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Rabbit production is a lucrative venture practiced around the world: it is postulated that rabbits have been domesticated in AD 600 by French monks.
Little is known about the origin and evolution of rabbits, as their bones are quite small, fragile and often destroyed or rearranged by predators in the wild. Fossil records trace rabbits to have existed 45 million years ago and hypothesize their origin in Spain, Portugal and southern France.
Hence, bringing us to today’s gist on factors that may hinder a successful rabbit production.
Prolific rabbit breeds
Belgian Hare Rabbit
Blanc de Hotot
Checkered Giant Rabbit
Common outputs of rabbit production
- Meat production, a delicacy in most countries
- Wool, pelt and fur in the production of luxurious garments
- Medical use in laboratories
- As pets at homes
- Entertainment shows
Factors to consider in rabbit production
Set up a rabbitry.
A Rabbitry is a place where rabbits are kept. Therefore, an ideal setup is often advisable. A Rabbitry that has good ventilation during summer months and well-structured, to still house rabbits in winter. Good ventilation is known to stifle respiratory diseases in rabbits. Despite the cost involved, it would yield good profits for a rabbit keeper.
Make sure feed and water are available.
Just like all other domesticated species, it is mandatory to avail clean water and feed for your rabbits. However, depending on feed resources in your area, commercial pellets, natural grazing and other sources of supplements or treats like carrots are good for rabbits. An illustrated example would be a movable cage or crate around a lucerne field. Rabbits graze in these enclosures, making rearing much easier. Movement around the crates or cages is not restricted.
Monitor Heat stress.
Rabbits tend to thrive well in temperate areas. Therefore, rabbit keepers are often cautioned to minimize heat stress, especially in different Rabbitry setups around the world.
Rabbit Health and common diseases.
Rhinitis commonly known as snuffles is the inflammation of the nose lining. It is a contagious and quite prevalent disease in rabbits that can be caused by a range of bacteria such as Pasteurella multocida and Bordetella bronchiseptica. Characterized by frequent sneezing, nasal discharge and staining of the front paws. Immediate isolation of rabbits with snuffles is advisable. It can be treated with a range of antibiotics.
Snuffles may gradually develop into pneumonia if unnoticed. Pneumonia is the inflammation of lung tissue, which results in a reduction of oxygen uptake in the bloodstream. Most rabbits succumb to pneumonia and eventually die
Animal welfare in rabbit production.
Humane handling of rabbits, availability of water and feed are components of animal welfare.
Visitations and assistance from veterinarians from time to time is advisable and ensures the smooth running of rabbit production.
Confinement in cages is discouraged, as rabbits need to freely move in rabbitries.