Raising Meat Rabbits: Feeding and Handling
Just as any other animal, rabbits need to be cared for and that care includes feeding and proper handling. Although there are many other ways that people may prefer to feed and handle their rabbits this text will only serve as basis for those of you who have yet to determine what is the most suitable and effective ways that work best.
Here is the average daily requirement of pelleted feed for rabbits of different age groups:
- Does – 100g
- Pregnant does – 160g
- Lactating does – 350g
20g of oaten chaff can be fed per day per adult rabbit. Pellets, on the other hand, should be formulated to be able to provide the basic nutrients that the rabbits need.
There have been a lot of feed companies that are good suppliers for commercial rabbit pellet these days giving producers a lot to choose from. However, it is still very important to have consistent feed product and not keep on changing to new ones because rabbits are very particular with changes in their diets.
Frequent changes in their feed and diet can cause major problems not only for the rabbits but for you as well. It may be cause of diarrhea. That is why a lot of commercial suppliers have recently addressed these issues and have become more consistent in the mix of their ingredients for commercial rabbit feed. The mixes are now an adequate ration of specified energy, protein and fiber content. It is somehow difficult to decide on the right and best source of feed for your rabbit. It can be mostly based upon trial and error however you can opt to talk to as many breeders as you can and surely their insights will be valuable to you.
When it comes to handling, you should know that rabbits require proper handling. This is something that applies to almost every other animal on the planet. Rough handling with rabbits may cause irreparable damage to its muscles, which may in turn lead to lower carcass quality. If you are breeding and raising rabbits for meat, this is something that you would not want to be happening to your rabbits.
It doesn’t take much effort to be able to handle the rabbits properly so this should not even be an issue. You might see on television how they lift rabbits by the ears and think that it is okay to handle them that way but that is a very wrong notion that should be corrected. Lifting of rabbits by the ears should be avoided because you can seriously hurt the rabbit. You can lift them instead by grasping with one hand the loose skin over the shoulders while putting your other hand below the rump to support the weight of the animal.
Also, you have to watch out for their nails. They need to be trimmed regularly to prevent them from catching on the wire mesh of their cages. One other thing, you may see rabbits as calm and gentle creatures but be aware that when they are distressed or may be frightened, they will bite and scratch the person handling them so just to be cautious about it, it is suggested that you wear gloves when handling them.