Rabbit breeding and keeping at home for beginners

Rabbit breeding and keeping at home for beginners

Before buying rabbits, you need to decide for what purpose they are planned to breed: for fur or meat. The selected breed must be suitable for the purpose. If a decorative pet living at home does not require large expenses, then industrial rabbit breeding will have to significantly spend money on arranging a rabbitry, food, vaccination, care and hygiene products, as well as spend a lot of time and effort.

Choice of breed for breeding

Beef rabbit breeding prevails, breeding of rabbits for the purpose of obtaining fur is not widespread.Rabbit meat is tasty, nutritious, easy to digest, suitable for diet food. Fur clothes and hats are sewn from skins, hoods and shoes are trimmed.


For breeding for meat the most popular breeds:

  • California rabbit;
  • New Zealand (red and white);
  • French ram;
  • Flanders.

These types of rabbits are characterized by rapid weight gain, breeding does not require large feed costs. By 4-6 months, a young individual weighs about 5 kg.

On skins

For breeding for skins choose breeds:

  • silver rabbit;
  • viennese blue;
  • black-brown;
  • Soviet chinchilla;
  • Russian stoat.

For meat and fur

Rabbit breeds popular for breeding for both fur and meat:

  • butterfly;
  • giant (white and grey);
  • chinchilla.

What to consider when buying

To successfully start a business from scratch, you should know what criteria to choose rabbits for breeding:

  • wool is smooth, shiny, without tangles and bald patches;
  • flexible torso, developed muscles;
  • back extended without sagging;
  • ears covered with short hair on the outside, light pink on the inside;
  • ear cartilage unbroken;
  • occlusion is correct, the upper jaw protrudes above the lower one;
  • eyes are clear, no redness, no discharge;
  • nose clean, cool and moist to the touch;
  • rabbit does not panic when a person approaches, behaves appropriately;
  • the area around the anus is clean, the hair is not stained with dried feces;
  • the belly is soft, seals are not palpable;
  • genitals are clean, no discharge, skin is pink.

To get he althy and purebred rabbits, you should buy from an experienced farmer who cares about his reputation.

Methods of content

The industrial breeding of rabbits requires not only a lot of money and labor, but also a large space: a farm, a summer cottage. They keep pets in closed rabbitries or in open cages, pits, aviaries.

Rabbits are indoors during the cold season, and in the warm months it is better to equip an outdoor area for them.


Cage equipment is the most convenient and common option of all possible methods of keeping rabbits. Its Benefits:

  • the ability to accurately dose feed;
  • ease of tracking the state of individuals;
  • exclusion of uncontrolled reproduction;
  • convenience of breeding, care, disinfection, vaccination.

Cages are convenient to keep in a barn, a specially built rabbitry, and even in a private house if there are few rabbits. Designs can be made portable so that animals can be taken out into the yard during the warmer months.

Rules for making cages at home for beginner farmers:

  1. The optimal cage size per individual is 1 m2.
  2. The cage should be divided into two sections: open and house.
  3. A mother liquor is placed in the cage of a pregnant rabbit - a box for rabbits measuring 50 × 30 × 25 cm, the diameter of the hole should be 18-20 cm.
  4. Partitions and doors make it easy to clean and disinfect cages.
  5. The rear and side walls of the cage are wooden, the front is mesh.
  6. Bottom made of wood or plastic, but not metal mesh, otherwise rabbits will cut their paw pads.
  7. A removable tray for urine and feces is installed under the floor of the cage.


To keep rabbits in conditions close to natural, they build aviaries.

Advantages of breeding under these conditions:

  • rabbit activity;
  • ensuring strong immunity;
  • low maintenance costs.

The aviary fence is buried in the ground by 60 cm, its height above ground level should be 1.5 m.For one individual, a space of at least 1 m is required 2 The fence is made of mesh, boards, slate plates. A canopy is installed above the enclosure to protect it from rain and sun.


The pit breeding option is chosen by farmers involved in rabbit breeding for the sake of getting meat. Breeding rabbits for fur in this way is unacceptable. Pits are made both in the country and in urban areas. The main thing is the low level of groundwater and soil without stones.

For breeding, 20 rabbits dig a hole 2 × 2 × 1 m. The floor can be left empty, or it can be covered with a net or boards, under which to make a slope for waste (or put a pallet). If the floor is left empty, it is lined with straw, which must be replaced regularly.

This method of breeding rabbits is convenient, but there are several significant disadvantages:

  • inability to control reproduction;
  • appearance of offspring with anomalies due to inbreeding;
  • gradual run wild of rabbits;
  • frequent fights between males.


It is convenient to breed rabbits in sheds - long sheds in which non-portable cages are placed in rows in several tiers. This method of breeding significantly saves space, due to which it is possible to grow a large number of individuals at the same time. Sheds are not heated during the warmer months, heating is required during the winter months.

Mini farms

Academician Igor Nikolaevich Mikhailov has developed designs that are convenient in the economy, where it is planned to breed large livestock. Spacious cages are installed in 2-3 tiers, accommodating 20-25 individuals. Cell Construction:

  • single roof;
  • mesh floor for the exit of feces and urine;
  • external gas exchange pipe;
  • insulated north wall;
  • south wall opening for ventilation.

To simplify the care of rabbits in cages, automatic systems for the supply of feed and water, and waste disposal are installed.

