Raising rabbits isn’t difficult but there are a few things you should plan before bringing a pet home. Rabbits come in hundreds of different breeds and crossbreeds. The first thing to decide is what you plan to do with your rabbits. Are you raising them for show? You will need to decide their purpose before bringing them home. Rabbits are great pets for a variety of reasons.
When you’re raising rabbits, you’ll need breeding stock to ensure that you’re producing good quality animals. It is important to choose animals that have good eyesight and proper tooth alignment. You’ll also want to look for alertness and a healthy coat. Look for any signs of disease, especially nasal discharge, which can indicate snuffles, a highly contagious respiratory disease.
When choosing breeding stock, always buy from a reputable breeder. You can find breeders by visiting your local 4-H office or attending a rabbit show. Always talk to several breeders before making a purchase to find the right one. You should always check several sources before settling on a breeder. Some breeders may overcharge you or provide false information. If you’re unsure of which breed to choose, talk to an experienced breeder. A commercial rabbit will be much healthier and more fertile than a pet store rabbit.
Rabbits have a high reproductive rate, becoming sexually mature within a few months of birth. Since rabbits have short gestation periods, they are easy to breed. A healthy doe can produce between 200 and 250 pounds of meat per year. You can start a rabbitry by using breeders’ stock. Generally, breeders plan on breeding for three to four litters per doe per year. Using breeding stock from a buck and three does will yield about 72 meat rabbits per year.
Keeping rabbits together
Keeping rabbits together requires that you know how to introduce the two animals to each other. Rabbits are social creatures and will naturally seek the company of their own species. If introduced carefully, rabbits can be best friends. However, it may take some time before they can be friends and get along well. When introducing two rabbits to each other, make sure they are separated at night and never leave them alone. Here are some ways to introduce your two new friends to each other:
Introduce two or more rabbits slowly and under close supervision. Initially, keep the rabbits separate as they will fight. If you introduce them too soon, they may become stressed and may even injure each other. Spayed and neutered rabbits will get along better. If they still refuse to get along, you may have to separate them for a while. While they may like each other as babies, they may not get along once they become adults.
Provide shelter for your rabbits. Rabbits love to chew things and will chew clothing and wires. Avoid placing their cages near other rabbits’ cages so they cannot escape. If possible, use a cage that has a nesting area. Keep the rabbits separated when they are not playing. The rabbits should have a place to escape their companions and avoid crowded conditions. Rabbits live for 10 to 12 years. If you’re not sure how to keep rabbits apart, consult a pet care specialist for advice.
Feeding rabbits is not an easy task. They need a large area in which to graze, a place to hide from predators, and a chew toy to pass the time. Since rabbits need to chew constantly, you will want to protect your animals by providing enough food and shelter. Feeding rabbits is a complicated task, and you may be tempted to leave them in their cages all day, only to discover that they are chewing up their own houses and plastic toys.
For the most part, rabbits are able to survive on grass and weeds. If you want to give your rabbit a varied diet, consider offering him a hayrack. Commercial feeds are not ideal, but many rabbit experts recommend feeding Alfalfa hay. Timothy hay is another excellent choice, even if it does not contain as much protein. Cut the hay into three-inch lengths and place it in a box for your rabbit to munch on. You can also give your rabbit dried bread crusts and vegetable trimmings.
Some regions are too dry to raise rabbits, and cutting and carrying feed is not a viable option. However, most places have plentiful waste vegetables and can use them as a feed. Forage can be an ideal source of nutrients and protein for rabbits. However, you can also feed your rabbits by giving them concentrated feed instead of forage. Rabbits will produce six to seven bunnies per litter if they are fed a combination of concentrates and forage. Keeping two female rabbits as your pets will produce 70 bunnies annually.
Housetraining your rabbit can be easy and fun. You need to have a small area where you can supervise your rabbit closely and use easy-to-clean flooring, such as newspaper. You should also use small litter trays for your rabbit. You should also use soiled items as reinforcement to reinforce the house-training smell. Alternatively, you can use wood, but use caution. Your rabbit may have some allergies or be sensitive to some materials.
Once your rabbit has settled in, you can remove its cage and allow it to pee. You should then offer other objects that are less tempting for the rabbit to chew on. This is very similar to the process of housetraining a Labrador puppy. Once your rabbit knows not to chew things you put in its cage, you can trust it with your furniture and will have a beloved companion. If you have a puppy or a Labrador, housetraining a rabbit is not difficult, but it will take time.
The first step in housetraining a rabbit is to provide a litter tray in an area where your rabbit can easily access it. If your rabbit is older than two years, you should provide a separate area for your rabbit to use the litter box. If your rabbit is younger, you can confine it in a large cage or exercise pen. Make sure you provide a litter tray for them to use. Once your rabbit is consistently using the litter box, you can increase the size of their area.
Protecting them from predators
One of the biggest dangers to rabbits is outdoor cats and dogs. If you find a rabbit in your yard, it is best to take it to a licensed veterinarian or wildlife rehabilitator for immediate care. Once it is indoors, bring it back outside to a safe place to avoid further risk to your rabbit. Otherwise, you risk scaring off the rest of your rabbit’s family. Listed below are tips for protecting your bunny from predators.
Rabbits are naturally nocturnal creatures, so be sure to eliminate any standing water or food scraps. Use motion-detecting lights to keep predators away. Sprinklers can be used to scare predators away as well. You can also place plants that emit an unpleasant scent in their area to keep them away. A large garden shed will also do the trick. Make sure to check your rabbits several times a day to prevent them from being tempted by predators.
Keep a fence around your rabbit’s hutch. This will keep raccoons away from your bunnies. Raccoons have a strong thumb, so they will likely pounce on your pet rabbit if it finds it. Don’t forget to keep your rabbit’s home free from garbage and compost, as they are also predators. Protecting your rabbits from raccoons is an easy way to protect them and make them safe.
Costs of raising a rabbit
While raising rabbits can be very profitable, they don’t thrive in a factory farm environment. Even on large farms, they’re processed at around five pounds live weight. That means a frying rabbit will have three to five pounds of meat per carcass. While this doesn’t sound like much, you’ll soon discover that raising a rabbit is a great hobby that pays off in the long run.
Other costs of keeping a rabbit include food, bedding, and chew toys. Rabbit care is quite extensive and can be extremely costly, even when you’re only raising a small pet. Depending on the type of food you give your rabbit, the costs can easily exceed $40 a month. However, if you’re determined to keep your rabbit as a pet, there are many ways to cut down on costs.
An indoor rabbit enclosure is significantly cheaper than an outdoor one, and can include a litter box, food dish, and water. An indoor rabbit enclosure can cost anywhere from $50 to a few hundred dollars, depending on the size of your home and other factors. Premium housing will add to the overall cost of raising a rabbit. In most cases, you won’t have to pay the adoption fee. A typical rabbit adoption fee is $35-$50.