Compared to the rest, this method has many advantages. The content of rabbits in the cells allows you to accurately normalize the amount of food they eat and make sure that they receive all the vitamins and minerals necessary for normal development. Also, when breeding rabbits in cells, the possibility of uncontrolled mating is completely excluded.
Infectious diseases, these animals often get sick. At the same time, the attack in the herd is very large, since the infection spreads quickly. With a cellular content, animals come into contact with each other less often. In addition, it will be much easier to notice a sick animal and isolate it on time.
Keeping rabbits in their cages has another plus. Since animals move with this breeding method a little, they gain weight faster. In addition, meat in animals grown in this way is much more tender and tastier than in aviaries.
What should be the cells
Of course, dwellings for animals should be prepared in advance. Cages for rabbits come in several varieties: for males, for young growth and for females with offspring. If animals are supposed to be kept in very large quantities, housing for them will most likely have to be purchased. For a small livestock in a household plot, cells can be made independently. Their walls and lid are usually made of boards. The floor is arranged from a metal mesh, under which a pallet for collecting manure is installed. The entrance from the facade is closed with bars. Feeding troughs and drinking bowls are located outside the cage. The easiest way to hang them in front of the door so that the animal can easily reach for food, sticking his head between the bars. Typically, this design has cells for street keeping rabbits.
The floor of the "houses" for animals is sometimes done differently. For example, a farmer with twenty years of experience N.I. Zolotukhin advises to make it slightly inclined towards the back wall and solid. In this case, the tiers of cells are shifted relative to each other so that the manure can slide out into the hole closed by the grate. Keeping rabbits in cages of this design has some advantage in terms of purity. There is practically no manure on the floor, and animal housing is less necessary to clean.
In the cages for females, a place should be provided for the queen mother. In it, the rabbit will feed the cubs.
Spacious housing is one of the rules for successfully raising animals such as rabbits. Dilution and maintenance (cells can be either purchased or home-made) under inappropriate conditions will lead to frequent diseases. Rabbits - animals are mobile, tolerate crowding very poorly. In addition, with large crowding, various infections spread more quickly. The specific cell sizes depend primarily on the breed of animals. For small animals, you can make smaller cells. For large animals, accordingly, it will be necessary to make overall dwellings.
The minimum cell sizes for keeping rabbits are:
- width - 70 cm
- height - 50 cm
- length - 150 cm.
This option is suitable either for a female with offspring, or as a home for two teenagers. For a rabbit-producer, a cage with a size of at least 70 x 50 x 100 cm will be needed. The length of the dwelling for young animals should not be less than 3 m (about 10-12 heads).
Ready-made cells: which ones to buy
In an industrial way, rabbit dwellings are often made entirely of galvanized wire and sold in modular units. In such cages, rabbits will also be comfortable. But in this case, it is necessary to additionally build a special barn for them - a shed. Keeping rabbits in winter in cages of this design right on the street is unlikely to be a good solution. Fully mesh cells are blown, and there is nowhere for the rabbit to hide from the wind. Animals can even freeze. In the summer, rabbits will suffer from heat due to lack of shade. The shed is a long barn in which blocks are placed in rows along the walls.
Thus, the content of rabbits in the cages from the grid on the street is unacceptable. If you don’t want to build a shed, you should look and buy ordinary cells. They are also found on sale. They make such homes for rabbits and private traders. They are sold at the bazaar - in the same place as the animals themselves. Do not buy used cells. In any case, they should be thoroughly disinfected before being populated.
How to choose manufacturers
Experienced farmers advise newcomers to purchase rabbits and rabbits only in trusted farms. In this case, you can be sure that the animals are vaccinated and healthy. 4-5 females are usually bought per male. The most popular breeds among domestic rabbit breeders at the moment are the Soviet chinchilla, flanders, rex, gray giant, California and some others.
Such an activity as keeping rabbits in cages can be difficult for beginner fur farmers, so each animal needs to be fed separately. In the aviary, for example, this is not necessary. But if there are few cells, this will not cause any special difficulties. On large farms, automatic feed lines and special drinkers are usually installed.