Nuances of care

Rabbits are sensitive to environmental conditions, they get sick if the farmer does not want to properly care for them, ignores the rules of hygiene. It is necessary to clean the rabbitry 2 times a week, change the bedding in the cage, disinfect equipment, wash drinkers and feeders daily, change water, remove rotten food and feces. It is better to use straw or sawdust as bedding.

Rabbits should be kept in a room where the temperature is from +18 to +20 °C, humidity is about 50%, good ventilation, but no drafts.

In the summer months, there is enough sunlight, and if the weather is clear, then a shade canopy is used. In winter, additional lighting sources are required.

Features of the diet for feeding

To grow he althy rabbits, you need to correctly compose a diet for them. It should be balanced and varied, including:

  • hay;
  • grass;
  • vegetables, root crops, twigs;
  • compound feed;
  • grain food.

Overfeeding rabbits is unacceptable. It leads to obesity, due to which animals become less active, give small offspring. In the cold period, rabbits are given more root crops and vegetables (zucchini, carrots, pumpkins, fodder beets, boiled potatoes) and silage. Hay and succulent plant foods should make up 30% of the diet, and compound feed and grain feed - 70%.

Don't feed rabbits:

  • beans;
  • nuts;
  • raw potatoes and food beets;
  • cabbage;
  • pasta and bakery products;
  • sweets;
  • meat and sausages;
  • waste from the master's table.

Mating, pregnancy and birth

Rabbits breed out of seasons. Due to their high fecundity, it is possible to breed a large livestock in a short time. In summer, the rabbit's estrus lasts 8-9 days, in winter - 5-6. Individuals are distributed so that the male covers 8 females.

A rabbit can mate 5 times during the year, give up to 40 cubs. There are 6-12 rabbits in a litter. A couple of days after giving birth, the female is ready for a new breeding.It is necessary to breed females that have reached the age of 5 months, and 7-month-old males. The female is placed in a cage with the male for 10-15 minutes.

Pregnancy lasts 28-30 days. A pregnant individual becomes aggressive, does not allow herself to be touched. The rabbit is carefully looked after, protected from stress, and the daily portion of food is increased. Before giving birth, the rabbit builds a nest of straw and fluff torn from her chest. It is not necessary to help the female in childbirth.

Raising young animals

Rabbits are born blind and naked, they begin to see after 10 days, and are covered with fur after a month. From the 3rd week of life, milk teeth begin to change into permanent ones.

Weighs a juvenile:

  • 50-60 years immediately after birth;
  • 80-120 g after 2 days;
  • 2-3 kg after 3-4 months.

Baby rabbits must not be touched until they are covered with fur, otherwise a nervous rabbit may destroy them.After 50-60 days from birth, the offspring are separated from the mother. Young rabbits should be grown in the same conditions as mature individuals. There should be plenty of space in the cage to keep pets active.

Methods for slaughtering rabbits

When breeding for meat, rabbits are slaughtered at 4 months of age. To obtain fur, the slaughter period is postponed to 6-7 months. There are several ways to slaughter:

  • mechanical (most common);
  • electric discharge;
  • French (vessel rupture);
  • using automatic pin;
  • embolism (introduction of air bubbles into a blood vessel);
  • neck twist.

With the mechanical method of slaughtering for meat or fur, a heavy object is struck with force on the forehead, nape or nose of an animal suspended upside down. The carcass is hooked onto a spacer, the skin is torn off, gutted, blood is released.

Rabbit diseases: symptoms and treatment

Rabbits are susceptible to many communicable and non-communicable diseases, of which the most commonly reported are:

  1. Pneumomycosis is a fungal pulmonary disease, accompanied by sneezing, difficulty breathing, yellowing of the mucous membranes. Associated with poor hygiene. There is no treatment, sick individuals are killed, cells are treated with formalin.
  2. Myxomatosis is a deadly viral disease, manifested by nodular formations on the head and in the genital-anal zone. Animals are vaccinated for prevention.
  3. Hemorrhagic viral disease is another incurable disease. Therefore, we must not forget about timely vaccination.
  4. Scabies, manifested by peeling of the skin. The affected body is smeared with turpentine. The cage is being disinfected.
  5. Bronchitis appears from temperature fluctuations and drafts. Suitable medicines are Brovaseptol, Tromexin, Brovaf.
  6. Helminthiasis occurs when hygiene is not observed. For treatment, the drug "Naftamon" is used.
  7. Conjunctivitis appears due to eye injuries or a deficiency of retinol in the rabbit's body.
  8. Mastitis in a nursing rabbit is manifested by hardening and redness of the nipples, the appearance of sores. The disease is serious and should be de alt with by a veterinarian.

To prevent a possible epidemic, the purchased rabbit is kept in quarantine for 3 weeks.

Mistakes of inexperienced farmers

Beginning farmers make primitive mistakes in breeding rabbits, because of which the business collapses. You cannot do the following:

  • forget about hygiene in the rabbitry;
  • place cages in heat and draft;
  • ignore vaccinations and preventive visits to the vet;
  • give rabbits food without checking for poisonous herbs (euphorbia, bindweed, tansy, larkspur, hemlock, wild garlic, Datura);
  • ignore the underdevelopment of the maternal instinct in the rabbit (females who refuse offspring, devouring it, are not allowed to breed).

Also, a novice farmer must take into account the moral side of breeding rabbits. Not everyone will be able to kill animals, gut them. You can entrust this business to another farmer, but then the cost of production will increase, which will negatively affect the profitability of the business.

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