Breeding and Raising Rabbits


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Raising Rabbits Basics

I love rabbits and having the opportunity to teach someone how to take care of them is really a great honor for me. I started raising rabbits in 1988, so I've been doing it for a long time. I don't know everything but I do know enough to help you have a pleasing experience with your endeavour. First of all here are some really important rules. Follow these rules.

Never hit or injure a rabbit. They will remember it forever!
Water to drink should be available at all times.
Give rabbits all the hay they want.
Too much lettuce and greens may cause diarrhea.
Give rabbits a good quality pelleted rabbit food.
Don't mix males and females.
Rabbits should have their own cage.
Keep cages clean.
Clip rabbits toe nails.
Quarantine sick rabbits.
Quarantine new rabbits.

Never hit or injure a rabbit. A rabbit will hold a grudge. Once they associal pain and abuse with your presence the rabbit will become scared and sometimes agressive. The rabbit will usually not make a good breeder or pet. A mother rabbit may urinate on kits or may cannibalise their kits.  They might try to bite you. So never hit or injure a rabbit.

Water is very important for rabbits and should be available at all times. Check in cold weather for freezing and keep the water clean. Bottles and drip systems are better because they keep the fur around the rabbit's mouth dry and the water protected and cleaner. Water in crocks or bowls can cause the fur around the mouth to get wet and the water is easy to get dirty. Crocks can be used only if you keep them clean and full of water.

Rabbits can have as much hay as they want.
Rabbits love lettuce, carrots and just about any vegetable but too much can make your rabbit sick so give them treats in small amounts. One lettuce leaf and half a small carrot per day is plenty.
Dry pelleted rabbit food is best and should be used for the rabbits main nutrition. A good quality dry food and plenty of fresh clean water is all the rabbit needs but treats are fun too. Don't over feed a rabbit execpt for hay. Fat rabbits do not breed well. Most average size breeds eat about a 3/4 cup of feed per day and small breeds need only 1/2 cup or less per day.

Males and females should be separated starting at about 4-8 weeks old or at the time of weaning from the mother. Yes brother and sister rabbits will breed most eagerly so dont leave them in the same cage for very long. Also rabbits may begin to fight if left together in same cage for to long so all rabbits should have their own cage and be separated once they are intened for pets or breeding. Meat pen rabbits can stay together if they are intented for butchering.

Keep rabbits clean. The cage should be cleaned thoroughly with a bleach or an antibacterial soap on a regular schedule. Clean at least every 2 months but sooner would be even better. Bleach all water bottles and water supplies. Clean feeders also. Clean nest boxes with bleach between litters. After cleaning a nest box put it in the sun for a few days to further disinfect it.

Quarantine sick rabbits to keep any disease from speading to the rest of the herd. Also quarantine any new rabbits. New rabbits can have diseases that may not be evident so keep them separated for a few weeks until your sure they are clean.