Before acquiring an animal, it is always necessary to know in advance its exact or approximate age. How to determine the age of the rabbit should know every potential breeder, because the whole further process of their vital activity depends on it, which needs to be built correctly.
Each rabbit breeder should be familiarized in advance with the characteristics of the breed in order to know at what age rabbits should be, for in each case the situations are different. Males and females reach this age usually in 3-4 months, although in fact you still have to wait for some time, so that the young will have time to strengthen.
Males are usually admitted to mating as early as 4-5 months, whereas females should be kept up to 8. Most breeders do not even try to determine the age of rabbits when estrus begins, but they still follow the general situation. Usually in the summer period it occurs 1 time per week, whereas in the winter season 1 time in 10 days. The cycle time is about 4 days, but may vary depending on a number of individual characteristics and breed.
Animals will not be allowed to mate by the following characteristics:
- the presence of diseases and ailments (checked visually before sharing),
- the female ate her cubs
- the female did not feed her cubs
- aggressive behavior towards a potential partner (exception rather than the rule).
All these factors do not depend on age, so there is no need to define anything. And in order to determine the age of readiness of the female there is one simple way - when emotional behavior is manifested, it is enough to scratch the croup just above the tail, to which she will immediately react.
Determining the mating age of rabbits is always individual, since in some breeds it is 5 and 8 months in the male and female, while in the other 8 and 11 (Risen). Experts recommend not to allow individuals who have not reached 60% of the average weight of their breed, i.e. in most cases 2.5 kg. With this approach, you can significantly save the resources of the rabbit's health, but you have to wait for her to reach a certain age.
But age still needs to be correctly determined and not only in the process of acquisition, since It is best to share females with older males. Season depends only on the frequency of chutes and the temperature outside the room, so they can produce litter even all year round.
On average, up to 8 rabbits per males, despite the fact that he can fertilize up to 2 rabbits per day. There should always be attentive to the process, because the moment of mating is fast enough for them, and it is better not to carry out the control one in order not to harm the eared one.
In the process of mating, it is important not only at what age the rabbits mate, but also whom they are brought to whom. The male's cage is completely cleared of edible, after which the female is transplanted there. There are 2 potential mistakes that are made due to inexperience:
- The food is left in the cage, after which the rabbit with the rabbit together begin the meal.
- The male sits down to the female, after which they begin to protect their territory from an unexpected guest, because of which the animal may suffer.
Determine how old a rabbit should always be able to, because This will allow you to initially acquire a young and healthy animal, and then fairly correctly manage the farm.
On the cells, it is desirable to always have plates with the nickname, breed, time of birth and all the data that can be claimed. If it is not possible to accurately determine the age, then you need to write an approximate with a difference of several months. The more accurate the approach, the more fruitful it will be to work with eared pets.
The behavior of the animal
The domestic rabbit is a descendant of a wild beast. Therefore, his behavior is largely due to the instincts laid down by nature. For example, adult males have a habit of marking the territory, this can be avoided by castration, which in addition will help to avoid problems with the health of the pet in the future. With the seeming danger to him, the animal freezes, and then begin to stomp loudly with its hind paw. In case of a strong fright, it can make loud piercing cries. We must try not to sneak up on the sly to the rabbit and not to frighten him.
Do not recommend often pair rabbits. In nature, the rabbit brings litter no more than 5 times a year. Frequent childbirth quickly wear out a small body. And with normal care, the pet will live for at least 10 years. There are also long-lived rabbits. There are cases when, thanks to genes, proper care and maintenance, some individuals have lived for more than 15 years.
What are the criteria for determining the age of the rabbit?
To know the age of the rabbit by external signs is quite difficult. Ideally, you need to buy a pet from the breeder with the documents. The passport will contain all the information about the animal:
- Date of Birth,
- information about parents
- vaccination data
- what was sick pet.
If there is no passport, then it will not be possible to accurately determine the age of the animal. Even experienced breeders will not be able to help in this matter. There are several ways to guess how old or months a pet is, old or young. Approximate age is determined by:
- the state of the teeth
- wool condition
- the behavior of the animal.
Rabbit teeth grow constantly. Thanks to solid food, they grind down. In the animal, up to a year, they are light, but then a yellow bloom begins to accumulate on their surface. One-year-old pets have yellowish teeth. The older an animal becomes, the darker its tooth enamel.
