We all know this has long become a winged expression "Rabbits - it's not only valuable fur ...", but even to get this fur, not to mention 3-4 kilograms of dietary digestible meat, it is necessary to make a lot of efforts.
What is the true value of rabbits?
These cute animals are considered the most profitable because of their early maturity and the rate of reproduction. They can be safely maintained at home. Think about it: only one rabbit can produce offspring of 25-30 eared heads per year, the total weight of which is about 1 centner! What to say about the benefits of rabbit meat - it is recommended to include in the diet of children and adults, patients (especially those who complain about problems with the stomach and liver) and healthy. It is impossible not to remember the skins of these rodents, which are so widely used for sewing clothes and accessories. A carefully crafted by modern methods rabbit fur can easily be confused with a much more expensive material.
It is for these reasons that rabbit breeding has become very popular in our country. But often it happens that poor animals become only amusing toys in the hands of inexperienced owners who do not even have a clue about the content of such pets. A true rabbit breeder should know literally everything about these animals, in particular, how to properly care for, breed, than you can, and what you can not feed rabbits. In this article we will talk about the contents of such an economy in the winter.
Evaluate your strengths
Let's say at once: before you buy the first rabbit, objectively evaluate your abilities and desires. After all, the above-mentioned offspring will require from you more than 100 kg of hay, about 115 kg of all kinds of root crops (for example, potatoes) and a little less than half a ton of green grass. And then get a good look at what you can feed rabbits so that they grow up healthy.
Take into account the fact that your whole life will be spent in a cage, which you create, so it should be as convenient as possible.
General principles of housing arrangement
So, it will be right to equip your rabbits so that its so-called facade would appear on the southeast side. Thus, direct sunlight will not come here, which these rodents do not like, but they will have access to such morning rays that are useful for them. Such security does not mean that rabbits should be grown in the shade - a moderate amount of daylight kills harmful microbes in animal houses, allowing them to always remain dry. In addition, under the influence of the sun, the animal's organism produces an optimal amount of vitamin D2, which promotes rapid growth.
It is generally believed that the rabbit needs very little space for normal life, it all depends on the breed:
- For animals of small breeds there is 0.5 sq.m;
- The average breed can be limited to 0.75 square meters per head;
- Large breeds need at least 1.25 sq.m. Area.
Cells of the required size can be installed in several floors, usually a rabbit - a three-tier structure.
How to insulate a house for a fox?
Small rabbit farms are usually equipped with simple rabbitries, made of pile- shaped boards (although log quality constructions are considered to be the most qualitative ones). Such shelters require additional warming in the winter. This can be done by filling the space between the walls with natural heat insulators. Most often used are some twigs or sheets, straw, moss, etc. If the weather conditions in your region are quite severe, then it is desirable to trim the outer sides of the cells.
For a covering sheet iron is used or, as it still names, only, which has excellent waterproofing characteristics. The sheets of this material should be laid horizontally and overlap so that rainwater does not leak inside.
Proper breeding of rabbits in winter provides for mandatory warming of the bottom of cells, which is often done from the grid. In this case, you need to build a kind of pallet with a slope in the center, which will get waste of livelihood of animals, and only then lay a protective layer of insulation material.
Cells must be well ventilated, therefore, holes must be made in their lower and upper parts through which air is drawn in and extracted. To keep rabbits in winter comfortable, these holes must be equipped with valves and in case of severe colds, close them.
Cells can be either single or double. To breed in the cold months, the bottom of these rabbits should be insulated with straw, and the mesh doors covered with protective wooden doors.
How to decorate a rabbit's home?
As we have already said, rodents need daily comfort. The main thing for them is food, so each cage needs to be equipped with a trough. For this purpose, you can use both improvised means, and special bunker devices, sold in pet stores. The latter are very convenient, because they can be filled with food only once a week. The principle of their work is quite simple: a hopper in the form of a funnel with a narrow hole at the bottom is covered with a loose fodder mixture, entering a kind of trough from which the rabbit eats. Such an uncomplicated mechanism allows the owners not to worry about the satiety of their dependents for a long time, therefore it is optimal for use on large farms.
As self-made feeders you can use ceramic vessels or cans with low edges, in the center of which you need to fix a jar of smaller diameter. This design does not allow rabbits to climb into the feeder with their feet and stain the feed, which is especially useful when breeding young animals.
To breed rabbits in winter was more effective, the cells can be equipped with wooden nests or maternity booths. These are original boxes in height in 30-35 sm which corners are upholstered by metal angles (that the rodents did not grind their teeth about them). Similar designs can be made of both wood and polystyrene.
Water balance in the rabbit is a guarantee of his health. Lack of fluid can lead to serious deformations of the liver, kidney and spleen, problems with digestive processes and the level of reproduction.
Therefore, it is better to resort to the use of automatic drinkers, which will ensure uninterrupted access to water. Such an adaptation can be made by hand, filling a plastic bottle with water and turning it upside down so that the neck is at the bottom of a drinking vessel (for example, a can of suitable sizes). For water to flow for several days, use a 1-liter bottle, which can be easily attached to the cage by wire.