The ratio of feed types for rabbits can be, for example, as follows: boiled potatoes and vegetables - 50%, concentrated feed (mainly barley crushed) - 35-40%, protein supplements (meat and bone meal, fish waste, whey, etc.) ) - 10-15%. Carrots and grass can be given plenty. Cabbage is fed once a week and little by little. Fresh branches (willow, elm, elm, birch, etc.) must be included in the daily diet. In winter they give hay and dried brooms.
Humidity and lighting
The recommended temperature of the content is 12-18 ° C, fluctuations within ± 5 ° C are considered permissible. Adult healthy animals, depending on the breed, can withstand temperatures from -30 Cº to +30 Cº for several days, outside of these values they seriously fall ill and die. Rabbits do not tolerate sharp temperature fluctuations, increased humidity or dry air (optimum 60-75%), catch a cold with severe drafts.
Animals feel better in the presence of sunlight within daylight hours. When kept open in hot weather, it is necessary to make sure that the animals do not receive heat stroke, to protect the cells from overheating from above with straw, hay. A small dose of ultraviolet light will be useful to animals. In closed rabbits, it is recommended to provide windows with an area of 8-10% of the floor area. In some large farms, in addition to natural, use artificial lighting from 6 am to 9 pm.
Hygiene and nutrition
Rabbits, unlike other domestic animals and birds, do not tolerate crowding, are demanding on hygienic conditions. Animals are very sensitive to clean air. The cages or enclosures where they are kept should be cleaned regularly; when kept indoors, high levels of ammonia, carbon dioxide, fluff and dust should not be allowed in the air, rabbitry should be well ventilated.
Drinking bowls and feeders need to be cleaned daily, cages - as they become dirty, but at least twice a week when kept outdoors and daily indoors. If the manure is well removed through openings in the floor, the frequency of harvesting can be reduced. Cages or enclosures should always have fresh litter.
The presence of clean water in drinking bowls requires special attention. Fresh grass should first be not only wilted, but also rinsed in running water. Especially if it is harvested near a pond or road. Food is placed only in the feeders, not on the floor of the cage. Before the next feeding, uneaten food debris should be removed from the feeder.
A complete diet is the key to a good gain and high-quality fur. It is necessary to strive for the maximum use of fresh juicy seasonal feed. In winter and spring, rabbit breeders are forced to use hay and feed. An important component of feeding are vitamin and mineral supplements, the need for which is especially high in winter and early spring. Young growth and pregnant females are especially in need of such supplements.
Prevention of injuries and diseases
With any method of keeping it must be remembered that the animals are easily injured on sharp objects. Cages and aviaries should be safe. When kept together, rabbits can bite each other, wounds must be treated immediately. When rabbits are transplanted from cell to cell, in case of an animal’s disease, the cell must be disinfected. Animals that do not look healthy must be immediately isolated. Quarantine is also worth placing recently acquired rabbits. With any type of keeping, animals are sick and regular veterinary observation, vaccination, treatment of injuries and bites are very important.
Ways to keep rabbits
The technology of keeping and raising rabbits directly depends on the scale of the economy, the climatic conditions of the region, and the possibility of harvesting feed. Animals are kept in isolation (cages, sheds) or freely (aviaries, paddles). In both cases, animals can live in the open air, in a canopy or in a building completely closed from the weather.
The traditional and most common method. Modern cages do not have a metal mesh floor, as in Soviet times, but a wooden rack or plastic mesh, so that the rabbits do not hurt or freeze in the cold period of the paws. The frame, back and side walls are made of wood, the door and ceiling are tightened with a galvanized metal mesh.
