Novice rabbit breeders often have questions about keeping rabbits in their personal household: is it necessary to build mini-farms for rabbits or can they be placed in an ordinary barn, is it not harmful for animals to live in the open air all year round, or is it better to keep them in a specially equipped rabbitry?
Should you keep rabbits without cages?
Most of the questions disappear by itself, it is worth visiting the rabbit nursery and see what conditions the eared ears are in. As a rule, nurseries with a good reputation follow the basic rules for keeping rabbits, because the health and appearance of animals depends on this.
Rabbit enclosures are significantly less expensive than making individual cages
The previously popular cell-free content is now not credible for most rabbit breeders, as it has many disadvantages:
- if the rabbits live together, it becomes simply impossible to control their reproduction, as a result, due to close family ties, the breed degenerates;
- with acellular content, food and water become polluted faster, it is more difficult to keep the litter clean, as a result, such unsanitary conditions lead to the spread of infectious diseases;
- it is more difficult to carry out medical measures and monitor the health of pets, in the event of a dangerous disease, the entire herd may die;
- due to increased activity in rabbits living in open-air cages, the meat is tougher and coarser than that of those living in cages, in addition, the carcasses of caged rabbits differ from those in open-air cages in a more pleasant pale pink color, for which they are more appreciated on the market.
Of course, rabbit enclosures are much cheaper than making individual cages, but in the end, cage-free keeping is less cost-effective. If you are not interested in rabbit breeding as a business, it is quite possible to try cell-free keeping, especially since it greatly facilitates caring for animals.
Video about a mini-farm for rabbits
Cages with queen cells and sheds for rabbits with external cells
Keeping rabbits on the street all year round helps to increase the breeding and productive qualities of animals, strengthen immunity and improve hair. When breeding rabbits for personal needs, a few hand-made cages are quite enough. Cage designs vary depending on the age and size of the rabbits, climatic conditions, etc.
Building materials are used those that are at hand, or are inexpensive: boards, slabs, plywood, sheets of slate and tin, metal mesh. What unites different types of cells is that the back and side walls are made solid in them, and the front wall with a door is made of mesh.
When breeding rabbits for personal needs, a few do-it-yourself cages are quite enough.
When setting up cages for rabbits, take into account important subtleties:
- the floor can be slatted with a gap of 16 mm between the slats or mesh, but the net for rabbits is not always suitable - Californian and silver rabbits feel best on the mesh floor, other breeds may have corns on their paws;
- under the cages, it is recommended to install galvanized sheets at an angle so that through them the waste of the rabbit's vital activity falls into special trays;
- litter for a rabbit should not consist of small shavings or sawdust, otherwise the dust from them will cause lacrimation and sneezing in animals;
- it is desirable that the design of drinkers and feeders allows them to be filled without the need to constantly open the doors;
- provide a nesting compartment in the cages, where it will be possible to install queen cells for rabbits, more precisely for pregnant rabbits;
- the queen cell for rabbits can have dimensions 35x35 cm and 20 cm in height, the rabbit must freely pass into the inlet, the floor in the queen cell should be made solid;
- it is advisable to install cages outdoors, preferably in the shade or create artificial shading for them.
The outer cell system is not suitable for dwarf rabbits in winter due to low temperatures
If you are seriously engaged in rabbit breeding, it will be more convenient to build sheds for rabbits with your own hands, which are sheds with a frame made of metal or wood and a roof made of slate or iron. Sheds are good because they keep the outside temperature and humidity, but breeders do not have to look after their pets in the rain and snow, and the rabbits themselves are protected from precipitation, wind and other unfavorable atmospheric phenomena.
It is not difficult to make a shed with your own hands: make a corridor of rabbit cages installed in two tiers with facades inside, with a passage of about 1.3 meters, install double doors at the ends of the shed, make a gable roof, slightly raised above the cages. Be sure to provide fluorescent lamps in shed buildings.
It is worth noting that year-round outdoor cages are not suitable for all breeds of rabbits. For example, for dwarf rabbits, the external cell system in winter is not suitable due to the low temperature. Therefore, almost every dwarf rabbit nursery either uses a combined system, in which animals are kept outdoors in summer and in warm rooms in winter, or keeps rabbits in a rabbitry all year round, releasing them for walking in a special rabbit enclosure.
