Thursday, July 18, 2024
Rabbits

Management Practices in Rabbit Husbandry

Many skills are needed if rabbit husbandry is to be successful. Observation, examination, record keeping, hutch design, building and siting, food identification, selection, production and storage, good management practices etc. are all part of the skills needed for a successful operation.

Rabbit Husbandry Skills

1. Observation

This means not only looking but bearing in mind. It is an important ability for all animal keepers. It depends on the rabbit keeper having real curiosity and compassion for the rabbits.

It is a talent that comes with practice but can be developed with the help of questions to be used each time you visit the rabbit unit.

Questions like is everything the same as the last time I came? Are the hutches as normal? Is there any food left? Are there any signs of blood? Is the fence wire coming loose? Is there lots of hair in the hutch, suggesting moulting?

This questions are only a guide; you may ask yourself as many questions as you can with the aim of identifying any anomaly or problems.

2. Rabbit Examination

Rabbit examination is required after a new rabbit is being bought or rabbits are being checked prior to selection for breeding in rabbit farming business.

Examine for the following: Does it look healthy? Is its head on one side? Is it isolating itself from the other rabbits? Are there scabs on the skin? Are the nostrils clear or running with other fluid? Are the hard faeces normal? Are there any sores in the ears? Is the gait normal? How is the weight compared with the age?

3. Weighing

This is done to check on their growth and their general condition. Rabbits can be weight by two methods: either by the use of a pan-scale or a spring balance.

4. Nail Trimming

Rabbit’s nails need to be trimmed from time to time because rabbits in hutches do not wear down the nails on their feet by burrowing or running about.

The nails can scratch the keeper, and can injure the rabbit too. A pair of sharp scissors or human nail clipper can be used to trim the nails.

Read Also : The Different Breeds and Classification of Rabbits

Rabbit Husbandry

5. Identification

This is a way and means of recognizing one’s animals (rabbits) and differentiating between one’s animals (rabbits) from another farmer’s own and differentiating between individual animals (rabbits).

There are several methods employed to achieve this; Writing in the ear. Labels, Ear-notching.

6. Writing in the Ear

For rabbits that has light-colored skin in its ear, a colored or indelible pen can be used to write a number inside the ear. This will last a week and will have to be renewed regularly.

7. Labels

With care labels or leg bands can be fitted around the back leg of a rabbit for identification. These labels are hand made from in or plastic. Care should be taken to avoid injury or cutting.

8. Ear-Notching

This means clipping little pieces out of the rabbit’s ears at different places, to indicate different numbers.

Notching is a permanent and effective method but requires a special notching instrument a livestock officer will assist the rabbit keeper.

9. First Aid

Occasionally rabbits may suffer from injuries caused by fighting or by sharp edges on wire floors or on feeders.

It is important to treat these injuries as soon as possible, to prevent them from becoming more serious. First aid involves several steps as follows: Cleaning the injury with antiseptic solution; Drying; Treating with antiseptic cream; and Protecting from further injury and infection.

It can be helpful to have a first aid box. This could include the following items: A bowl for holding antiseptic solution, A clean cloth, Antiseptic concentrate, Antiseptic cream, Cotton wool, Scissor or razor blade, Bandage, and A syringe for dosing medicine.

In summary, skills needed for a successful rabbit operation therefore include observation, examination, record keeping, hutch design, building and siting, food identification, selection, production and storage, and good management.

Observation is a skill that comes with practice but can be developed with the help of questions to be used each time you visit the rabbit unit.

Rabbit examination is required after a new rabbit is being bought or rabbits are being checked prior to selection for breeding.

Weighing is done to check on their growth and their general condition. Rabbits nails need to be trimmed from time to time.

Read Also: The Right Foods for Exercise

Agric4Profits

Benadine Nonye is an agricultural consultant and a writer with several years of professional experience in the agriculture industry. - National Diploma in Agricultural Technology - Bachelor's Degree in Agricultural Science - Master's Degree in Science Education - PhD Student in Agricultural Economics and Environmental Policy... Visit My Websites On: 1. Agric4Profits.com - Your Comprehensive Practical Agricultural Knowledge and Farmer’s Guide Website! 2. WealthinWastes.com - For Effective Environmental Management through Proper Waste Management and Recycling Practices! Join Me On: Twitter: @benadinenonye - Instagram: benadinenonye - LinkedIn: benadinenonye - YouTube: Agric4Profits TV and WealthInWastes TV - Pinterest: BenadineNonye4u - Facebook: BenadineNonye

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