Cells can have a stationary and portable design. Portable are used in areas with a cold climate, where there is a need to move cells into a warm room. All types of cells to save space can be installed in several tiers. Stationary dwellings for adults suit both one- and two-section. In a two-section cell, one compartment is aft, the other is nest. The sizes of a single-section cage that are comfortable for animals are 110 cm long, 60 width, 60 height. Minimum - 80 cm long, 60 wide, 40 height. Two-section cages have a length of 130-150 cm. Recommended planting density of adult animals is 0.5-0, 7 m2 for single-section cells, 0.7-0.8 m2 for double cells. Rabbits are often grown in spacious group cages with a length of 200 to 300 cm. The planting norm for commercial young animals is considered to be from 0.1 m2 per animal, for breeding at least 0.2 m2. As they grow older, rabbits are seated: producers, pregnant and lactating females, pugnacious males have to be kept in isolation. In general, the lower the landing density, the higher the gain and better animal health.
The cellular method is convenient, it makes it easy to organize rational feeding, cleaning and caring for animals. In contrast to the joint (aviary) content, in the case of the cell, breeding and veterinary measures can be carried out. Cages can be installed openly, outdoors, or, better, under a canopy. Keeping rabbits on the street helps to improve the quality of the fur, strengthen the immune system, increase the overall resistance of the body to diseases. But to a certain limit, and not all breeds are cold-resistant. In severe frosts, in order to protect rabbits from colds and frostbite, it is necessary to carry out a number of rather labor-intensive measures. Therefore, many rabbit breeders practice moving animals indoors for the winter.
Another option is to place the cells indoors, providing an influx of fresh air and sunlight. The content of rabbits in the barn in the cells has several advantages and disadvantages. The positive point, as already mentioned, is the protection of animals from frost, respectively, the possibility of obtaining a winter offspring, an increase in the gain in young animals. Rabbitry can be well insulated and equipped with a heating system, which will allow rabbit breeding in regions with a cold climate. In an isolated building, the probability of infection from outside is less likely. Negative points are the need for effective ventilation and the more frequent frequency of cell harvesting.
Sheds - Advanced Cell Content
Recently, the shed rabbit content has gained popularity. In fact, the sheds consist of separate cells arranged in a row, equipped with various devices that facilitate care and reduce the proportion of manual labor.
Example of cells with rabbit shedding
The Sheds are installed in a line on both sides of the central aisle, one, two, sometimes three tiers, vertically or in a cascade. Retractable pallets or hopper tanks that can combine several cells allow you to simplify the collection of manure and the cleaning of individual cells of the shed. The passage between the sheds serves to transport the carts for feed and cleaning. In large farms, the central aisle can be equipped with mechanical devices to facilitate the transport of carts. Auto-drinkers are used on farms, but full automation of feeding involves expensive equipment and is found only in large-scale farms.
As a rule, such rabbits are organized on the basis of farms. The number of animals can range from several tens to several hundred or even thousands of animals. Rabbit breeders, depending on the climate of the region, the farm budget and the cold resistance of the breeds, use both closed, well-ventilated structures and awnings to install sheds.
Today, a number of manufacturers offer equipment for mini-farms: modular complete mini-sheds for several cells with a convenient hopper for collecting and removing manure, ventilation.
The method that has long been known and very popular among European rabbit breeders, requiring minimal costs, is the enclosure of rabbits. It brings animals as close as possible to their natural living conditions. Under the aviary, you can take a fairly large plot of the courtyard so that the animals are spacious. Rabbits are burrowing animals and independently equip their homes, digging quite complex and deep underground structures. Hence the condition - the groundwater level should not be high, burrows should be dry. It is necessary to eliminate the possibility of undermining by digging around the perimeter of the enclosure a fence to a depth of not less than 60 cm. Often use slate, it is possible to flat, dig in boards, poles. Or buried in the ground mesh, which encloses the aviary. Litter is necessary, but it will have to be changed less often than in cells. Part of the enclosure should be covered by a canopy, there also set a feeder and a drinking bowl. Rabbits contained in the aviary lead an active lifestyle and are more resistant to disease. Owners spend less time caring for animals. It is rational to combine an open-air cage method with a cellular one: isolate breeding animals, females for the period of okrol, pugnacious males in the cells.