Mini farms for keeping rabbits
These mini-farms, consisting of several two-tier cages, greatly facilitate the care of rabbits.
In personal and private farms, a mini farm for rabbits developed by Mikhailov has recently become popular. Taking into account the opposing views of various authors on the maintenance of rabbits, Mikhailov developed a special design of a rabbit cage, which allows you to keep any breed of rabbits in the open air.
As a basis, Mikhailov took a two-tier cage located in an open area, and insulated only the mother house for rabbits, placing a medical heating pad on its bottom, pressed with five-layer plywood and covered with a layer of hay. A mother cell equipped in this way is placed in a cage two weeks before the birth of the rabbit, before the birth of the day, two heating pads are switched on to a low mode and for a week or two heats the newborn rabbits. Even in the most severe frosts, not a single rabbit dies in such conditions. To further reduce the percentage of death of young animals, Mikhailov proposed to remove the young rabbits from the female at the age of three months.
Video about a mini-farm for rabbits
For comfortable keeping of the eared ears in winter, the rabbit farm is equipped with a water heating device, an inverted water canister that allows the animals to drink warm water at will, a hopper feeder for loose feed and a root crop feeder, also adapted to provide the rabbits with food continuously. The need for constant cleaning is eliminated thanks to the slatted floor with pitched shafts to eliminate rabbit feces.
Such mini-farms, consisting of several two-tier cages, greatly facilitate the care of rabbits and are especially appreciated by those breeders who can only care for animals on weekends.
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Cages for backyard rabbit breeding
Cages for backyard rabbit breeding
In the practice of household rabbit breeding, a wide variety of cages are used, which often depend on the availability and cost of building materials. For the construction of cells, commercial waste, boxes, plywood are used.
For ease of maintenance, cages are installed on wooden risers at a height of 60-80 cm from the ground.
Individual cages for adult rabbits must correspond to the following approximate dimensions: length 100-110 cm, width 60-70 and height 45-60 cm.
When calculating the size of a group cage, one must proceed from the number of rabbits that are proposed to be kept in it, and the area of the cage is not less than 0.16-0.2 m2 per head when kept on a mesh floor and 0.25-0.3 m2 - on a solid wooden floor.
Cell floors are made mesh or slatted. A metal mesh with a mesh size of 17 × 17 mm or 20 × 20 mm is used. It can be replaced with 20 mm wide wooden slats, which are nailed across the cage at a distance of 1.5 cm from each other. If the cages are built with a solid wooden floor, then slatted flooring is placed on top of it. This protects rabbits from moisture and dirt.
To keep rabbits, you can make cages for rabbits in the yard near the wall of the barn or in the barn at a height of 70-80 cm from the ground. They are usually installed on posts. Cages are made from timber, construction waste, slabs, etc. For adult animals, the length of the cage is 110-130 cm, the width is 65 cm, the height of the front wall is 70 cm, and the rear wall is 55 cm.
The cage is divided by a partition with a hole (20 * 20 cm), forming a nest and aft compartment. In the nesting section, the female brings rabbits and feeds them with milk for the first days. In this section, it is necessary to make a floor from a plank. In the aft compartment, the animals "dine". The floor here should be mesh or slatted. The walls and roof are dense, without cracks. The floor area of one cell is 0.5-0.7 m2. The boards for it should be well cut and laid with a slight slope towards the front side.
Rabbit transport cages
When purchasing breeding rabbits, selling them from reproductive farms, sending them to procurement points and meat processing plants, special transport cages with dimensions of 160 × 48 × 35 centimeters are used. The cage is divided along its length by light partitions into compartments of the same size. Their front wall is at the same time a door (picture below).
Rabbit Breeding Cages
Last summer, my husband started making a rabbit enclosure. Length 4.80 m, width 2.40 m, height 1 meter, designed for 8 cells.
Everything is made of wood and mesh, the roof is made of PVC sheets. We will not put the net on the bottom. We decided to try it this way. There is, of course, the danger that the bunnies will start digging holes, we'll see.
Nowadays the people themselves make cages for their rabbits... Rabbit breeders use auxiliary material: plywood, bricks, wood.
It is important that the cages are spacious, easy to feed and clean.
Cages are often made on wooden risers that are dug into the ground.
