For the maintenance and rearing of animals, certain knowledge is needed. Breeding rabbits at home for beginners is not an easy task, so it is important to know the basic requirements regarding proper care, reproduction and possible diseases.
Conditions for keeping rabbits
For beginners, information about what conditions animals need will be useful. Breeding and keeping rabbits includes the following features:
- The acceptable temperature is 12-18°C, but fluctuations within 5°C are acceptable. Rabbits do not tolerate sharp jumps in indicators. They do not like high humidity and dry air.
- At home, access to sunlight is necessary. If open, provide protection from above, and closed rabbitries should have windows within 8-10% of the floor area.
- Breeding rabbits at home for beginners means keeping the animals clean at home. In addition, the dwelling must be ventilated. Clean food and water containers every day, and cages at least once every two weeks.
- If you put fresh grass in the cells, then it should first be washed in running water and dried.
Cages for keeping rabbits
The most common breeding method is cellular. It has a number of advantages: you can constantly monitor the condition of pets and the breeding process, and feeding and cleaning are also facilitated. Rabbit cage ideas are based on certain requirements:
- To keep the animal warm, the cages must be protected from wind and precipitation.
- It is better if the floor is made of mesh or wooden slats, which will help prevent fecal contamination.
- Breeding rabbits at home for beginners includes the rule that one individual should have a volume of at least 72x60x42 cm. If females with rabbits, then 89x78x42 cm.
- Feeders and drinkers should not be on the floor so that animals do not contaminate food and water, so they should be attached.
- Please note that rabbits can gnaw through wooden cages, so the walls must be at least 1.5 cm thick.
Aviary for rabbits
Animals of meat breeds are best kept in enclosures, but this option is only suitable for seasonal work. The content of rabbits in aviaries implies that the rabbit with rabbits should have 5 square meters. m, and for the rest – 1 sq. m, they should not be crowded. For breeding rabbits at home for beginners, it is important to know about the requirements for aviaries:
- The enclosure must have a roof that will protect from the sun and rain.
- Inside for better breeding, you can put a large and several small cages so that the animals can settle.
- It is recommended to bury the fence to a depth of 0.5 m, otherwise the rabbits will quickly get out.
- Place feeders and drinkers near the fence, which should be long, but not very deep. From above, make a canopy over the feeders so that street birds do not eat their food.
What do rabbits eat?
For the health of animals, not only care at home is important, but also the organization of proper nutrition. For beginners, there are several important conditions, so, without fail, it is necessary to ensure a constant supply of clean water, since if there is a lack of liquid, the food will be poorly absorbed. The diet of rabbits for proper breeding should be varied so that they receive the necessary substances. Pregnant females need a more nutritious diet.
What can you feed rabbits?
To breed animals at home, it is important to make the right menu, for which you should be guided by the following recommendations:
- In winter, hay can be fed, which should be leafy and soft. In addition, you can give them sprigs of pine, birch, linden, apples and so on harvested from the summer.
- A rabbit’s diet per day may consist of a mash, which includes boiled potatoes, vegetables and bran. For beginners, it is useful to know that barley, corn, soy, bran, and the like should be given to fattening pets.
- When breeding rabbits to maintain health, small amounts of salt, bone meal and chalk should be present on the menu.
- The transition to the spring-summer diet should be carried out gradually. Give fresh grass, but it should not be wet and rotted. It is not recommended to feed eared animals with the same grass for a long time.
What should not be fed to rabbits?
It is important to know when breeding animals not only what can be given, but also what is prohibited:
- Dairy. Animal protein is forbidden to rabbits, so it is replaced with vegetable protein, such as barley.
- Vegetables and fruits. Red vegetables, cucumbers, onions and new potatoes are contraindicated for rabbits. As for fruits, exclude exotic fruits from the menu.
- Cereals and legumes. Rice, millet, millet and rye are not suitable for rabbits. Bloating can cause young peas, black and red beans.
- Plants. You should know what grass should not be given to rabbits, so make sure that poisonous plants do not get in, for example, celandine, dope, wild radish, and so on.
