Breeding rabbits for beginners - breeds, care, offspring
"Rabbits are not only valuable fur" - the catch phrase from the number of famous comedians is completely true. Dietary meat, the same valuable fur, fluff and an enviable ability to breed have made rabbits very popular animals for agricultural breeding. Rabbits should be kept for the sake of beautiful fur, meat or both. In this article I will tell you what breeds of rabbits are, what you need to have for their maintenance, how and what to feed.
The benefits of rabbit meat have long been known. It is dietary, easily digestible, contains a large number of trace elements important to humans. Meat rabbits are also called broiler.
Strokach. Representatives of this breed are quite large. The weight of an adult can reach 6 kg. But the stringers are susceptible to certain infections, intestinal parasites. So that rabbits of these breeds do not have problems with the musculoskeletal system, all the necessary minerals and vitamin D must be introduced into the diet. Nutrition from compound feed, bran, and sprouted grain will help fill the shortage of these substances. The second name of this breed "The German motley giant". These rabbits come in gray or white with dark spots.
White Pannon - light rabbit, adult weighs up to 5 kg. These animals have an elongated torso, beautiful white fur. This breed is of particular value to breeders, as these rabbits are strong, hardy, rarely exposed to diseases, and have an excellent eye care. At one time, the female can give birth to up to 9 rabbits with a frequency of 6-7 orbis per year.
Californian the rabbit gives not only meat, but also good quality fur. The weight of an adult animal is 5.5 kg. Californian rabbit females are very prolific; in one year, one rabbit can bring up to 35 cubs.
Flander - record holder among broiler rabbits. On average, the weight of these adult animals is 10 kg. And the most plump representative of this breed weighed 25 kg! But these animals need to be fed well so that they gain the necessary mass. Typically, females give 6 aces per year. In one litter there can be up to 8 rabbits.
Breeds of meat-skinned rabbits
To obtain snow-white fur without yellowness and dietary meat, the breed was bred The White Giant. The average adult weight is 5 kg. Females in one pregnancy can bear and give birth to 5–9 rabbits.
"The Gray Giant" also bred for both fur and meat. But today it is grown, as a rule, as a meat rabbit. The average weight of these animals is 5-7 kg. The color of the fur is gray, white, black.
"Soviet Chinchilla" - meat-skin breed. The weight of adult animals is 5-6 kg. Animals have beautiful silver-blue fur and dietary meat.
"Burgundy" rabbit is also used for fur and meat products. The weight of these animals is red 4-4.5 kg. One female is able to bring up to 30 babies per year. This breed is great for beginners, as animals have a strong immunity to many diseases.
Representatives of the breed "New Zealand Red" have a reddish color. These animals are quite large, weigh up to 6 kg.
Down breed rabbits
If you want to admire these beautiful animals for a long time, comb them, cut, spin their wool, and then knit fluffy mittens, hats and other products from it, then pay attention to the following breeds.
"Angora dwarf". These rabbits are small. They weigh 1-1.7 kg. But they have a long coat, a lot of fluff. Angora dwarf - southerners. In a cooler climate, this breed must be kept in “greenhouse” conditions, as they are thermophilic and need special care.
German Angora rabbits are large, they weigh up to 5.5 kg. Their hair can be cut with a machine or scissors, the length of the pile is up to 6 cm. Also, these animals are bred for meat.
English Angora although the rabbit weighs only 3.5 kg, but its fur can reach 30 cm! By color, it can be lilac, white, spotty or chocolate.
Giant Angora the rabbit weighs even more. The average weight of adult animals is 4-5.5 kg. Thick hair is cut with a machine. It grows quickly, so it is recommended to make fashionable haircuts for such pets 1 time in 3 months, at least. The "giant Angora" rabbit can be used not only as a down, but also as a representative of meat-and-sand breed.
"White down" the rabbit also belongs to a large breed. The average weight of individuals is 4.5 kg. Fur up to 12 cm long can be smoky, blue, black.
Aviary and its contents for rabbits
After you have decided on the breed, you should think about the habitat for rabbits. If you decide to buy already adult (hardened) individuals, then you can keep them right on the street, however, if the temperature in your area does not drop below -15 ° C.
You can build an aviary from the material available on the farm. To do this, put together a semblance of a box. It must be lifted by at least a meter above the ground, nailing the bars as legs. Then the rabbits will not be cold. A small sennik is attached to the side, delimiting it with a corral with a large net, so that animals can feast on this dry grass at any time.
If the enclosure is 1 meter long, 60 cm wide, then here you need to make 2 doors on the front panel on both sides. This enclosure can contain up to four adult animals. The floor is done with a slight bias so that it is easier to collect feces. It is lined with netting, boards, laminated plywood, chipboard or other similar materials that are not afraid of moisture are laid on top.
Part of the net floor is left in the lower part of the slope so that the urine of the animals flows here. Also, one side of the corral is made of metal mesh, including doors that are locked with latches. The remaining three sides should be made of wooden materials. An inclined shed roof is also required.
If you want to build such "houses" for rabbits in the barn, then in order to effectively use the available area, usually make several vertical aviaries, installing them one above the other. Three floors are enough to correctly place the cells.
In an animal enclosure, you need:
- drinking bowl;
- feeding trough;
- dry and juicy feed;
- in the warm season - grass.