The main thing is the floor device. Slatted or mesh floors made of oak, maple are convenient for keeping clean.
Raising rabbits in mesh cages can lead to pododermatitis.
Oh, guys, be careful with dirt floors! After all, they dig, infections. On our site, thanks to the summer rabbit enclosures, even a pit has formed, now transformed into a pool.
In our experience, the meter height is too small. Guys skedaddle from it from 4 months, girls - when covering.
In general, it seems to us that the main condition for the preservation of young animals is the quality (isolation) of the enclosure. In the summer, we have fattening in the back of an old "penny", for example. Very convenient, by the way.
Yes, keep rabbits in the back of a dime - I would not have thought of it. A good idea.
I understand that the floor in the cages can be made of lattice, wooden slats, or solid. How long does a mesh floor last? Is there anything you can do on a wooden floor to keep the rabbits from chewing on it?
I have rabbit cage floors made of wooden slats... They have been serving for three years. Rabbits sometimes gnaw the rake, so we change. But they do not gnaw very often. I am against solid floors - rabbits can get coccidosis. There are feed cages with a 25x25 mesh floor. When choosing a sex, you must take into account the breed of rabbits.
We first tried a 16x16 mesh flooring netting, but the rabbits were 5 kg each, the mesh could not stand.
Then the husband decided to make the floor of the slats removable on top of the chain-link. Larch slats 40 mm wide, 10 mm thick. Between slats 16mm.
The rabbits tried to gnaw and gave up. We give them constantly spruce or pine branches.
Yes, it all depends on the breed of rabbits. California, for example, sit well on the net. In general, rabbits are not adapted to life on a net, their paws do not have pads like cats, for example. And the Silvers from the mesh can get pododermatitis. I think that the best option is double floors: there is a net in the toilet, and a solid one at the feeder.
I fully agree that if the rabbits began to chew on something in the cage - it's time to add twigs. For combined floors - a good idea, let's try to implement it. We use solid ones, since the grass-litter is enough. Netting is a problem for young animals (in our experience).
We have here a man in a neighboring village made a rabbitry out of tires of heavy vehicles or tractors, a summer rabbitry for young animals. He put three tires on top of each other, and we got a three-story house. I covered it with plastic wrap on top. It is light inside the rabbits and the rain does not wet.
California and New Zealand white feel very good on the net due to their weight up to 4 kg and on their paws they have very thick fur like a toothbrush. For Flandre, Baran, White Giant, Silver Giant - solid floors are better, but they also feel good on slatted floors. The slatted floor can be upholstered with a perforated corner; it is cheap.
We use a metal mesh (galvanized from poultry houses, brazed, mesh 20x36). Zhmenka straw on top, and in the process of keeping - the remains of hay. And no discomfort.
We also kept rabbits at one time. The husband himself made the cages, they were wooden, their floor was in the form of a lattice, so that later it would be more convenient to clean. Separately, there were queen cells designed for one mother.
We kept rabbits for 8 years, so they gnawed wooden slatted fields and not only floors. Full guard! Then the cages were remade, the bottom was made of metal notches (a tape with holes, the waste of rolled metal after the manufacture of washers), the walls were whitewashed and it turned out very well that the walls stopped gnawing, and the floors came out remarkably well, in the cold or when the rabbits appeared hay was tweaked. So these cages for 6 years with rabbits stood and 4 years with nutria and it is very wonderful, and now they have been with a neighbor for the second year with nutria so he will not be happy, otherwise he would catch them every morning in the garden.
Here's another one rabbit cage option... And so that the mesh floor does not harm the animal, you need to lay hay or straws and change more often.
Our rabbits have homemade cagesmade of wood, and a mesh door with a wooden edging. The floors in the cage, respectively, are also wooden.
We keep rabbits on slatted floors - rail from 4 to 10 cm wide (depending on the breed). Kept on mesh - as a result of pododermatitis. And solid - you will not clean up, and coccidiosis immediately raises its head.
Dear rabbit breeders, please tell me if you build wooden rabbit shed, but with double walls, and fill the middle with rammed sawdust, whether it will be necessary to insulate or heat it inside, and please tell me the optimal size of the cages, I dug up almost the entire Internet, but I have not decided on the size, I would like to hear the opinion of COMPETENT people.
