A SINGLE RABBIT HUTCH SHOULD BE AT LEAST: LENGTH:3 1/2' - BREADTH:18"-HEIGHT AT FRONT:20" - HEIGHT AT REAR:18". Cage should be at least 2' off the ground to discourage predators. HALF-INCH hardware cloth seems to be best for these cages.
BREEDING HUTCH: 47" long x 23" deep x 22" high at the front x 20" at the rear. One third is to be used as the nesting quarters. If a hutch (enclosed housing) is not available, a nest box is essential. There are many different types of cages, it may be best to find a rabbitry and see firsthand what may work for your area and budget. Constructing cages of used lumber is a good way to defray costs.
SEXING: Hold the rabbit belly upwards, preferably on a flat surface, with it's hind legs spread apart. Apply pressure to either side of the vent until either the penis of the buck or the vagina of the doe is evident. This can be ascertained by size, a penis being longer than the same organ in the female. Also, the female organ has a prominent scrotum which is evident in the stage. IN NEWBORNS: It is possible to tell the females from the males by the presence of the small white spots which indicates teats in does.
FEEDING: I feed my adult rabbits about 4 oz. of rabbit chow per day and green food (alfalfa, hay, grass, etc.) once a week. Make sure rabbits always have plenty of fresh water daily. Pregnant and lactating does should have a constant supply of rabbit chow and whole oats. Also green food to enrich their milk.
BREEDING BASICS: Always bring the doe to the buck, he is more likely to perform better on his own turf. AGE: Do not breed younger than 5 months, can be bred for aprox. 3 years. Rabbits do not (come in heat) they will breed most anytime, especially between the months of February and September. Mating may be over in seconds. I leave my pairs together about 1/2 hour.
LITTERS: Limit 3 per year, 8 per litter is about all a doe will be able to care for.
GESTATION PERIOD: 31 days.
SIGNS OF PREGNANCY: Reintroduce doe to buck about two days after breeding if she is pregnant she will violently repel any advances from the male. Toward the end of gestation, you may be able to feel the litter by gently feeling the belly of the rabbit just front of the hind legs. Shortly before kindle, the doe may require more water than usual. A thirsty doe may kill her young. She may stop eating and her stools willl become softer. this is usual and will subside after birth.
NEEDS: Make sure the doe has plenty of hay or straw to make a nest within the nest box or hutch. A salt or mineral lick is good especially in hot weather. These are inexpensive and can usually be foumd at feed and seed stores. NEST BOX: 12" x 16" x 8".
A RAISED PLATFORM: 8" off the floor of the hutch at least 6" wide to allow the doe to get away from her young, thus preventing her from being oversuckled.
POST DELIVERY: Wait 24 hrs after birth before checking the litter for dead or deformed bunnies. Keep the doe supplied with plenty of food and water and disturb her as little as possible for the first week or so after kindling. Wait at least 3 weeks after weening to breed the doe again.
YOUNG: Will open their eyes in about 10 days. They should leave the hutch and begin to run around the cage in about 3 weeks. If they leave before then, it may be a sign that they aren't getting enough milk.
FEEDING: When the young start eating solid food( at between two and three weeks),give them a mixture of oats and rabbit chow (mostly oats)at first.Its is easier for them to digest.A yong rabbit eats more than an adult rabbit,so you may condirer morning and evening feedings if opssible.
WEANING JUIVENILES:TAke the mother from the litter when they are 6-7 weeks old.It is less stressful on the young if they remain in familiar surounds.The litter may remain together for 3 or four weeks until they are seperated for breeders or raised in a central cage for processing.Never mix litters as they may injure each other.
MALES:The best buck studs are those that are kept well away from the females and intoduced to them at 14 day intervals.Always look for traits in your breeding pairs you would want continued into the following generations.
LIFE SPAN:The average life span of a rabbit is about 5 years.Some have been known to live as long as 12 years when not used for breeding.
TERMS: BUCKS:male rabbit DOE:female rabbit KIT:newborn rabbit HERD:group of rabbits IN KINDLE:pregnant doe KINDLING:birth of kits