As litter, you can use sawdust, hay. If the rabbits are small, then they are unlikely to be able to drink from an ordinary bowl. For such animals they hang a special nipple drinker at a height sufficient for them.
So that rabbits do not get sick, they are given mandatory vaccination. Vaccinations of these animals can be done no later than a month before slaughter.
The subtleties of feeding
Experienced rabbit breeders say that in the winter, green grass (which fell under the snow) should never be given to rabbits. At this time of the year it contains a lot of harmful substances. And fresh grass from spring to autumn is not only possible for rabbits, but also needs to be given, like branches of various trees with leaves. Such a solid food will allow animals not only to replenish the supply of nutrients in their body, but also to grind their teeth.
The basis of the diet of animals can be a special compound feed for rabbits, where products useful for them are formed in the form of granules. But in order to save money, you can mix this food with dry oatmeal, add other inexpensive cereals to it.
Also, rabbits are happy to enjoy carrots, its tops, and other vegetables. In summer, the basis of rabbits ’diet is grass.
But they should not be given:
It is recommended to feed adults three times a day (if they are not on an enhanced diet). In winter - at 8, 12 and 17 hours. And in the summer - at 6, 15 and 19 hours.
Approximate winter menu:
- Morning - hay plus feed, barley, root crops, oats.
- Day - compound feed or root crops.
- Evening - branches, hay, steamed legumes.
Rabbits menu in summer:
- Morning is grass and ½ of the daily norm of oats, compound feed or barley.
- Lunch: fresh grass.
- Dinner: fresh grass and ½ daily rate of feed, oats or barley.
Approximate normal per day for 1 adult rabbit: feed - 100-150 g; grass - 1 kg; juicy menu - 300 g.
Experienced rabbit breeders say that there isn’t much vitamin C for rabbits. Therefore, they do not throw citrus peels, but give them to animals. Those with pleasure enjoy this treat.
Feeding broiler rabbits has its own nuances. So they quickly gained weight, they are fed intensely. Especially - 21-30 days before slaughter. For this, three stages are used.
At the first (within 5 days) legumes, wheat, corn, oats are introduced into the diet of animals.
For the next 7-10 days, broiler menus should include foods containing fat. This will allow the formation of a fat layer in the meat of animals. To do this, use flax seeds, boiled potatoes, oilcake. Also at this time periodically, broilers are given porridge in milk.
To maintain the appetite of rabbits, seasonings from celery, dill, caraway seeds are added to them at the final stages of feeding, and a little salt is added to the water. At this time, rabbits are also fed boiled potatoes, which are mixed with compound feed or bran. Also at this time, you can give the animals turnip, swede, cabbage.
In the last days before slaughter, grass and hay are not included in the ration of animals.
If you don’t want to prepare a nutritious mixture for meat breeds of rabbits yourself, you can use the purchased mixed feed. For one adult animal per day it will take 100-150 g. But you must definitely include greens, hay, vegetables and fruits in the eared menu.
Usually rabbits gain the right mass by 3-4 months. Therefore, they are killed at the age of 90-120 days.
How to get offspring?
The reproductive age of the most developed rabbits can begin as early as 3-4 months. In this case, the weight of the female should be at least 2 kg. But usually she is completely ready for mating at the age of 8 months. Then the matured rabbit will bring a better and stronger offspring. The male should also be around this age.
Rabbits can mate in both winter and summer. When these animals reach the desired age and weight, mom and male are placed in a separate cage from 11:00 to 16:00. This is the best time for mating. If the rabbit did not succeed in becoming pregnant, then the conditions are created for this event in another week.
A pregnant woman should be fully and properly fed. To do this, high-calorie crops such as grain, oilcake are introduced into her diet. Special vitamins for rabbits are sold, which also need to be entered in the eared mother's menu.
During this period, she (and when she gives birth, then children from two weeks of age) can be given dry peas. To do this, it must be pre-steamed with boiling water for one hour, so that it swells. Then add a little salt, mix, cool to a warm state.
Dry beans for rabbits must be steamed with water. If this is not done, then the grains will swell in the delicate stomachs, and animals may die.
After the rounding, the mother will begin to feed the babies with her milk, send them to a nearby nest of hay and fluff, which she created before.
The female must have water. If she is gone, the negligent mother can eat offspring. And the temperature at this time in the room should not be lower than +18 ° C. In addition to steamed legumes, she is given hay, grain, green food, vegetables during the period of feeding the offspring.
Usually rabbits are osseous from the mother at the age of 40 days. And broilers - after the second month, since all this time they will receive additional food in the form of mother's milk. Before starting the next pregnancy, the rabbit-mother should rest. Therefore, it is recommended that no more than 5 times a year be performed.
The period of pregnancy in rabbits is 28-35 days. Almost as much time after childbirth, they should rest before subsequent mating. For this, such rabbits are kept in separate cages. It is necessary to ensure that at this time the females do not gain excess body weight, but receive enough vitamins and minerals. Therefore, the emphasis is on green vegetable feed, and compound feeds give no more than 2 tablespoons per day.
Dear readers! If you are thinking about breeding rabbits, we hope that our article will bring you practical benefits. And if you are already an experienced rabbit breeder, we welcome your comments and comments.