My design of rabbit cages
I am a beginner rabbit breeder, about a month ago I bought 3 Californians: 2 girls and one boy. At the age of 4 months, not vaccinated, temporarily while making the main cells, I placed them in a corner kitchen cabinet cut in half (horizontally), wound 10x15mm slats along the cutting line, I thought it would be enough for a long time! No matter how it is! The first rake was eaten in 3 days, by the time of transplantation into large cages, about 4-5 slats were already missing in different places of the cage, and the surviving ones were pretty much nibbled.
I laid a plastic wrap under the wooden structure along the wall to prevent urine from getting on the wall
For the floor of the main cells I chose welded stainless steel with a cell of 25x25mm, walls made of black welded mesh 25x25mm, all cells were placed in 4 tiers, 3 meters long, height from floor to floor of tiers is 50cm, the roof of the cage of each tier is a pallet - a galvanized sheet with a slope of about 10 degrees to the back of the net, so that everything rolls down to the floor behind the net, the upper tier is covered with a black welded net 50x50mm.
The first tier with a manger was divided in half by 1.5 meters for each rabbit with a brood, width 60cm, in the front wall the height turned out to be 37cm at the back wall 27cm, partitions made of the same as the walls of a black welded mesh 25x25mm, a hay feeder (aka the cage door) made from the shelf of an old Soviet refrigerator enameled steel rods 3 mm between them 4 cm somewhere. I made a drinking bowl from a 0.5 liter glass jar, cutting off the bottom on the machine and turning the edges so that the rabbits do not cut themselves, I got a bowl with a side height of 3-4 cm into it, I lower a flexible hose embedded in a container with water (half a polish).
The upper tiers for young animals are divided into 4 identical compartments 75 cm each, 50 cm wide, the height is the same, he did not make the doors, because the tiers are retractable and I will take and put the rabbits in the nets through the top.
In the future, I plan to carry out heating in the room, but this year it will not work, so I will have to think about heating the water, well, before the frost is another half a year, so I will have time to think of something.
Features of a cage for a rabbit Zolotukhin
Nikolai Zolotukhin is a well-known domestic rabbit breeder who has carefully studied the life and behavior of rabbits in the household for many years. It was thanks to many years of experience that he managed to develop and manufacture dwellings for animals, the conditions in which are as close to natural as possible.
In such dwellings, animals feel more relaxed, comfortable, eat well and reproduce well. The well-thought-out design of the cages allows not only to recreate the natural microclimate in them, but also to make the systematic care of rabbits and indoor cleaning as simple and convenient as possible. Cells created according to Zolotukhin's drawings have a number of key properties that distinguish them from other similar designs:
- A large number of tiers. The cage is a spacious structure, consisting of three tiers, in which 6 pets can live at the same time. A special feature is that each upper tier is slightly shifted back by 15–20 cm. This is done so that the waste products of rabbits do not fall on the lower floors. In addition, the back walls on the second and third tier have a slight slope, which allows the feces to not accumulate, but simply slide along the surface.
- Lack of mother liquor. In order to more efficiently use the cell, a traditional mother cell is not installed. In the summer, the room is divided into two parts by a small bar, and in a darkened place, a mother nest is organized, covering it with hay. During pregnancy, the female will independently equip the nest from down, hay and sawdust. The partition from the bar is removed when the cubs are one month old.
- The absence of a pallet and mesh floor is one of the main distinguishing qualities of the structure. According to an experienced rabbit breeder, animals often damage delicate paws on metal rods, so he considers a wooden or slate flooring installed at a slope to be the best option for the floor, so that feces flow out. In this case, the steel grate should only be located near the wall located at the back.
- Movable feed tank. The feeder for dry food is placed on the door so that part of it is inside the cage, and the other is outside. This makes it possible to freely add food without opening the door. Such a feeder is mounted in a door frame by means of two nails.
Drawings and dimensions
- incorrectly designed drawing and dimensions.In such cases, it is recommended to use standard schemes, with already calculated dimensions and the amount of required materials.
- the door in the front wall is too small. This will make it more difficult to care for the cage and animals, since it will be inconvenient to pull them out.
- lack of legs. The cage must be at a certain elevation from the floor so that the rabbits do not freeze and it is easy to remove their waste products
- small size. The cage must be spacious so that the rabbits can move freely around it. Closeness negatively affects the health of the animals, as well as their reproductive function.
