Better management of your rabbits means keeping up a good habitat for owners of both pet and show rabbits. Good management techniques are one of the essential squares in Purina’s 4-Square Philosophy for Success in raising rabbits. With research and suggestions from rabbit owners and breeders across the nation, Purina has defined quick tips for management practices.
1. To decrease disease problems, do not overcrowd your rabbitry.
2. Having a good sanitation program is one of the most important things you can do to keep your rabbits healthy.
3. Use a disinfectant such as bleach to clean the pens, but wash it off after several minutes. It is recommended that a disinfectant like bleach have a 15-minute exposure time for proper disinfection.
4. Have a program in place to keep the rabbitry free of pests and rodents such as flies, spiders, mice and rats.
5. Haul the rabbit droppings away from the rabbitry so flies do not find the rabbitry as easily. Droppings make great compost for vegetable and flower gardens.
6. Have a weekly cleaning plan, and stick with it year round.
7. Keep animals out of direct sunlight, as rabbits cannot tolerate the heat, and the sunlight will fade their coats.
8. If you provide proper housing, good ventilation, maintain sound genetics, keep good records, have a sound nutritional program, have a good sanitation program, a good pest control program, and isolate sick or new stock, then you increase the chances of having a fun and healthy rabbitry.
9. Provide fresh feed and water each day to every rabbit. Dispose of old feed that remains in the feeder or feed bowl, so each rabbit has clean feed each day. Wash each water bowl daily to decrease buildup of algae.
10. Do not house male rabbits together once they reach sexual maturity since they will fight.
11. Female rabbits can be housed together in small groups and will usually not fight.
12. In hot weather, frozen plastic bottles can be placed in the cage to help keep the rabbit cooler.
13. Aluminum cans and small pieces of untreated wood can be placed in the cage for toys.
14. Do not make the nest box too big or the doe will use it for a bedroom and a bathroom. The nest box should only be big enough for the doe to get in and take a rest and then get out.
15. If a resting board is provided as a place for the rabbit to sit off the wire, then the board should be cleaned and disinfected at least twice each week or as needed to decrease disease problems.
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