Healthy low-fat, low cholesterol
Replace any recipe that requires chicken with rabbit.
Minimal space or equipment. Not a huge cash outlay to set up
Any chicken recipe
Do not cook quickly as it toughens the meat. THe older it is the longer/slower you cook it. Cook from room temp and wrap in foil or baste to aoid it drying out
New Zealand White
Standard Chinchilla or Silver Fox
What to ask when choosing a rabbit
What have they been fed? Quality pellets with 16-18% protein so they will grow to their full potential and produce the best young.
How have they been housed? Off the ground has less chance of parasites and diseases
Litter size – 4 kits or less and the trait could be passed on via the buck or the doe.
Pure or Crossbreed? Crossbreeds have no guarantee of what you will get.
Any deaths in the last 3 months.?
Photos of Rabbitry – May not be able to access due to RCD but photos to see if the hutches are clean.
- Ears clean – no build up
- Feet clean – no sores or wounds
- Coat – no dandruff or mites
- Back – decent cover of meat
- Eye – clear
- Nose – clean and dry
- Inside front legs by feet – no wet or Crusty Build up
- Ass – clean – no sign of diarrhea
- Teeth – Meet up
Quarantine new rabbits fro a month
Feed high quality rabbit pallets at least 16% protein
Treat for worms and parasites (then every 3 months)
RCD vaccinations in breeding pairs
Never use fresh hay – 3 month old hay as RCD can live on hay. RCD will kill within 24 hours
RCD rabbit calicivirus disease also known as RHD rabbit hemorrhagic disease. Vaccine is not 100%. If contracted mortality occurs within 24 hours. Highly contagious. Pro-grass is cheap feed
Set up costs are higher
Cages 600mm deep. Make doors are large as possible or opening roof.
SPCA recommend cage should be large enough for a rabbit to hop 3 consecutive hops across, lay stretched out, stand up with its ears up. 1000x600x450 means the rabbits can sit with ears up
Walls/roof/doors – 20mm melded mesh. Rabbits can chew through chicken wire
Shade and shelter
Keep cage dry
Inspect once a week.
On Grass Hutch
Outdoors – Mesh Floor
Indoors – Solid Floor (shavings on ply)
Indoor – Mesh Floor
Still outside stomping through mud in winter to get to cages.
Tray – tray can get heavy – hard to slide out. Will need to be cleaned daily
Slide – regular cleaning of slide so it does not block.
|A playpen is handy for on grass time however bunnies will need supervision. and again spots need to be moved.|
4mm plywood and 10-15mm plywood
Door opening is traced from a paint tin 10cm off the floor
Good size to fit all breeds
Door designed so kits will not be dragged out. kits will not be able to get out till week 3
Flooring – could be plywood but will need to be sealed well as it can become urine soaked, smelly, harbour parasites.
Feet may get sore from wet/damp wood.
Mesh is more common. 10mm welded square 0.8mm or 1mm gauge. Thinner gauge may need to have supports added at 400mm. Thinner wire also runs the risk of cutting feet
Rex has thinner fur on feet so plywood floor is a better option
Other Rex necessities: deep shavings on the floor
Water bottles – refill regularly and check that ball bearing is not stuck
If cages are in a shed – consider running tubing lines from a large bucket. Clean water regularly
D cups are handy as they can be used in transport cages
Feed hoppers if cages are inside.
Place food in nesting box to keep it dry and kits will be able to start eating earlier.
if second hand cages disinfect well before use. Virkon S – is a multipurpose virucidal disinfectant
Encephalitozen cuniculi – protozoal parasite that infects rabbits. Can be passed to humand. Symptoms – eye disease – cataracts or lens rupture. Head tilt and neurological symptoms such as weak legs. Urinary incontinence. Kidney disease
14 gauge wire cages
NZ white, california, English for meat
Fresh water at all times
Start with 2 females and 1 male