Up to 5 months, bone tissue is formed in rabbits. If you need to find out the approximate age of the pet, feel his ribs. In animals up to six months they are soft. When pressed with fingers spring. After 6 months, these bones become stiff.
Another criterion by which sometimes you can navigate, a young pet or an old one, is claws. In rabbits up to a year they are transparent and thin, through the stratum corneum of the claw plates you can see the blood vessels. In mature individuals, claws are long, dull, curved inward.
Attention! Unscrupulous sellers often trim the claws of animals to hide their age.
With the approach of old age, the lens of the animal grow turbid. Changes and eyelids. In young rabbits, they are smooth, even, monochromatic, while in the elderly the eyelids droop, pigment spots and bumps appear on them.
Reference. On the lips of pets at a good age also appear dark spots.
Newborn baby rabbits are born without hair. After 5 days, their skin is covered with a short down. When babies are 2 weeks old, they are already completely covered with fur.
Monthly rabbit is easily recognizable by the state of wool - at this time the first age molt begins. It lasts about 1.5-2.5 months, for some individuals - longer. Wool becomes dull, abundantly falls, and instead it grows new. At the same time, on the skin where the hair falls, gray spots appear, and where the hair is completely refreshed, the skin is white.
At the end of the first molt, the second baby rabbit begins, this happens after 2-3 weeks. It ends by 5 months. If the rabbit has completely changed the hair, while its teeth are in good condition, then it is about six months.
Attention! Adult individuals also have seasonal molt, it occurs in March-April and in August-September. Its duration is 2-2.5 months.
How old is the rabbit?
With good conditions, domestic rabbits live 6-7 years. There are also long-livers, whose age exceeds 8 years. The life expectancy of a pet affects the quality of food. Concentrates, greens, hay, branches, vegetables should always be present in the diet.
Attention! The animal will live longer if it is sterilized at a young age.
It is impossible to know exactly how old a rabbit is, but by some signs it can be judged whether he is young or old. Experienced breeders can determine the age of the rabbits according to the condition of their teeth, wool, claws, and also by the testes. If you have doubts about the age of the animal, it is better to refrain from buying.
The cage itself can be cleaned once a week, but the water bowl and the feeder should be cleaned daily, after each portion of food or water. It is better to make a cage from two compartments - for walking and for shelter. Three times the separation should be protected from prying eyes and equipped with a manhole (like a hole). In such a refuge, rabbits come to their senses from external "shocks."
It is important to properly feed these animals.
In spring and summer, green fodder (grass, tree leaves, vegetable tops) form the basis of their diet, and in winter it is best to feed them with hay. These eared fidgets are very fond of young shoots of trees, eagerly consume vegetables and root vegetables (carrots, cabbage leaves, beets). The presence in their diet of solid types of feed, such as wheat grains, oats, cuts, rolled oats, as well as feed.
It is important to keep the nutritional balance so that the rabbits receive the necessary amount of not only nutrients, but also minerals and vitamins.
Overfeeding animals is impossible, since obesity is harmful to their health and shortens their life.
The feeder is best done heavy, so that the animal could not turn it over. The best design of the home drinker is a drip (nipple drinker).
This is a very significant factor that directly affects the lifespan of rabbits. The fertility of these animals is known to all, but the permanent birth depletes the rabbit's body.
In the year one female can bear offspring up to eight times, but do you need it for home keeping? On the other hand, completely abandoning mating is also not an option, as unsatisfied animals experience stress and quickly die out.
The golden mean is, as always, the best way out.
Pregnant female and newborn babies need special attention. They have a different diet, they painfully react to temperature fluctuations and need to rest. To ensure this is not difficult, and with proper care, eight to nine years of your pet's life is quite an option. Rabbits begin to age after three or four years of life: females bring fewer calves, and males decrease sexual activity. But this does not mean that they do not have long to live.
However, careful and tender treatment, proper care and nutrition, as well as sincere care, prolong their lives better than any medication.
How much can a rabbit use for reproduction?
