|Better Farming Series 36 - Raising Rabbits 1: Learning about Rabbits; Building the Pens; Choosing Rabbits (FAO, 1988, 56 p.)|
84. It is best to buy your rabbits from a place where you can go to see them before you buy them.
85. This way you can be sure that they have been kept clean, that all the rabbits are healthy and that they have been well cared for.
86. Perhaps you can visit a nearby farmer who raises his own rabbits. There may even be a big rabbit farm near where you live.
A nearby farmer
A big rabbit farm
87. Try to find out as much as you can about the rabbits that you may buy. Here are some things that you should look for when you are choosing your rabbits.
88. Look carefully at each rabbit to see that it is active and moves well.
89. Never buy a rabbit that moves slowly or looks dull and sleepy.
A rabbit which looks dull and sleepy
90. Look to see that each rabbit has bright eyes, a dry nose and clean ears and feet.
91. Never buy a rabbit with a runny nose, or with sores in its ears or on its feet.
A rabbit with runny nose, sores in ears and feet
92. Look at its fur. The fur of a healthy rabbit is smooth and clean.
93. Never buy a rabbit with fur that is rough or dirty or grows In patches.
A which is rabbit rough, dirty and grows in patches
94. Look at its teeth. The front grinding teeth of a rabbit should be in line.
95. Never buy a rabbit If the grinding teeth are crooked or out of line. Teeth that are out of line grow and grow until the rabbit cannot eat.
Rabbit with grinding teeth
96. Try to get rabbits from females that have five or six babies at a time.
Female with babies
97. Try to get rabbits that grew well and were healthy when they were young and that weighed 1 1/2 to 2 kilograms when they were three to four months old.
Weigh the rabbit
98. Rabbits that come from big families, that grow well and weigh a lot when they are young are more likely to have big families and big, healthy baby rabbits.
99. When you buy your rabbits, make sure that your female and your male rabbits are not brothers and sisters.
100. The female rabbits that you choose should have eight teats so that they can feed eight babies.
Four tits each side
101. With most kinds of rabbits, females are ready to mate when they are 4 to 4 1/2 months old. Male rabbits are ready a little later, when they are 5 to 5 1/2 months old.
102. So, when you first begin, try to get rabbits that are old enough to mate, so that you can begin to raise your own baby rabbits as soon as you can.
103. When you have decided what rabbits to buy, find out what kinds of food they have been eating.
104. This will help you to know what to feed them when you get them home. You may even be able to take home some of this food to feed them for the first few days.