How to feed rabbits?
The daily diet of adults should be conducive to maintaining already acquired fatness. This means that you should not tolerate starvation or overfeeding. But to get a good and healthy offspring, before the start of the period of sexual activity, the intensity of bait can be strengthened, because the number of the brood and its quality directly depend on the amount of proteins and vitamins consumed. So at this time it is possible to give "farm" more grain (including germinated), bran, oilcake, grass meal. Such a range of food rabbits will be missed even more than. Feed the rabbit in winter and you can pine, spruce or juniper branches, limiting the daily dose of 200 grams. To ensure that such a food is well preserved in itself all vitamins, it should be kept in a dark room or directly under snow. Irreplaceable food for a rabbit may be a potato, which must first be thoroughly washed.
Rabbits do not refuse from the food prepared by the person: bread crumbs, cereals, soups. The main thing is that the dainties are not sour and not covered with mold. Bread is better to dry initially in the oven, and the remains of soups can be mixed with dry food. But it is better to limit animals to a daily dose of 200 g.
What to feed the rabbit in the winter during the mating season?
Winter has come, so it's time to cook the rabbits for mating. In this issue, not the least role is played by proper nutrition. Before you reduce a pair of mature rodents to produce offspring, it is better to feed them properly with sprouted grains that contain vitamin E, which is so valuable for the effective reproduction process. One person suffices up to 20 grams of feed per day. An alternative option is to add baker's yeast at the rate of 5-6 g per day for 5 days, after which you can make a small three-day break. Daily it is possible to mix salt in the feed: about 1.5 g are given to mature individuals, and 0.5 grams more for young. Rabbits also often practice mixing small amounts of chalk, bone or fish meal, food phosphates, etc. into food. In general, so that feeding rabbits in winter was optimal, you need to take into account their health, and then make up a daily diet.
The female suckers, who give most of all the nutrients they get into their bodies with food, give the rabbits, require more calories. Therefore, their daily menu should consist of protein products: up to 100 grams of oats, legumes and mixed fodder crops, up to 50 g of oilcake from sunflower and about 30 grams of soy. All sorts of mineral impurities and root crops will also be useful.
If you expect to replenish your household for the winter, it's worth considering how best to feed the rabbits in this case. Breastfeeding females in addition to regular food need products that promote lactation. The main components of the winter diet, containing milk substances, will be legumes, silage, dried herbs, etc. The most active period of feeding is the 20 th - 45 th day of lactation, when each baby needs 30 g more grain and 20 grams of hay from his mother.
How to grow an offspring?
To give a good start to a newborn, you need to know well what to feed the month-old rabbit. Born babies, who were excommunicated from the queens (this is most often done after the 30th day of life of rabbits), a lot of food does not require. But even the smallness that needs to be provided for should be very high-calorie. At this age, the digestive system of the young is not yet ready for coarse grain and vegetable feed, so the first few days after leaving the ears, you can give fresh milk, whey and special mineral top dressing.
Then you can gradually enter into the diet easily digestible foods, such as young grass, red carrots, boiled potatoes, not very coarse hay of cereals and legumes. Bone flour helps to gain weight in the winter. So, how much to feed a young rabbit with such food? One month old cubs require only 1 gr., Two months - 2 gr., And three-month - 4 gr. Of this flour.
What kind of herbs to prepare for the winter?
A good way to grow rabbits quickly is to feed it regularly. But if for any reason this is impossible, then there is a worthy alternative - herbal flour, which must be prepared in advance. To do this, the green grass should be thoroughly dried in the shade, and then folded into a bag of natural material so that it is not tampered with. The compacted plants are rapidly oxidized, so that the processes of destruction of carotene, the most valuable component of this food, are accelerated.
About what to feed domestic rabbits in the winter, you need to take care in advance, so prepare a good supply of hay from cereals and all sorts of herbs (preferably young ones that have not yet blossomed). Try not to use as a feed marsh or steppe grass - they will be very tough. Perfectly suitable straw from peas, oatmeal or apiaries.
Root crops - a source of vitamins in the cold months
In order not to ask constantly the question of what to feed the rabbit in the winter, take care of harvesting his favorite delicacy - carrots. If the harvest of this vegetable does not allow feeding it to the ears, you can replace it with Jerusalem artichoke or куузикой (a mixture of trout and stern cabbage).
Experienced breeders perfectly know how to feed rabbits with grain to maintain their fatness. Cereals are rich in all the necessary rodents components:
- Proteins, which are mainly concentrated in leguminous plants;
- Carbohydrates accumulated in cereals;
- Fats, the source of which are oil plants.
This type of feeding is especially important in winter, when there is a shortage of vitamins.
Do not forget that the rabbit organism also requires a certain schedule, so you need to feed it at about the same time. Thus you will do well to the animal, and the food will save.