In personal subsidiary and farms, rabbits are recommended to be kept only in cages. When the cellular system of housing, it is possible to properly conduct breeding work, economical use of feed, effectively treat animals and implement preventive measures.
Depending on the climatic conditions, cells are installed in open areas – in the courtyard, in the garden, etc. – or in rooms. The combined content of rabbits is also used: in the warm season – in the open air, in the winter – indoors.
When placing cells in the courtyard or shed, it must be borne in mind that rabbits do not tolerate a draft poorly, as well as increased or decreased air humidity. The speed of air movement around rabbit cages should not exceed 30 cm / s. The optimum relative humidity of air is 60–75%. Rabbit cages should not be placed near swamps, where fog is often and the relative humidity of the air is very high. Rabbits also feel bad in places with relative humidity below 50%.
Cages for adult rabbits of large and medium meat-skin and downy breeds can be single-section and two-section. In two-section cages fodder and nesting sections. It is recommended to make single-section cages 80-110 cm long, 60 cm wide, two-section, 130 and 60 cm respectively, fodder compartment length 90 cm, nested – 40 cm. Cells height 45-60 cm. If there is enough building materials for large breed rabbits with a mass in an adult state of 5 kg or more, the length of a two-sectioned cell is best increased to 140-150 cm.
The size of the group cage for the young is determined by the number of rabbits, which it is supposed to contain. Usually the length of the cell is from 200 to 300 cm, width is 100 cm, and the height can vary from 35 to 60 cm.
With group keeping of young stock, the quality of the skins of males is most sharply reduced. Therefore, if there are not enough cages in the farm for the individual keeping of all rabbits, then when breeding young stock on the skin, first of all, males should be seated one by one, and females should be kept in groups.
The prerequisites for the construction of rabbit cages of all types and designs are ease of manufacture, low cost, ease of maintenance of animals, hygiene. Particular attention should be paid to the device floor cells. In areas with warm and temperate climates, when placing cells in the yard and getting okrols throughout the year and in other areas, when getting okrolov only in spring and summer, flooring in the forage compartment for rabbits of the main herd and repairing young stock should be done lattice from hardwood – oak, maple, beech, plastic, from extruded metal or welded mesh, and in the nest compartment and in the insert nest – solid wood. The same. floors must be made in portable cells. In other cases, cells with solid floors should be built, and even better to arrange a double floor.
Solid floors should be sloped. The slope is better to do towards the back wall. The difference in floor height (slope) should be approximately 5 cm. A double floor can be arranged in several ways, for example, by placing a removable floor on a slatted or mesh floor. In the second case, the cell is the most hygienic.
For a long time, keeping rabbits on the same net floor leads to paw paws and rabbit disease, pododermatit. Therefore, it is advisable to put there removable shelves that must be cleaned daily from dirt.
When receiving from a rabbit a year four usual okrols and growing 20 heads of young stock per year up to 4 months of age, one rabbit of the main herd with young and a share of a male is required to have at least 3.12 cages: 1 for a rabbit, 0.12 for male sire (one male per eight females) and 2 for young stock (an average of six to seven heads per cage). Of all the variety of cells for rabbits, the most common are two-sectional cells. They are used in different versions, one of which is shown in Fig. one.
One double cage requires about 0.2 m of sawn timber, 1.3–1.6 m of metal mesh per floor and doors, 0.3–0.5 m of metal mesh for nursery and 1.6 kg of nails.
When organizing a farm with a sufficiently large population of rabbits, the shedding system is most appropriate. Sheds come in single and double tier cell placement. The length of the shed can be arbitrary, depending on the number of rabbits being placed. With bunk placement of cells in the path with the simplest mechanization (cableway), one breeder can serve up to 130 adult rabbits and up to 1200 rabbits at a time. The scheme of such a shed is shown in fig. 2
For keeping rabbits you can use mesh metal cages with a metal or wooden frame. In the latter case, the metal mesh should cover the edges of the wooden bars on the inside of the cells. For the construction of such cells, it is recommended to use a galvanized grid with a cell size of 16 × 16, 19 × 19, 16 × 48 mm, and for walls – 24 × 48, 24 × 96, 25 × 25 and 25 × 50 mm. The most hygienic for the floor mesh with a cell size of 16 × 48 mm. All-metal cells are usually made 90 cm long, 55 cm wide and 40 cm high. These cells are intended for a closed containment system, and therefore they are installed only indoors. Only in the summer they can be placed outdoors under the eaves. Can be recommended for use single-level cells KSK-1-1, KSK-1-2, KSK-1-3 and KSK-1-4, as well as three-tier cells (Fig. 3, and 4). In the KSK-1 cells, the doors are located on top, on the front wall there is a float box and a bunker feeder for grain and pellets.
In each of these cages, you can place 12 heads of young for fattening, or 2 adult rabbits of the parent flock, or 4 heads of repair young.
In the presence of cells without permanent uterine compartment; in the household, you must have portable mother-boxes, which are usually made of wood or plywood.