Year-round aviary keeping rabbits on the street is not suitable for regions with a cold climate. In winter, the herd will have to be reduced, and breeding animals should be provided with a warm shelter. Some rabbit breeders practice keeping rabbits in the barn according to the aviary principle. Animals live on the earthen floor with litter, have the ability to move, dig holes, only protected from the weather. Such a barn should be well ventilated and lit through the windows.
Rabbit Aviary Example
Keeping rabbits in winter
When keeping rabbits in closed buildings, it is possible to organize heating of rooms in cold weather and successfully obtain offspring all year round. If the cells, separate or combined into sheds, are located under open canopy winds, you will have to take into account the peculiarities of keeping rabbits in winter. It is necessary for the season to insulate the floor of the cage. This can be done by laying boards on it and covering it with a thick layer of hay. Mesh-tightened doors and ceiling are covered with plywood, leaving small ventilation openings and light. In the door you can make a glass window, in the presence of sunlight, animals feel better. Above, behind and on the sides, the cage needs to be insulated. Cells are better placed under the protection of other buildings, reducing the influence of the wind. Nevertheless, it must be remembered that the rabbit's birthplace is Southern Europe and they experience cold nights in nature in warm burrows. Therefore, in severe frosts, animals can get sick, frostbite (primarily ears) or even die. The least hardy young. In case of extreme frost, animals will have to be moved to warm rooms. И, конечно, в холодную погоду кролики должны получать полноценное питание с необходимым содержанием витаминов и минеральных веществ.
Разведение кроликов в теплом помещении
- + Не замерзает вода в поилках
- + Не нужно греть маточники
- - Уборка каждые 2-3 дня
- - Вентиляция (приточка)
- - Вытяжка аммиака
- - Обогрев зимой (без отопления будет очень высокая влажность)
- - Уборка, вентиляция и т.д. нужны круглый год.
- - Болезни (если заболел один кролик, то есть вероятность заражения поголовья находящегося рядом в помещении)
Разведение кроликов на улице
- + Cleaning under the cells every 2-6 months (depending on the design of the cells, later I will show what cells I have on the street now)
- + No ventilation needed
- + No ammonia hood required
- + No heating needed
- + Do not get sick (rabbits almost do not get sick, because there is always fresh air and there is no humidity with ammonia)
- - Watering (watering in winter is a separate topic for conversation, but personally, I heat the drinkers with a heating cable)
- - Mother liquors (many do not heat mother liquors, but you can warm them with warm floors or keep cages with mother liquors warm where to bring the rabbit to scorch)
As can be seen from the listed minuses and pluses, when breeding rabbits on the street, there are more pluses than pluses. And the main plus is that these disadvantages are only in winter, and in the summer they are not. That is, in the summer of cons (except heat) there are no rabbits in the street breeding at all. That's why I decided for myself that raising rabbits on the street is much more effective, easier and rabbits have better health and immunity.
The first mating is carried out at the age of 6-8 months (depending on the breed). The female is always put in a cage to the male, and not vice versa. In this case, he will be more confident in himself and the chances of success will increase. The control mating is carried out after two weeks. At the same time, they monitor the behavior of the rabbit. If she snarls and does not allow the gentleman, then soon she will have cubs.
The female rabbits hatches for about a month (28-32 days). The number of newborns also depends on the breed. They can be from four to 16. Young rabbits bring fewer cubs, experienced - more. The content of rabbits in the cages (see photo of newborn babies below) also has the advantage that you can observe and accurately determine the time of the rounding of a sucral female at the end of pregnancy.
About a day before the birth, the female begins to arrange a nest. She wears his own down. Therefore, if you notice its scraps on the floor of the cage, it means that most likely by the morning your stock will replenish. During the bunny rabbit drinks a lot of water. It stimulates lactation. Therefore, it is advisable to put an additional drinker in the cage. If there will be little water, the female may bite a part of the litter. The mother liquor is placed in the cell a few days before the okrol.
Why does the female gnaw rabbits
There are several reasons for this unpleasant phenomenon. The main ones, in addition to the lack of water during the round-up, include:
- Mastitis. So that the female does not get sick, the floor in the cage must be kept clean.
