In the Solikamsky District of the Perm Territory there is a small personal subsidiary farm of our reader Elena Bykova and her spouse, where they have been successfully breeding rabbits for 2.5 years. Elena told how to properly equip places of detention for them.
My student and I have been dreaming about our own home since our student days. Five years ago, bought the site and began to translate the dream into reality. Both zooengineers are veterinary doctors (zooengineer. Specialist in animal keeping and feeding), and, because of their profession, we don’t imagine village life without domestic animal life.
First of all, it was decided to start rabbits, since my husband had experience in keeping them, they do not need large areas, and with the right approach, rabbits are quite unpretentious animals with quick returns.
Now in our farm about 35 heads. In the summer, livestock numbers reach 60. For interesting ideas on building rabbit cages, see here.
For summer maintenance, we have large cages equipped that are easy to clean and well ventilated. The climate in our region is rather severe, and for the winter we leave only the breeding stock. 5-6 females and 2 males.
The rest until the end of the year go for meat. This decision is due to the small area of the insulated shed (about 9 sq. M.), Where our rabbits are kept during the winter period.
For breeding, we chose two breeds: the gray giant and the French sheep. Both breeds belong to meat breeds, the young growth from crossing of these breeds quickly grows, and by 4 months the live weight reaches 4.3-4.6 kg. And females are always larger than males. Slaughter yield of the carcass 2.3-2.5 kg.
Rabbits contain 2.5 years and have not seen any major problems, except for a pair of broken legs. A major role in this was played, probably, by our serious approach to the equipment of the places of detention and feeding.
CABLE FOR RABBITS do it yourself
1. The frame is welded from a profiled steel pipe 20x20x1.5 mm. The pipes are painted with primer-enamel on metal. The floors are made of plywood 10 mm thick, wall. plywood 6 mm. Wooden parts are covered with a protective and decorative composition.
Since in the cages the rabbits have nothing to cling to with their teeth, that is, they do not gnaw the cages, they will not be poisoned by the composition.
Fasteners are used everywhere (except for the roof) as fasteners.
2. The roof is made of planks and covered with roofing felt. he does not rattle in the rain (rabbits are afraid of loud noises). Cells raised half a meter due to the legs. It does not allow rodents to get into the cages, facilitates cleaning. The entire section accommodates 4 cells in two levels. At every level in the middle. a sennik from a galvanized grid with cells of 25×50 mm. The grid is placed at an angle of 45-50 gr.
H. On the front side of the cell are closed with the same grid. Doors in cages measuring 4óx3ó cm are located in the middle of each cage.
4. The floor in the cells is partially solid. At the back of the cells on the floor is a 20 cm wide strip of mesh with a 25×25 mm cell. The paws can get into the larger cell, and the feces do not fall into the smaller cell.
5. The solid part of the floor is made with a slope to the back of the cell. Rabbits choose the back of the cage to empty the bladder, and the feces roll down the slope, so the cells are dry and clean. Behind the mesh are made inclined drains of galvanized iron to remove waste.
6. For the felling of females a queen was built – a plywood box 10 mm thick. Height is 40 cm, width is 52 cm and depth is 37 cm. Opening opening with a diameter of 15 cm.
7. The mother liquor is attached to the cell so that the floor of the queen cell is 15 cm below the floor of the cell.
8. In order for the owner to inspect the nest, an outer door with a bolt is made in the mother liquor. The mother liquor is collected on furniture confirmations.
For the maintenance of rabbits in the winter we use a warmed frame barn. It contains 6-8 cells. The cells were made on the same principle as the summer ones: the same device of senators, queen cells and sex. The only difference is that they are built in two or less sizes. For these cells we use 10 mm plywood and collect them for furniture confirmatories. For 2.5 years of use, no cage has traces of rabbit teeth, i.e., when assembling without protrusions, one does not have to replace anything and constantly repair it.
Since the winter cages are smaller in size, the rabbits move less and can fatten them, therefore
if it is females and males for breeding, then we limit feeding. And two weeks before mating, we generally transfer only to hay and water to drop weight, otherwise fertilization will not occur.
Feeding of young animals for fattening and females after mating is organized without restrictions, i.e., complete feed, hay and water should always be available.
Rabbits we keep up to 4-4.5 months, then slaughter for meat. It makes no sense to keep longer, since they eat more, but the growth rate is significantly reduced.