How to start a rabbit farm

How to start a rabbit farm

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A rabbit breeding it can be an excellent attraction on a farm or on a farm open to the public. Even a family (individual) can start a rabbit breeding for the self-consumption of meat, provided that the welfare of the animal is guaranteed up to the time of slaughter. Based on the use you want to make of rabbits (as a pet and company attraction or for the consumption of meat), there are various housing boxes on the market. Let's start with these.

Forraise rabbitsyou will need to:

  • Set up a shelter that is more than just a cage
  • Ensure the correct feeding of the rabbit according to the stages of growth
  • Helping rabbits in breeding and setting up nests

Breeding rabbits: housing box or cage

When buying a rabbit cage you must keep in mind that the rabbit is an animal that reproduces easily, so favor the boxes that integrate removable nests. No expense spared: choose large enough boxes and adequate dimensions.

In this panorama, you can also choose boxes for theorganic rabbit breeding able to comply with EU regulation 384/07, article 42.

For a small farm, you can choose a cage of 150 x 100 cm, 100 cm high with a 30 cm rise from the ground. The total footprint of such a cage can vary depending on the model, up to 250 x 100 x 130 cm, this is because the boxes for rabbits they can have one or more nests. Choose a cage with wooden nests that are removable and controllable from the outside.

In addition to the presence of the nest, when buying a box to start a rabbit breeding, it is important to evaluate the maintenance and cleaning work.

In this regard, some cages have a removable bottom to facilitate cleaning operations. Alternatively, you can choose a mesh bottom with enough loose meshes to allow waste materials to flow towards the ground and then be removed with a rake. You will be comforted to know that rabbit droppings tend to be dry and not very dirty.

Breeding rabbits: feeding

The rabbit's diet may vary according to the period of the year.

Between March and April, when the rabbit is in full reproduction, 10% grain barley can be added to the hay and pellet feed. From the dry feeding of the winter period, in spring and summer, the rabbit can be fed with green and fresh foods.

So ... can you give rabbits fresh grass? Sure, but in moderation. The new grass is very rich in vegetation water and therefore should be given to nursing females in smaller doses to avoid the onset of diarrhea and loss of fluids.

The transition from winter to summer nutrition is done gradually. In practice, the rabbit must get used to switching from dehydrated foods and pellets to fresh foods such as field grass.

How to do? To start, give dried herb. Let the grass dry for three days and then feed it to the rabbits. Then let the grass dry for only two days and give it to the rabbits... finally let the grass wither for just one day and then give it to the rabbits, until you even give them some fresh grass.

Breeding rabbits: reproduction and mating

Rabbits canreproducewith a certain ease but without leaving anything to chance. In autumn, inrabbit breedingthere are both old rabbits (which are 2 or 3 years old), and younger females that reproduce for the first time. Young one-year-old rabbits are more prone to triggering a false pregnancy, as fertilization does not occur even after mating.

In this case, the false pregnancy lasts 2-3 weeks, during which time the rabbit will have to be left on the sidelines. Only after a further 20 days, the rabbit can be re-proposed for a new mating.

After fertilization, the female prepares the nest with her hair. Within the first week of giving birth, check the nest and check the number of new born and the presence of any deaths. Remove the small dead and, if you have mated more rabbits, perform the leveling of the broods. What does it mean? That you have to distribute the bunnies among the nursing rabbits making sure that each nursing female has eight bunnies as eight is the number of active nipples.

During breastfeeding, it is recommended to give the females some flaked cereals in addition to the classic feed. As stated, pregnant, mating or lactating females should consume fresh food (including fresh grass) in extreme moderation.

Rabbit's nest

To successfully reproduce the rabbit, the females must have a suitable nest available. If the female has not been able to prepare a nest with her fur, this gap can be filled manually. Without delay, he strokes the female's breast and manually removes the hair to then place it in the nest.

What to do if the female eats the offspring?
To prevent this from happening, you need to anticipate. Cannibalism is a phenomenon present in rabbits, especially in young females that nest for the first time.

At the time of birth (and even before), clean water must never be missing. The nursing rabbit consumes about a liter of water every day. In the absence of water, the females eat their offspring because the offspring are rich in water.

Newborns canweanafter 5 weeks. After 5 weeks, the rabbit will have to be transferred to another cage. After 3 - 4 days, she will be ready for a new mating and can be placed in the cage with the male.

Breeding rabbits, bureaucratic notes on the consumption of meat

From an administrative point of view, the possession of farm animals must be notified to the Veterinary Services of the relevant ASL. The notification will be followed by the issue of authorizations for the breeding of rabbits for family consumption.

The ASL regulations allow the home slaughter of rabbits and poultry when the destination is personal consumption. If the breeding is for commercial purposes: the slaughter of animals whose meat is intended for trade can only be carried out in authorized slaughterhouses and must comply with the rules laid down in Community regulations.

Rabbit breeding: recommended reading

For further information, we recommend purchasing the Guide to theFamily breeding of Rabbit and Hare. The book in question can be bought on Amazon with € 9.26 and free shipping costs. The book is an authentic practical guide that will explain everything you need and must do to raise rabbits in an optimal way. For all information, please refer to "this Amazon page".

Video: The Basics of Raising Meat Rabbits Complete Overview (May 2022).