Today we are going to discuss about the considerations and requirements for rabbit housing. But first let us give more insight about rabbit housing including their different type of hutches: the indoor rabbit hutch or the outdoor rabbit hutch.
Introduction to Rabbit Housing
Good rabbit housing for rabbit farming is very important. because rabbits always stays in their house. As the rabbits can’t tell you about their problems and needs in housing so you have to fulfill all their requirements in housing.
It would be better for commercial rabbit farming if you build an enclosed building which has the proper management of ventilation, cooling, heating and lighting systems. Care more about heating and ventilation systems because rabbit can’t tolerate extreme chance of temperature.
Inside the rabbit house good ventilation is very important. Ensure entrance plenty of fresh air without any draft. Draft is very harmful for rabbit. Because a draft may cause colds and the rabbits can get infected by pneumonia. Make a drain inside the house. If possible make proper use of natural shade and prevent excessive winds.
Make a fence around the house area to keep the rabbit free from other harmful animals. Keep different aged rabbit separately because they often fight with each other and injure themselves. Sometimes they kill or injure the younger.
Rabbit house needs more carefully protected during winter season and cold areas than those in milder areas. For controlling excessive hot and cold, make the house with insulated roofs.
Insulated roofs helps to reduce excessive heat in summer season and winter condensation. In bellow zero climates supplemental heat may necessary for sustained rabbit production. But it costs very high. Every house should have sufficient roof overhang for preventing the house from driving rain water.
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Make solid wall in windward and back side. Use an adjustable damper in the house. Open all the vents during summer season and close them partially in winter season. Use small adjustable center ridge ventilation and it will help to escape excessive moisture from the house.
Fan-type air controlling system is recommended for commercial rabbit housing. In this regard you can contact with a nearest extension poultry specialist or with your county extension agent.
Different types of cages can be used for rabbit farming. The design of the cages varies by the manufacturers and the breed which you want to raise. However if possible try to use metal cages. Because metal cages helps to prevent unsanitary condition. Which can occurs many health problems.
The floor of the cage should be made of 0.5-by-1 inch mesh. And 1-by-2 inch mesh for the top and side. In single layers the cages hanging from the ceiling is very easy to manage for the farmer. Every adult does and bucks should keep in individual cages. Every single cages should be at least 30 inches deep, 20 inches high and 30 inches wide.
This measurement can be different according to the breeds. Non breeding does, angora, small does and castrated bucks may be kept in one house in a small group. In the outside of the cage every cage should have attached hopper of feed and a watering system. Keep some straw or this types of materials in the cages of doe during their delivery time and winter season.
Always maintain a sanitary operation. This types of tasks will help for preventing diseases. Porous pits bellow the cages with layers of gravel, drainage tile and sand are the best waste management methods. Earth and concrete floors can be used. But it needs to clean frequently.
Keep a concrete walkways between the cages. It will help to remove accumulated manure. Clean the manure at least once a month. Clean and sanitize the cages after every use. Burn the hair from the cages. Keep the newly bought rabbit separately. Because they may infected by disease or carry the germ of disease or misbehave with others.
Light is a very essential elements for rabbit. Moderate light management helps the rabbit to grow well and it is very essential for their breeding. Always use 12 hours lighting and 12 hours darkness period to keep them productive and breeding well.
Under the hutches of rabbit worms can be raised. It is possible in both indoor and outdoor operations if the climate become moderate. Spilled feed and manure of rabbit will be consumed by the worms. This system can be an extra income source. Composted manure of rabbit can be used as fertilizer in the crop fields.
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(1) They should stretch out fully when lying down, with secure living environment, exercise and stand up right ears not touching the roof.
(2) Rabbits are prey species so need a hide in secure places, protection from predators and extreme weather.
(3) Ensure well ventilation.
(4) Regularly clean their housing.
(2) Confining and keep them from escaping.
(3) Protection from predators.
(4) Protection from adverse weather.
(5) Easy access to the manager.
(6) Easy to clean or self cleaning.
(7) Reasonable cost, durable and easy to maintain.