Vitamins for rabbits
For the well-being and health of living beings, it is important to receive useful substances. For beginners, it is important information about what vitamins rabbits need:
- Vitamin A. It is important for the reproductive and nervous system, and also for a strong physical condition. It is found in carrots, green grass, fruits and vegetables. It is a fat soluble vitamin, so add oil.
- B group vitamins. Useful substances of this group are needed for the proper functioning of the digestive, cardiac and nervous systems. In addition, they affect the quality of the hairline and metabolism, and also reduce the amount of cholesterol in the blood, and so on. When bred at home, rabbits can get B vitamins from legumes, potatoes and bran.
- Vitamin C. Strengthens the immune system and is involved in many processes in the body. To get vitamin C, include parsley in the menu.
- Vitamin E. Helps strengthen the walls of blood vessels and supports muscle function. This substance is found in sprouted grains of wheat, corn and green fodder.
- Vitamin K. Takes part in blood clotting and strengthens capillaries. To cope with the deficiency of this substance, choose nettles, needles and cereals.
Breeding rabbits at home for beginners
For the mating of animals, a female is needed in a state of sexual hunting, which can occur once a week, but depending on the season, the interval may vary. At this time, the rabbit becomes restless, rushing about the cage, plucking her own fluff and refusing to eat. An important sign – the genitals should be bright pink and slightly swollen. Reproduction of rabbits should be carried out in the morning or evening, and in winter – at lunchtime.
Features of breeding rabbits
For mating, a female must be planted with the male, otherwise time will be spent on the fact that the rabbit will get to know the new place. The cage must be clean, and without unnecessary items. In order for the mating of rabbits to be effective, it is recommended to wait for a double coating. After that, move the female to her usual place. Experienced rabbit breeders recommend a control mating after 5-6 days, and if the female is pregnant, she will not let the male near her.
At home, animals are prone to numerous diseases, which are divided into three groups:
- Invasive. Diseases arise due to parasites that affect the internal organs and tissues.
- Non-infectious. Problems arise due to improper nutrition, when breeding is carried out with errors or the temperature regime is violated. It is useful for beginners to know that this group includes bruises and injuries.
- Infectious. When figuring out what diseases rabbits have, it is important to point out that diseases of this group develop more often, and they are very dangerous, since the risk of infecting other individuals increases. Infection is caused by microbes, viruses and skin parasites.
Rabbit diseases – symptoms and their treatment
It will take a lot of time to describe all the diseases, and in most cases only a veterinarian can make an accurate diagnosis. Symptoms of the most common diseases in rabbits and how to treat them:
- Eating Disorders. The problem is indicated by the absence of bowel movements, too loose stools and bloating. For treatment, a 12-hour fast diet is needed, and after that a mixture of soft food and boiled potatoes can be given in small quantities. For constipation, you need to give 1 teaspoon of castor oil.
- Injuries. For minor wounds, you can lubricate them with iodine. Deep injuries are difficult to cure and in most cases the animal is slaughtered. If the ears are frostbitten due to frost, then you need to move the rabbit to a warm place, and grease the damaged areas with melted warm fat.
- Heat and sunstroke. With this problem, the rabbit lies motionless on its side, breathing is rapid, and the nose and mouth are red. In this case, a compress that needs to be applied to the head will help. If convulsions are observed, then help will not work.
- Cold. In the presence of these diseases, rabbits at home sneeze and clear discharge is noticeable. For beginners, information is useful that the animal, when unwell, should be transferred to a warm place, and every day instillation is carried out with a solution of furacilin (1 g of the substance per 100 g of water).
As a preventive measure, it is recommended to vaccinate animals that protect against serious diseases, such as viral hemorrhagic disease and myxomatosis. Rabbits are vaccinated at the age of 1-2 months using complex preparations or drops. If the animals are kept for reproduction, then the vaccination should be carried out once a year. It is recommended to select a suitable drug from a veterinarian or veterinary pharmacy.