- no slope in the floors. A slight slope in the floor slabs between tiers will allow faeces to slide into a corner and be sent outside the cage through the metal mesh.
Zolotukhin's cages are a convenient, lightweight and economical variant of a home for rabbits, which will make you feel comfortable and calm not only for animals, but also for breeders. Such structures are inexpensive to manufacture, easy to install, and due to their unique features, they allow you to keep the room dry and warm for a long period at any time of the year.
In the cells, which were developed by N.I.Zolotukhin, the living conditions of animals are as close as possible to their natural living conditions. Due to this, rabbits feel free, get sick less and reproduce more actively.
The cells developed by Zolotukhin have a lot of advantages:
- the design of the cages makes it easier to clean the houses and take care of the animals
- low cost of materials for cages
- the optimal lighting regime for the cells is observed, ventilation is constantly present (and the action of drafts is excluded)
- the whole structure takes up little space
- the cage can be easily made by hand.
These are the main advantages of DIY cells made using the Zolotukhin method.
Cages made according to the Zolotukhin method differ significantly from other options for rabbit houses.
- no pallet and mesh floor. Zolotukhin says that animals experience inconvenience when moving around the cage when the floor of their house is made of a metal grill. Therefore, he proposes to make a slate or wooden floor and only fix a small section of the lattice near the back wall. When the floor is built at a slight angle, almost all of the rabbit waste will roll out through the grate. Rabbits in 90% of cases urinate near the back wall. If you place a grate here, the slate or wood floor will not get wet. Feces in 80% of cases are also sent to the back wall. The remaining 20% are scattered around the house by animals.
- multi-tiered. The design is a three-tiered house, which is designed for six rabbits. Moreover, each next floor is shifted back by a distance of 18-25 cm (taking into account the size of the mesh, which is attached near the back wall), so that animal waste does not pollute the lower dwellings from the upper floors. For this, the rear walls of the first two floors are constructed obliquely: feces that fall from above simply roll down this plane, without falling into the cages from below.
- movable feeder. The feeder for loose food is arranged in the cage door so that one part of it is inside the rabbit house, and the other is outside. This makes it easier to add feed. In order to speed up the cleaning of the trough, it is fixed in the door frame with the help of two nails, on which the container can freely rotate.
- lack of a stationary mother liquor. In summer, the mother plant settles down in the darkened part of the house: the cell is fenced in two parts with a small bar. In the darkened part, straw is laid, from which the rabbit builds a nest for herself. In winter, removable structures can be placed in the nesting cages. Recommendation: When the rabbits are 1 month old, remove the removable nest or board.
The size of the house will depend on the breed of rabbits. Zolotukhin recommends the following parameters by which you can make cages for large or medium-sized rabbits:
- depth - 75-80 cm
- height - 1.5-1.6 m
- width - 2-2.1 m
- door size - 45 × 45 cm
- floor slope - 6-7 cm
- mesh width - 17-25 cm.
Sizes of the mother liquor for winter time:
- entrance opening height - 15-17 cm
- area - 45 × 45 cm
- back wall height - 25 cm
- front wall height - 15 cm.
You can reduce or increase the size of the cells at your discretion. These parameters are only a guideline from which you need to build on.
Nikolai Ivanovich himself, from childhood, was carried away by housekeeping and animals, for more than 40 years he has had his own animals, which he gladly takes care of and breeds, as he says - for himself. Cages for Zolotukhin rabbits have gained recognition among people, thanks to their advantages.
He provided for all the features of keeping rabbits, the cells are well ventilated, but also protect, have access to daylight, and in the mother liquor, on the contrary, it is darkened. The feeders are secured to prevent the animals from tipping over and are convenient for daily cleaning, which is very important for these rodents, because they love cleanliness.
In winter, it is better to move the cage to a heated room, this will ensure year-round offspring. If this is not possible, then insulate it as much as possible.
Fixed feeders prevent food from scattering
- The building has three floors, two cells or two tiers in height, three boxes each, this saves space for the structure. The front wall of the mesh is common for the entire structure; cells for feeding troughs are located on it.
- The feeder is mounted in a frame on the door, being outside, it saves space in the cage itself. The tray has a swivel mechanism for easy cleaning. It is also convenient for feeding, you can fill the trough without opening the whole cage.
