rabbit management

Topics: Rabbit, Domestic rabbit, American Rabbit Breeders' Association Pages: 9 (5240 words) Published: November 1, 2014

EGERTON UNIVERSITY
RABBIT MANAGEMENT
Introduction
Rabbit rearing can become remunerative, when scientific management of rabbits is done by keeping in view their natural behavior. As medium sized rabbits are more productive, heavy weighted does are useful in breeding. Lifting the rabbits by ear reduces their reproduction rate and bunnies/kindles touched before 7 days of age do not get mother's milk and die. Such practical behavior instinct then become the basis for success in rabbit management. Careful management practices can only ensure a steady production of healthy and vigorous bunnies (young ones). About the Animal

Rabbits are prolific and will breed year round in  well-managed rabbitries. Does have been known to kindle up to 23 young at one time.  The average is eight. Rabbits usually have 4 to 5 litters per year.  With proper management, rabbits can be kindled intensively. The young are ready for market at 4 to 5 pounds.  With proper care and feeding they will be 8 weeks old or less at this stage. Rabbits have an efficient feed conversion ratio, which is the amount of feed consumed per pound of gain. A doe can produce up to 10 times its own weight, or more, in offspring per year. Rabbit meat is one of the most nutritious meats available.  It is highest in protein, lowest in fat and cholesterol, has the least number of calories per pound and has only 8 percent bone. Protein Fat Calories per lb.

Rabbit 25.5 % 10.2 % 795
Chicken 21.5 % 11.0 % 810
Veal (med. fat) 18.8 % 14.0 % 910
Turkey 20.1 % 20.2 % 1,190
Lamb (med. fat) 15.7 % 27.7 % 1,420
Beef 19.0 % 28.0 % 1,440
Pork (med. fat) 13.3 % 45.0 % 2,050
US Dept. of Agriculture Statistical Breadown
Rabbit meat is especially good for babies, senior citizens and anyone with stomach disorder because it is easily digested . Rabbit meat can be prepared in over 300 different ways.
Unlike wild rabbit, domestic rabbit meat is pearly white, tender, juicy and mild in flavor. Breeding
As in any breeding operation, you should always breed from good stock. Generally, small breeds mature earlier than larger ones.  Polish can usually be bred at 4 months; medium weight rabbits at 6 to 7 months; and the giants at 9 to 12 months.  Many commercial breeders, however, begin breeding successfully at 5 months. The normal estrus cycle is 16 to 18 days, with 2 infertile days at the beginning and the end when the doe lacks interest in the buck.  Rabbits are induced ovulators and ovulation occurs only after mating. The doe should always be taken to the male’s hutch for breeding.  If she does not mate within a few minutes, she should be removed and returned later.  Does will show a false pregnancy following unsuccessful matings.  This false pregnancy lasts 17 days, and the doe will not breed during this period.  For this reason, most commercial breeders will generally rebreed the doe on the 18th day.  Bucks should be used no more than 2 or 3 times per week, although they can be successfully used several times per day for short periods.  As a general rule, one buck should be maintained for every 20 does. The most important factor is to keep animals in top body condition. Overweight animals produce unsuccessful matings and poor litter quality. Reproduction Rate Control

It is the farm manager who determines the rate of reproduction for doe at the farm. The reproduction rate can range from 2 litres to 10 litres in one year. Some rabbit breeds particularly European breeds, can be re-mated immediately after 10 days of kindling. Generally, backyard rabbitries take 6-7 litter per year. Young does are first presented for mating at 4-5 months age, depending on the breed and weight of the does (females). The main system used in mating does are (1) semi-intensive, (2) intensive and (3) extensive. 1. Semi-intensive system

The ovulation in does is provoked by mating. The farm manager makes use of this natural instinct in does in controlling the rate of reproduction per year. This is done by...
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