- Foreign smell. It is advisable not to touch newborns with their bare hands. Inspection of the nest after okrol is carried out in rubber gloves.
- Lack of space. As already mentioned, space is what rabbits really like. Breeding and maintenance (cells should not be small, especially in females with litter) should be done according to the rules.
- Fright. Rabbits are generally very afraid of sudden noises, and in fear they behave unpredictably.
But the main reason for eating rabbits by females is still a lack of milk. If during the pregnancy of the animal the recommendations of the specialists regarding the diet are not followed, the probability of losing the litter is very high.
Baby rabbits feeding
After the mother, the cubs begin to leave the nest after about 3.5 weeks after the round. Mainly in order to eat herbs with it (it is better if it is slightly dried). Feeding can begin to be given already at this time. It can be, for example, crackers or bran. Gradually, crusher and root crops are introduced into the diet.
Rabbits are sedimented from the rabbit in 2-3 months (not earlier than one and a half). The next mating can be carried out in a month or two after that. The animal's body must rest.
In terms of resistance to infections, rabbits are significantly inferior to most livestock and poultry. They can get sick very easily. Moreover, the infection usually affects most of the herd immediately. Therefore, it is very important to carry out preventive measures - to be vaccinated on time, cleaned in the cells daily, and disinfected at least once or twice a month. There are many diseases that rabbits are susceptible to, and they all have different symptoms. The most dangerous are:
- A typical form of pasteurellosis. At the beginning of the disease, the animal rises sharply. The rabbit does not eat, and serous discharge comes from his nose. There is no cure for this disease.
- Cysticercosis. Symptoms of the animal with the disease begin to manifest only after intense damage to the body. The animal refuses to eat, its mucous membranes become icteric. On the sixth day, the rabbit dies.
- Myxomatosis. Symptoms of this disease are swelling, the appearance of gelatinous nodules on the body. Bumps and red spots may form on the ears and eyelids.
Infected rabbits are necessarily isolated. The carcasses of dead or slaughtered sick animals are most often burned.
Very often, the infection is transmitted to rabbits through infected food. Therefore, do not buy a crusher in the market. It is through her that all rabbit infections usually spread. It is better to purchase feeds more expensive, but from trusted suppliers with a good reputation. It is highly discouraged to keep rabbits near chickens and other poultry.
Often rabbit infectious diseases affect the entire herd, and the farmer has to start all over again. Of course, it is unprofitable to throw out dwellings in which sick animals died. Especially if these are expensive modular mesh cages for the industrial keeping of rabbits. But in any case, a thorough disinfection should be. This can be done with "White" or a strong solution of iodine. Metal mesh is additionally scorched by a gas burner.
How to slaughter
Most often, rabbits are bred for meat. Slaughter animals less than three months old is not allowed. The meat by this time they have not yet ripened and tasteless. Animals are slaughtered on skins in the cold season, after molting, and not before they are 5-6 months old. The skin of younger animals is also not ripe. Slaughter can be done in several ways. In private households, most often use a stick with a piece of hose on. The rabbit is taken by the hind legs and sharply hit the occipital region.
It is impossible to kill the animal by chopping off the head. The fact is that after this, the rabbit's nervous system continues to function for a long time. All this time he experiences severe pain. When hit with a stick, the nervous system shuts down immediately. Before slaughter, the animal is not fed or watered for 12 hours.
Cutting is carried out by hanging the rabbit on some branch or pole. Tie the carcass with twine for the hind legs. To better drain the blood immediately after killing, you need to cut the nose. The skin is removed as a stocking, cutting it around the hind legs and cutting it on their inner side.
All organs are removed from the carcass, except for the liver, with which bile is carefully cut. Before cooking, it is advisable to keep the carcass in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours. During this time, partial breakdown of the protein will occur, and the meat will become tastier.
As you can see, keeping rabbits in their cages is quite troublesome. However, following the rules of feeding, the most important thing is cleanliness in the cells, and the success of this enterprise is guaranteed.