- To make the floor of the cage, you will need flat slate or plywood. It differs from the standard version in the absence of a pallet, and the mesh is installed only against the far wall. Nikolai Ivanovich explains this by the fact that it was noticed that rabbits use this place as a toilet, such a floor design allows cleaning less often, almost all feces flow through the mesh along the back wall.
- The whole structure resembles steps in shape so that feces and urine do not fall on the lower floors, each subsequent one increases in length by the size of the grid in breadth.
- There is no permanent mother plant, a separate one is installed as needed, except for the summer season, at this time the rabbit independently arranges it from hay, warming with wool.
Zolotukhin's cage drawing
As a material for walls, boards or chipboard are suitable.
With the help of beams 2.5 meters long, a frame is being erected; it is recommended to build a building on legs. This will help solve the issue of draft on the floor, which will provide a comfortable environment for the animals. When the main unit is ready, it is divided into tiers. The floor is installed at an angle, a 20 cm wide mesh is attached to the back wall. According to the drawing, the front wall is made of lattice, it must be fixed to the beams with nails.
Doors for cells can be made from a chipboard sheet or from boards, at your discretion. Do not forget to install the latch, it can be anything.
The roof is covered with slate, which should protrude 5 centimeters beyond the walls of the structure so that water does not flow down the wooden walls and the material will last longer. Install the roof at an angle. Sennik, in addition to performing its original function, divides the sections of the cage. It is made by hand using slats and a mesh, with a mesh size, so that it is convenient for rodents to take hay.
Slate should be used for the roof
The motherboard looks like a wooden box with an extension to the far wall, the doors are also made of wood, this gives additional protection to the nest and creates the necessary darkening. As another safety measure, a rail is nailed to the front wall, thereby creating a side to prevent the rabbits from falling out when the door is open.
The amount of feed, its composition and portions depend on the breed and age of the bird. Poultry is considered omnivorous, so you can safely give it grain, greens, fish, berries, worms, chalk, charcoal, dairy products, table scraps, etc. and breed characteristics. In any case, the feed should be nutritious, rational and balanced, saturate the bird's body with all the necessary vitamins, minerals and trace elements.
A bird kept in cages is fed three times, one that walks in the wild - twice.
The food is placed in feeders, which, made with or without sides, are placed taking into account the proximity of the waterfowl, away from the drinking bowls, as it likes to spray water. To prevent the chickens from raking out the feed, grates are installed on the feeders. Drinking water should be kept in containers that can be cleaned and washed regularly.
How to plant chanterelles
For planting chanterelles, it is worth choosing a clear and fine day in late spring or early summer, when warm weather has already set in the street, but the air humidity is still increased.
The step-by-step implementation of landing operations can be represented in the following plan-diagram:
- First, pour abundantly over the prepared area with infusion of oak bark (especially if you have not done this before).
- Then, after the liquid is completely absorbed, put the seed from the prepared gruel on the bottom of the prepared pit and evenly distribute it along the bottom of the hole (this is how mushrooms are planted most often).
- Dig a hole in the ground and lay out forest grass, needles or leaves on top.
Moisten the planting, not allowing the soil to dry out and during the entire further time of growing the mushrooms. The optimum moisture content at the initial stages of cultivation is at least 40-50%, but during the fruiting season of chanterelles, they can be increased to 80-90%, which even a beginner can handle by watering.
How often to water the worms
Soil moisture has one of the dominant roles in the successful cultivation of the packing material. A decrease in this indicator forces individuals to sink deep into the ground, completely ceasing to feed. The substrate is moistened with an ordinary garden watering can, using room temperature water for irrigation, which is previously allowed to settle in the same room for three days.
Important! Determining the optimum moisture content of the substrate can be done in a fairly simple way. To do this, the soil is squeezed in the hand, and the formation of a dense and non-crumbly earthy coma is considered the result of a positive moisture factor.
In case of waterlogging of the soil, drainage holes arranged in the bottom of the boxes will help to correct the situation, and excessive evaporation of moisture will be prevented by a piece of corrugated cardboard or a special cover with fine perforation throughout its area from covering the newly watered substrate with multiplying material. The boxes are checked for moisture every week, adding water to the soil as needed.