Small country domestic realities may be interested inraise rabbitsfor the self-consumption of meat. Speaking of small numbers, thebreederit will tend to guarantee the good quality of the meat produced by abandoning all the techniques used in intensive farming where speed of production and quantity are preferred. The smallrabbit breederhe will have to aim to cycle the activity following a weekly calendar where the same work will be carried out on different days of the week (one day dedicated to cleaning, one to well-being, checks for new births ...). Today we will see justhow to raise rabbitswith easy systems forto start!
Forstart a rabbit farm, the first thing to do is to select the breeds. For family consumption we recommend the choice ofrabbitsresistant to diseases, you can choose pure breeds or a cross between different pure breeds which will bring more advantages. The best breeds for rural farming?
- Champagne silver plated
Native to France, this breed reaches a weight of around 5 kg with a yield of around 60 percent. The male of this breed can be mated with a female of Burgundy Fawn.
- Vienna blue
The Austrian breed, like the French, has a yield of about 60 percent and the weight of the adults is around 5 kg. In this case, the recommended mating sees the Viennese Blue female with the Burgundy Fawn male.
Those who prefer smaller breeds, the Californian reaches a weight ranging between 3.5 and 4.5 kg. The Burgundy Fawn breed reaches a weight of 4.5 kg while the Belgian hare does not exceed 3.5 - 4 kg. Among the largest and most suitable rabbit breeds for small rural farming is the piebald giant which weighs more than 6 kg as an adult!
To read the complete list of all breeds of rabbits you can read our dedicated article.
The space and numbers of the farm
Based on the space available, you can decide the number of animals to be reared, respecting a proportion of 2 males for every 10 females so that each female can mate up to 5 times a year. Choose whether to start abreedingin a closed cage, in a mobile cage outdoors or whether to raise rabbits in a natural way by setting up fences. In any case, you will need to set up a breeding space using nest cages, natural spaces or nest boxes.
L'feeding the rabbit
As for nutrition, hay must make up 70-80% of the rabbit's ration. For rabbits, grass is an excellent element, the ideal would be to mix meadow hay and alfalfa hay in the ratio 2: 1. Other quality foods are dry bread (a couple of pieces a day), garden products with some exclusions such as potatoes and tomatoes, carrots, fennel, celery, cabbage, spinach, lettuce and aromatic herbs (with exclusion of parsley for pregnant females). Fruit is also fine, indeed, bananas are particularly useful in summer because they are rich in sugar!