Pointers on Raising Rabbits

Topics: Breed, Nest, Nest box Pages: 6 (1772 words) Published: March 5, 2009

For Beginners:

-Raisers can start with one male and two females
-It is best to buy them when they are 2 months old right after they weaned. -Be sure to buy your breeding stock only from reliable sources. -Select your rabbits that are the offspring of prolific does who knew how to suckle or nurse their young. -Pick out aggressive, well develop bucks.

-Bucks and does selected should be both vigorous, healthy and free from defects. -Raisers should provide each animals with its own cage, which should be placed in a quite area that is not directly exposed to sunlight. Bucks and does must be separated because rabbits are territorial animals. -Rabbits are strict vegetarians and should be fed twice daily, once in the morning and then late in the afternoon. To maximize productivity, the animals should be feed with concentrate, supplements like green roots or bread scraps maybe added to the diet. Scrap table greens may include pechay, lettuce, cauliflower, camote leaves, malunggay and cabbage. Rabbits also relish peelings of banana, melons and various kinds but not the rinds of green papaya and chayote. -Water should be provided at all times, the container should always be full of fresh, clean drinking water. Rabbits, especially lactating does, drink plenty of water. The container should be cleaned daily -Does in heat become restless and lose appetite. Their external genetalia become inflamed. When this occurs, the does in heat should be brought to the buck pen. Since rabbits are territorial, the female should be place in the male pen. If it’s done the other way, the female may kill the male. -The buck should serve the doe at least 2 times. The best time to breed the animals are early in the morning(5:00 -8:00 am) or late in the afternoon(4:00- 7:00 pm). Be sure not to leave the doe in the pen overnight with the buck. -A pregnant doe has a short gestation period of 28 days to 1 month or 32 days if it is an old animal. -Build a wooden nest box and line its bottom with rags and shredded newspaper or dry grass. Near delivery date, the doe will become nervous. It may scratch the bottom of the nest, scatter or rearrange box beddings, and pull of its fur and line the nest box with it. At this time, add a vitamin and mineral supplement to its diet. -The doe should not be disturbed during kindling. At kindling time, a doe will become extremely nervous. Keep children, dogs, cats and other animals away. -A litter may consist of 4, 8 or 10 babies, the average is six. A doe may produce 3 or 4 litters/year, sometimes more, rabbits are very prolific animals. -Within 24 hours after delivery, don’ touch any of the young, because a doe that sniffs an alien smell on its young may reject them or worse eat them. It inherited this trait from its wild ancestors; a trait that is still with rabbits of all breeds.

-The young rabbits will come out of the nest box after 10 days. They will start eating greens and concentrates when about 3 weeks old. After 2 months, they are ready to be weaned. At this time, the mother may be rebreed, and the young fattened and butchered when 5 months old. -It is a good idea to keep records to facilitate management and control of stock. Basic information that you should record include age of does, breeding dates, expected date of delivery and number of young per litter. The more relevant data you record, the easier your operations will be. -Raising rabbits is definitely easier than keeping chickens or pigs. Rabbits consume a little of your time, reproduce rapidly and a source of high quality protein.

In choosing breeds of rabbits to raise, consider some factors such as prolificacy, growth rate, feed conversion efficiency and the ability to adopt local conditions. For meat production, consider also the yield of meat.

Rabbit breeds that are suited for meat production are the New Zealand White and Californian. Both...
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