To be successful as a rabbit breeder and grower you must first remember the 5 – P’s. Prior, Planning, Prevents, Piss poor, Performance.
Rabbits come in all colors and sizes from the tiny Britannia Petite and the Netherlander Dwarf @ 1.1 pounds to the Flemish Giant and Spanish Giant @ 15 or more pounds.
New Zealand white @ 9 – 12 pounds and the Californian @ 9 – 10 pounds are good choices for producing fryers.
Cages or Hutches? If you plan on having more than 2 rabbits, hutches are not very cost effective. On the other hand caged rabbits will need protection from Hot, Rainy or Cold weather conditions. A hutch provides fairly good protection from predictors, hot, wet and cold weather conditions. Face your hutch to the southeast or the east. Most places severe weather generally comes from either the north or from the west/southwest.
Cages on the other hand must be kept under over head cover or in a structure you renovate or build to accommodate your rabbit flock.
Mississippi State University said Things to consider when building rabbit facilities
Heat may be your worst enemy. Rabbits do not cope well in temperatures above 90 degrees and in high humidity. Their fur coat does not easily allow them to radiate body heat. Ideal temperatures for rabbits range from 50 to 60 degrees F. When breeding rabbits during the summer months, it is best to implement a cooling system that will allow your flock to successfully increase.
Heat stress can cause temporary sterility in bucks. As a result of heat, does may not reproduce. Instead they could miscarry, abort their young, ignore the newborn, or deliver outside the nest box on the wire floor rather than in the next box. Rabbits also can die from heat stress that can result in high mortality rates. However, heat stress can be prevented through methods that are fairly inexpensive and can be readily implemented.
Fans are one option for keeping rabbits comfortable during the summer heat. To avoid stressing the rabbits, do not allow the fans to blow directly on them. Instead, hang the fans above the rabbit cages and direct them to keep air moving above the cages; this not only will help the rabbits cool off, but also it will repel diseased flies. Many rabbit farmers prefer box fans only a slight movement of air is necessary. Ceiling fans are also a good choice.
If you have freezer space, empty soft drink bottles filled with frozen water can provide a primitive air conditioner for your rabbits. Be sure to remove the paper off the bottle before putting it in with your rabbits. Once your rabbits become familiar with their individual bottles, they will lean against them for relief. However! Implementing this on a daily basis can be time consuming since it requires refreezing the bottles each night.This is an efficient, affordable method and will increase your rabbits’ survival rate, increasing your rate of successful breeding and kindling.
It is essential to minimize stressing your rabbits that lowers your rabbits’ immune systems, making them more susceptible to illness. You may successfully breed rabbits from June through August as long as you implement a plan to keep them comfortable. Failure to do so will result in disappointment, frustration, a high mortality rate, and financial losses.
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