Becoming A Rabbit Farmer As A Beginner
Being a rabbit farmer can be fun and relaxing but it requires a lot of patience and dedication. Rabbits are fragile animals and if you get enough information on rabbit then you will be a happy farmer.
If you are a beginner to raising rabbits then it’s advisable that you learn all you can in raising these friendly creatures. Once you learn about raising rabbits then you must be prepared for what is ahead of you.
Although they are cute and cuddly creatures, they may be hostile and hurt you should you handle them wrong.
Their back legs are strong and they use them to kick off any distractive object or person, and may escape if not careful in handling them. So before you make a decision in raising rabbits there are things that you need to know.
• There are different sizes of rabbits. There are small rabbits that can be kept inside house as pet and are not good for producing meat and then there are bigger rabbits that require a lot of space to live in. These are the rabbits that are bred for meat production.
• When it comes to feeding rabbits you should know that they are vegetarians, so you can’t feed them anyhow. You should feed them chewy veggies like carrots and a very small amount of cabbage. You can also feed them rabbit pellets since they have a lot of nutrients which will help them grow stronger and healthier. A supplementary diet of hay or alfalfa can be given to them as well at a minimal scale.
• You should consider if you want to breed rabbits indoor or outdoor. If you want to keep outdoor rabbits then you should make sure you offer protection for them. You should construct cages with enough room for movement and strong fence.
• Rabbit houses should be made steel cages not wood cages because rabbits can eat on the wood.
Summarized Guide On Breeding Rabbits For A Beginner.
Starting a project in raising rabbits can be a big challenging, but with the necessary research on how to raise rabbit farming it is very wise to consult veterinarian someone who knows and is a professional in raising animals.
Take to account that rabbits are raised in a different way compared to other livestock. They feed on different food and their living conditions are different as well.
Rabbits turn to eat more and grow faster after weaning, and their day-length is shortened efficiently in their consumption of feed.
When deciding to breed rabbits for business, you should be prepared to work extra hard as they require a lot of caring compared to raising them as pets.
The first thing to consider when starting out is choosing the right breed for the project and be well vested in the types of breed that are for meat production.
The ideal breed to consider for rabbit meat farming is the Californians and New Zealand’s breeds. These breeds are easy to care for and they mature faster.
Another way of more production yield is to cross breed the Californians and New Zealand’s as the rabbit does grow faster and produce great tasting meat.
The Reason Why You Should Breed Rabbits For Meat
Below are some reasons why you should consider breeding rabbits for meat;
- Reproduction Rate – a lot of people don’t know that rabbits have a high rate of reproduction and a healthy rabbit can produce 100% of her body in a given year.
- Less Space Required – the good thing about raising rabbits is that they do not need that much of space to live and move around.
- You don’t need grazing land unlike cattle or sheep, you can keep a couple of rabbits in your small backyard. You can even keep rabbits in a small apartment whereas you can’t keep chickens.
- Less Maintenance -when breeding rabbits you don’t need to be checking on them frequently. You can check on them when you feed them or whenever there’s a need to.
- Always supply them fresh water on every feed. Their cage can be cleaned once a week unlike other animals. The bunnies nursed by the bucks, just make sure to provide nesting boxes which are which easy to build.
- No Noise – unlike other animals like chickens and ducks which make a lot of noise, rabbits hardly make a sound unless the mating shriek. You can keep rabbits in your yard or even travel with them with no recognition.
- Rabbit Manure – rabbit droppings make good garden fertilizer that won’t burn your plants and if you are into worm farming you can add the droppings on the earth, and the worms will feed on them which in return will produce high quality compost.
- Quality Meat – it’s a fact that rabbit meat is low in fat and cholesterol but high in protein. You can’t find the nutritional meat value of rabbits in any other animal. Some doctors even recommend to their patients to consume rabbit meat for weight loss diet.
- Slaughtering – when the time has come for you to slaughter your rabbit you will be surprised how easy the process is. In less than 30 minutes the rabbit can be packaged and stored in your freezer.
Record Keeping On Rabbits And Feed
Selection Of Breed For Meat Production And Mating
New Zealand’s and Californians are ideal for meat production, and the process of caring for the rabbits is not that difficult as long you follow the regulations then you’re good to start.
We also have to look at the period the breeds can take to be ready to be put in the market. With the New Zealand’s breed, it takes about 8 weeks to be ready for the market but be sure that the weight is standard as you would not want to sell overfed doe for a quick buck.
The Californians are ready for the market after 6 – 7 months and they are fine boned body structures with lots of meat.Breeding healthy profitable rabbitsis important because underfed, sickly and overweight rabbits will tarnish your business and make your consumers to lose faith in you as a farmer.
Rabbits that are medium are bred when they are 5 to 6 months but large breeds should be bred when they are 8 months. How To Raise Rabbits We encourage only healthy and not closely related rabbits to be bred.
The buck (female rabbit) should be taken into the does cage (male) for mating as bucks are territorial in their own cage thus they won’t allow does to mate with them there.
You are warned not to leave the doe in the buck’s cage for more than 15 minutes if they do not mate, but you are encouraged to try with another buck and if this attempt proves futile then try again the next day with other buck.
Weaning And Mortality
Weaning bunnies can be done if the bucks are hostile and the environment they are in has a lot of dogs either in the compound or the neighbor’s.
So it is advisable that you have extra cages where you’ll care for the bunnies until they are strong.
This process saves the bunnies from being killed accidentally by the bucks due to predators that may loiter around the cages and scare them.
You can also cuddle your rabbit since they are affectionate creatures but do this cautiously.
The bucks have a high mortality rate due to their first conception, diseases and loss of appetite when they are pregnant. It is wise to always monitor the bucks when pregnant until they give birth.
Ways to improve their appetite and health is to start a specialized feeding program that is implemented months before you begin breeding them.
Location Of Cage And Maintenance
On the other hand the ideal thing about raising rabbits is that they can be raised almost anywhere. You don’t need a lot of land and large shelters.
Just get an adequate steel cage that is located in a safe place and make the cage comfortable enough for your rabbit.
The fur sometimes sticks on the fence and it requires that it be removed with a steel bristle brush only. Do not use water as this will encourage rust on cages and they can wear off easily.
Remove the fur every day and clean their cages once a week.