Nutritionists recommend switching to dietary meat for those who suffer from cardiovascular diseases, as well as various deviations in the gastrointestinal tract. Rabbit meat not only contains a lot of useful substances, but is also easily digested, unlike pork or duck. Consequently, when it is used, the load on the heart, stomach and other organs is reduced. If the plot area allows, you can try to independently grow a rabbit for meat.
How to start breeding rabbits
The rabbit is not so popular animal in the household, as pigs, since the meat from them is much less. But the price of these animals is high enough to think about their breeding. Yes, and in the care they are not very whimsical, as it may seem at first glance.
First you need to choose a breed, since not all rabbits are suitable for breeding just for meat. After all, many are engaged in rabbit breeding because of their beautiful fur, used for finishing clothes and accessories. Well, if there are familiar breeders who can share the offspring of their animals. Otherwise, the search for a suitable breed will need to do it yourself.
Next you need to prepare a place to stay rabbits and take care of food and vitamins. The current ecology does not allow to do with one good food, as the animals are sick, like people. It is better to take care in advance of what vitamins and at what age it is better to give and where to get them.
What breeds of rabbits are suitable for breeding for meat
There are several popular breeds that are most suitable for home breeding. They have the characteristics that are important in the cultivation of rabbits for meat:
- rapid growth and weight gain;
- quite a large number of offspring;
- good adult weight.
The New Zealand white rabbit leads from 7 to 12 babies per okol. Already in three months, the baby's weight reaches three kilograms, and an adult animal can weigh about five. The New Zealand red rabbit has the same growth parameters, but there are usually no more than nine babies in the offspring.
Individual individuals of the Rizen breed can weigh up to 14 kilograms, but the average weight ranges from 7-9 kilograms. But breeds of rabbits with loud names White and Gray giants do not differ in such large size and rarely grow over 7 kilograms. But they perfectly adapt to the climate and do not require any special care.
The female California rabbit per year leads 30-35 young individuals. In addition, they have a rather dense and thick wool, which can be used in haberdashery. But on average, their weight is not more than five kilograms. The same characteristics of size and fertility has a French ram.
Rabbit meat breeds differ in the special structure of the legs, on which the pads are lowered. This allows them to comfortably move around the mesh floors. Early puberty allows such rabbits to quickly increase their numbers, and rapid growth guarantees a quick return on investment.
Device pens for rabbits
These animals can be kept both in closed pens and in individual cages. They tolerate a temperate climate. When arranging a closed rabbit, you need to calculate how many animals will be in the same pen, because infections are spreading quickly in crowded conditions, and rabbits do not grow well.
You also need to equip trays for food and water. Well, if the room will be a separate space where you can drive the rabbits to calmly clean the pen. You also need to ensure a constant flow of fresh air and the penetration of sunlight.
In the warm season, rabbits can be kept in mesh cages. But in the winter, individual cells should be insulated. The bottom flooring made of metal mesh is not recommended, as rabbits often develop trapmatitis. It is better to make the floor of wooden slats with a small gap so that waste products of animals do not accumulate inside the cage. It is also necessary to fix the water and food trays in them well, to ensure free access to them outside. For example, make folding doors to comfortably feed.
The young stock is kept together with the rabbit up to a certain age, therefore there must be a supply of cages for the rearing of mature animals. Juveniles are more active, therefore, the pens should be more free. When pregnant females are found, they should be immediately seated, and not waiting for the birth of the baby rabbits.
What to feed rabbits to get good meat
Regardless of the breed, the diet of rabbits is about the same. These animals are herbivores and, in principle, feed on most meadow plants. But without grain a lot of meat from a rabbit will not work. Therefore, it is necessary to take care of preparations for the winter in advance, so that by the spring the animals do not remain on the trimmed rations.
From spring, dried grass appears in the diet. It is better not to give fresh greens, as it is too heavy for digestion. In winter and autumn can be fed with hay. During the year, give pruning for at least 24 hours from cabbage, beets, carrots or apples. Also good is the Jerusalem artichoke and young vine from the grapes, which remains after pruning.
A nursing rabbit and a pregnant female should increase their diet by 10-15%. In winter, the standard nutrition of young stock should be added to the cake, boiled potatoes and bone meal. Concentrated feed allows you to grow a rabbit for meat in a few months. In this case, the mass fraction of such feed from the main ration should be about 50%.
Vaccination and treatment
Due to the constant appearance and mutation of various diseases, small rabbits need to be vaccinated. For these purposes, you can invite a specialist or learn how to vaccinate animals yourself. But without the advice of a veterinarian will be difficult to do. After all, a specialist is always aware of new products in the veterinary market and will advise on topical preparations.
For vaccination, it is better to use complex tools that protect against several diseases at once. If the offspring is large, it significantly reduces the time for the procedure. If a rabbit has symptoms of a disease from a common cell, it must be immediately transplanted into the infirmary cell to prevent the spread of a possible infection. And until his complete recovery, do not return to the rest of the crawl.
It is better to buy medicines in specialized veterinary pharmacies on the recommendation of the veterinarian who examined the sick animal. In any case, a rabbit with signs of illness cannot be eaten. Many diseases can be prevented by timely vaccination and a balanced diet with vitamin supplements.
Recommendations for raising rabbits for meat
In addition to the standard advice on home improvement for rabbits and their feeding, there are many more recommendations regarding the breeding of these animals for meat. This type of household has been around for a long time, so that some work and the secrets of successful rabbit breeding will appear.
Puberty in females begins at four months of age, but it is better to perform mating closer to five. This will give more chances for healthy and strong offspring. The weight of a young rabbit should be more than 2.5 kilograms, but obesity, too, should not be tolerated. After the first round, the females can already be sold for meat, but only after weaning. The optimal age for translation of rabbits is 40-45 days.
The young female is not distinguished by high milkiness, so it is not recommended to leave more than six rabbits under it. The optimal age for selling rabbits for meat is three to four months. Later their feeding is not profitable, as the weight is gained slowly, and the feed goes more and more. Moreover, the meat of a young rabbit is more tender and healthy.
Rabbit breeding is quite a promising area of domestic activity, subject to a responsible approach to business. Knowing the small secrets of experienced livestock breeders, one can soon receive the first profit on business development. To sell good fresh rabbit meat will not be difficult, because the popularity of diet food is growing, and the market in this direction is still not sufficiently secured.