabbits are mainly focused on getting fur. Sometimes used to produce meat. The body of the representatives of this breed has an elongated shape, large voluminous bones, they have a wide back, long and wide straight ears.
The color of these animals is gray and uniform, the eyes have a blue tint, the nails are dark. The fur is thick. The fertility of the representatives of this breed is average. Rabbits are born gray. Typical coloration appears after the second molt.
Medium animals weighing 3-4 kg. The length of the body is up to 60 cm. The breed is focused on obtaining fluff. For a year, one individual gives up to 700 g of fluff, whose length is up to 15 cm.
Medium breed oriented to meat and wool. Body length is up to 70 cm. Weight - up to 5 kg. White rabbits often do not produce melanin, which is why many rabbits are albinos, which makes them more demanding on the conditions of detention and diet.
Black and brown rabbit
Meat and wool oriented rabbits. Representatives of this breed have such a name due to the fact that their color resembles that of a black-brown fox. Rabbits without wool are born, by the age of ten days they acquire a pure black color, which they retain until three months of age. Coloring is different in different parts of the body, the back and back of the head are black, the sides and muzzle are brown, and the abdomen is bluish in color. These animals are strong, downed. They have an elongated body up to 61 cm in length, a wide chest and a large head, long and thick legs. By weight can reach 8 kg. Moderately prolific: up to 8 rabbits in a litter.
Russian ermine rabbit
Small animals focused on the production of fur.
It is believed that these animals have the highest productivity in the production of rabbit hair. The fur itself is thick, shiny, difficult to destroy, very much appreciated in all world markets, meets the aesthetic preferences of the most famous fashion designers. By weight, rabbits can reach 4 kg, have a small head and short ears, a short arched back. The color of the fur is white, but the ears, muzzle, legs and part of the tail are black or dark brown. The eyes of these rabbits are red.
New Zealand White Rabbit
Breed of rabbits aimed at obtaining meat. Their body is compact, proportional, their eyes are red, their ears are medium in length, straight, their neck is short, all parts of their bodies are muscular, and the rabbits themselves are knocked down. By weight, these animals can reach 6 kg with a body length of up to 50 cm. These are precocious breeds. Already at the age of 8 weeks, rabbits reach a mass of 1.6-2.2 kg, and at the age of 90 days - already 3 kg. They reach marketable mass by 120 days. Rabbits give a large amount of milk, which feed up to 12 rabbits. The New Zealand breed is considered the most common in rabbit breeding due to its early maturity and high mass of rabbits. But there are disadvantages associated mainly with an excess of fat.