Friday, May 24, 2024
Rabbits

Principles of Housing and Sanitation for Rabbits

The underlying principle of housing for rabbit is that housing accommodation should protect stock from predators, extreme climate, accidents and injuries. It should also aid comfort, and reproductive wellbeing of the rabbits and conveniently permit all operations to be carried by the husbandman.

In its characteristics habits rabbit houses may be sited close to human habitation because rabbits are not noisy and their faeces are not stenchy-like in poultry and piggery.

Rabbit houses ought to be a simple, cheap labour saving and easy to operate without compromising adequate ventilation and convenience of stock and workers.

Specific designs of rabbit houses vary from one location, climate, scale of operation and investment to another.

Materials for construction also determine the durability of the houses and their facilities. Rabbit hutches or cages have been recommended to measure 0.9-1.2 m in length, 0.6-0.9 m in width and 0.6 m in heights with a clearance from the ground level of 1m.

Principles of Housing and Sanitation for Rabbits

In principle a breeding doe or buck should be provided with 0.09 m2 floor spaces for each 0.5 kg body weight. In another words, 5 kg live weight doe would require 0.9 m2 of floor space for its convenient accommodation.

The type of flooring installed in rabbitry, influences the easy and frequency of cleaning of the cage. Wire mesh flooring is widely used where self-cleaning hutches are desired.

Other types of flooring are solid and slat flooring or their combination with wire mesh flooring.

Where solid flooring is installed slanting of the floor and frequent cleaning to remove urine, faeces and left-over of feed stuff on the floor is suggested.

Slat flooring requires that hard wood slats are spaced closely to avoid trapping of rabbit feet in between slats.

It is advisable to double wire mesh at base of hutches to avoid trapping of feet, breaking by predators or weakened by urine.

Provision of component facilitates such as nesting box, feeder, waterer, rack for forage and saltlick are important consideration for the construction of a rabbit hutch.

Different materials ranging from metal sheets, wood, concrete, mud, plastic to earthen pots are commonly in use.

The choice of material depends on capital, labour and preference of the owner. Rearing of rabbits in colony cage ranges from 0.37 to 0.55 cm2 for a cage. Colony or cage rearing is often used for raising young rabbits especially for meat production. A space of 60 x 43cm types of housing are briefly described as follows:

1. Rabbit Pens

These are partitions in housing where rabbits are kept on concrete floor surrounded by wire mesh, wooden or concrete wall. All components facilities are placed on the floor for easy

access by the rabbits.

Note that matured rabbit reared as replacement stock are not suitable for this type of housing.

Read Also: Disease Prevention and Health Management for Rabbits

2. Paddocks

These are fenced area in fields where rabbits are allowed to freely graze on the growing vegetation; portable hutches are usually placed within the fenced area to provide

accommodation for the rabbit while they remain in the area or at night.

3. Underground Housing

This type of housing permissible for rabbit to create a natural mode of living similar to condition in the feral state. However, concrete flooring must be provided beneath the underground to prevent rabbit burrowing to escape.

Rabbit burrows into the underground where they live most part of the day but occasionally come up to the surface to feed and drink. Both the top and underground spaces are fenced to avoid escape.

4. Portable Hutches

These are light movable hutches to accommodate and transfer hutches from one point to another usually in the backyard where rabbits can be grazed on vegetation or in paddocks.

5. Nesting Boxes

Nesting boxes are special housing facilities designed to accommodate the dam and the kittens prior to kindling and during the period of nursing to weaning. They provide convenient place for kindling for the breeding doe and prevent kittens from wandering away from their source of warmth and suckling.

Cushioning materials such as succulent hay, cotton wool, shredded paper or hair are provided by doe or rearer to aid survival of the kittens at their early life.

Ease of attention and disposal of dirt for a clean environment should form a strong consideration for a choice of accommodation for rabbit.

Read Also: Simple Principles of Housing and Sanitation for Rabbits

Agric4Profits

Benadine Nonye is an agricultural consultant and a writer with over 12 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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