Recently, some organizations have developed and manufactured boxes-queen machines with electric heating panels, allowing to receive winter okroly.
In such boxes in the slotted recess, an electronic regulator ensures an optimal temperature of about 30–36 ° C, even at ambient temperatures of up to –40 ° C.
The mass of the mother liquor box is 4.5 kg, dimensions are 500 × 365 × 360 mm, and the power consumption of electricity is 30 W.
The same organization recommends for rabbit breeders of a mini-farm for 20-25 rabbits KC-3.
If the young are grown in order to obtain the best quality skins, then we can recommend combined cells with inserted partitions (Fig. 5). This cage is designed for 12 rabbits. Its length is 3 m, its width is 0.7 m. It is divided into two equal parts by a solid wooden partition, each of which contains from the time of jigging up to 3–3.5 months of age 6 bunnies identical in sex, age, weight and development. Then the cage is blocked by ten plug-in wooden or slate shields in 12 sections 25 cm wide. In the sections they contain one rabbit before slaughtering on the skin. The floor in the cage is mesh or rack. In each half there is a long wooden feeding trough, nursery and three mounted metal drinkers. For the manufacture of the cage, 0.23 m of sawn timber and 1.6 m of mesh are required.
When the content of rabbits in such cells eliminates the appearance of snacks on the skins, and this greatly improves their quality. In addition, with the individual content it is much easier to carry out the selective slaughter of rabbits, taking into account the end of the molting of hair.
Equipment and inventory. Feeders for concentrated feed and root crops, as well as drinkers, it is advisable to make embedded in the front (front) wall of the cage, as this facilitates the care of rabbits. Feeders should be up to 50-60 cm long. Arrange them so that the center of gravity of the feeders is inside the cages, and therefore, in the normal state, their outer sides are pressed against the “front walls of the cages.
In order for the suckling bunnies not to climb into the feeder and not to damage it, it is necessary to make a removable metal frame on top with transverse partitions of wire every 6 cm along the entire length of the feeders. If there is no such frame, it is necessary to upholster the edges of the trough with a metal plate or thick wire. The same principle is done and built-in metal drinker.
For feeding grain and pellets, you can use bunker self-feeders, laying in them feed once a day.
It is not advisable to lay feed in them for 2–3 days at once, as recommended by some authors, since the principle of rationed feeding of rabbits is violated.
If the cells do not have built-in feeders and drinkers, you can use the plug-in. Their design and size can be very diverse. However, they must all be resistant to tipping and convenient to clean. For example, thick-walled earthenware cups and ordinary tin cans can be used as such feeders and drinkers. To prevent them from overturning, they are fixed in different ways: the hook is soldered to the bottom and the load is hung to it, the bank is placed on the cell wall and fixed with a retractable rod or large nail, the bank is inserted into the fixing rings fixed at one end in the cell wall, and others .
Two containers must be placed in each cage: one for feed, the other for water.
If you keep young rabbits in the summer, you can make a manger with a folding gable cover for grass and hay. The length of the nursery is selected depending on the number of rabbits in the pen. The distance between the bars is 30 mm. The bars can be replaced with a mesh with a mesh size of 35 × 35 mm. For concentrated feeds on the runs, it is necessary to have a trough-shaped feeder with separators (so that rabbits do not climb into them), and for water – about the same group watering.
As a water tank, ordinary bottles are also used, which are filled with water and put in the neck in a drinking trough or connecting them with the latter through a rubber tube. For rabbits with offspring, the upper edge of such a drinker should be located at a level of 5–8 cm, and for young stock after jigging from mothers and for adult rabbits without offspring, at a height of 10–12 cm from the floor of the cage. The water level is set at a distance of about 1 cm from the top of the drinker. When arranging such drinkers, one should strive to ensure that its bowl does not enter the cage by more than 3 cm, as this protects the drinker from contamination.
Avtopoilka for rabbits can be made from the storage tank, regulating the tank with a float device and funnel-shaped or grooved drinkers. In the presence of a water supply system, there is no need for a storage tank. The float device will allow to maintain a constant water level in the drinkers. The disadvantage of this system is that the cells must be placed horizontally at the same level. The allowable slope of the water pipe should not exceed 0.05 cm per 1 m of the pipe length. In fig. 6,7 and 8 show the main types of feeders, nurseries and drinking bowls for rabbits.
For transportation of large and bulky goods (grass, hay, etc.) in each household, you must have a light and strong trolley with a carrying capacity of 70-100 kg. Two-wheeled rubber strollers with approximately the same lifting capacity are produced, but you can also make them yourself using wheels from bicycles, mopeds, scooters or motorcycles.
To clean the area where rabbits are kept, and to clean the cages, you need to have a certain inventory: a broom, a rake, a shovel, a broom, a scraper, a scoop, a bucket, and also containers for storing disinfectants. After cleaning each cell, the used inventory (broom, scraper, dustpan) should be lowered into a 3-5% solution of creolin or lysol.