When growing rabbits for commercial purposes, the life of animals is of secondary importance, and how long an individual lives, the owner decides. Their performance comes to the fore. For the rabbit, this is the ability to often bring numerous healthy offspring, as well as pass on the qualitative characteristics of the breed to him.
In order to meet the requirements, such a female must have the following qualitative characteristics:
- typical for the breed standard build, the quality of fur cover and live weight,
- ability to fertilize regardless of the season (in other words, no more than five to seven 7 failures in mating with daily samples from January to June, and no more than fourteen to fifteen failures from July to November),
- the presence in each offspring of at least eight and no more than 14 young,
- maintain their factory condition both during the lactation period, and when using the compacted okrola technique (with an appropriate diet),
- regularly ensure the rapid and uniform development and growth of all born rabbits, as well as their maximum survival to weaning (90 percent is considered a normal indicator of the safety of offspring with the number of pups in the litter of ten to twelve)
Usually, multiple births and survival rates of baby rabbits begin to decline after six to seven rounds.
Dairy performance also starts to deteriorate and individual mammary glands atrophy gradually, and the variability of live weight in newborns also increases. The little rabbit begins to move less, she has a tendency to gain weight (obesity), the female begins to push the little rabbits more often, the interval between the legs grows.
However, in each case, the signs of aging in females are manifested purely individually. In addition, it must be remembered that the little rabbits used to reproduce livestock, have not commercial, but tribal significance. Their genetic qualities, transmitted to offspring, are sometimes simply unique. Considering these factors, for each specific female, the decision on culling from the breeding herd is made by the breeder individually, and sometimes does not depend on the actual age of the rabbit.
However, practice shows that even among breeding animals, not everyone is culled by age. Most females are excluded from the reproductive process already after three to five okrol. The main causes are infertility, high morbidity and low milk production (inability to feed the offspring).
Time to reject the rabbit is very important. Often, the decision on culling from the breeding herd is made after two consecutive unsuccessful rounds. Competent breeders keep individual records about the results of each breeding rabbit, which are used to systematically analyze its productive qualities, which makes it possible to reject the worst individuals in time. However, in this case, you need to understand that rejected animals should be replaced with productive ones in a timely manner.
Now - directly on the timing of the use of breeding females.
For early breeds of rabbit meat (such as (New Zealand and California), this time period is from two to two and a half years. For reasons of economic feasibility, it is considered normal to receive from one rabbit from ten to twelve litters in conditions of its continuous use.
For such breeds, the continuity of use is an obligatory principle, since the meat rabbit in a state of sexual rest quickly gains excess weight (grow fat). This principle is characteristic of large and medium-sized rabbit farms.
In the conditions of a personal farmstead or on small private farms, the culling period occurs mainly in the autumn, after the end of the seasonal molting. Age here also rarely plays a major role.
Far more often, females are rejected for health reasons, while taking into account the number of healthy rabbit rabbits and the average productive rabbits for three litters.
Of course, it is possible to carry out culling even after two unsuccessful rounds, but since the second round is often in the middle of summer, when there are plenty of cheap types of feed. Therefore, the female is often given another chance to prove her breeding value, namely, fecundity, high milk production and survival of the offspring received.
When culling bunnies who have not passed the breeding selection, you always need a reserve of young females, which should be selected from the offspring obtained from the best rabbits with an average number of young in the nest.
If in a personal subsidiary farm a system of three to four okrols per year is used, then such indicators as the high milk production of the female and a long lactation period come to the fore.
If the economy is more intensive (six to seven annual okrols), then on the contrary, preference is given to the rabbit, though with high milk productivity, but showing shorter lactation time. This is due to the fact that with such an amount of baby litter, rabbits are taken away from the mother much earlier - at the age of four to five weeks.
Normal indicators of weight gain for rabbits are medium in the number of litters (seven to eight calves) are considered (with good mother's milkiness):
- a little bunny at the age of 21 days - 450 grams of body weight,
- in 30 days - 900 grams,
- in one and a half months - one and a half kilograms,
- in two - two kilos.
Based on the foregoing, it can be concluded that the maximum period of productive reproductive use of the rabbit cannot be clearly identified. Some experts call the indicator three years, but this directly depends on the individual characteristics of the breeding female, its genetic value and real practical indicators of productivity and survival.
In any case, culling is a personal matter of a specific rabbit breeder.