Rabbit Fattening Methods
Today, we learn the topic of Rabbit fattening techniques, and methods.
Rabbits are very small mammals with fluffy, short tails, whiskers and distinctive long ears. There are more than 30 species around the world, and they live in many different environments, they have many things in common.
Rabbits are very social creatures and live in large groups known as colonies. The busiest instance of day for rabbits is at dusk and dawn. Rabbits can be crafty and quick. Rabbits are one of the micro-livestock; its meat is regarded as the best as an effect of its low cholesterol. Rabbit farming is one of the lucrative agribusinesses; it is easy to rear and have an excellent return, provided the market is readily available. One of the factors that affect a livestock farm is the position of the animals’ health.
Feeding for Rabbit Fattening:
Rabbits are very selective in their feeding behavior and in the wild will choose specific plant parts. They normally select leaves rather than stems, young plant materials rather than old and green rather than dry materials, resulting in a diet that is higher in protein and digestible energy and lower in fiber than the total plant material obtainable. They are much more sensitive to slight modify in the feed than other livestock. Sometimes they will refuse to recognize a new diet and will starve rather than accept the new feed for several days.
The Rabbit feed diet vegetables and fruits that are cabbage, broccoli, carrots, strawberries, papaya, and pineapple. Vegetables, fruits, and grass hay lose nutrients during storage, so they must be fresh when fed to rabbits. Different grasses such as para grass, congo signal grass, and guinea grass may be provided to the rabbits. Leaves of different fodder trees, i.e. Mulberry, Subabol (Leucaena), Gliricidia (Gliricidia sepium) can be used for feeding rabbits.
Read: Goat Fattening Business Plan.
Fattening and slaughter:
How to fatten up a rabbit fast? During the weaning-to-slaughter growth period, the rabbit must always be fed ad libitum. Young fattening rabbits can be fed cereals and fodder, with or without the supplement of a suitable concentrate.
During this period, mortality must be very low-only traction of the fattening stock-but it is often far higher. Preventive hygiene (cleaning, disinfecting) is necessary for the fattening station, but the breeder will often pay less attention to this area than he will for the nursery.
All the animals are sold alive or as carcasses. Rabbits raised in rational production systems are sold at about 70 to 90 days at weights of 2.3-2.5 kg. In extensive production systems with less-well-balanced feeding, the rabbits could be sold much later (4 to 6 months, maximum). Fattening animals that have passed the common age for sale can form a reserve from which the breeder can draw for home consumption or stock renewal. The higher the mortality rate during rabbit fattening, the more the breeder will tend to shorten the length of this production phase.
If rabbits are to be kept beyond three months the bucks must be either put in individual cages or castrated, so that they can continue to be a colony reared. The females can remain in groups but will need more cage space than they did before three months.
The breeder can wish to slaughter his animals himself. The necessary installations are moderately expensive if the accuracy standards of hygiene and conservation (cold storage, etc.) are to be respected. He will need labor for a few hours a week to help with the slaughter.
Putting weight on bunnies or rabbits:
Most of us have the problem of keeping our bunnies or rabbits from getting overweight which can be deadly. Most of the time, this nothing more than limiting treats and pellets.
However, some of us have the more difficult trouble of putting weight on our rabbits. Often, skinniness is the effect of illness, where the just-recovering rabbit may not be as interested in food as we would like them to be.
There are several things can do to help your rabbits gain weight:
- Give high-fat and high-carbohydrate treats, but remember to limit these properly or they can be deadly.
- Provide small portions of alfalfa hay and alfalfa pellets for small periods of time. (Consider when given long term, the high protein in these can be hard on the kidneys.).
- Free-feed timothy pellets, so the rabbit could eat anytime during the day the mood strikes.
- Talk with your veterinarian about whether a medication such as Reglan would be suitable to help increase your bunny’s appetite.
- Give rabbit as much “Angel’s Mush” as he will eat.
Fattening tips for fattening rabbit foods
- Do not switch to pellets thinking they will help it fatten quickly. Rabbits are likely to advantage from fiber-rich foods such as grassy hay (especially the second cut) and some limited amounts of leafy greens. High fiber diets have several benefits including healthy teeth and gut.
- Alfalfa set to underweight rabbits if calcium points are normal. Alfalfa is very high in protein. Unfortunately, it is higher in calcium.
- Dried foods, particularly pellets for pregnant or lactating does as well as those growing ones can help since they have a high protein and calories. However, ensure they have high fibers.
- Give them treats of non-leafy vegetables and fruits such as apples as they have lots of calories and could boost appetite. Oats are good for weight gain.
- If your bunny or rabbit is elderly, it may need a different diet slightly, that is, higher in proteins for instance.
- Severe cases can require you to syringe-feed them since they often do not keep much reserve energy in case of anorexia.
Weight gain diet for underweight rabbits:
Rabbit’s digestive systems are efficient at squeezing every last bit of nutrition out of their food so a rabbit normally only becomes underweight if there is an underlying medical condition causing the problem. What makes the best weight gain food rabbits? Great weight gain rabbit foods require to be nutritionally balanced, containing both protein and fiber. Important nutrients for helping rabbits gain weight. We propose using something purposely built for assisting rabbit weight gain.
The great examples of weight gain foods for rabbits that will improve their weight and muscle mass.
Hay that is green and leafy (as opposed to golden) will have the highest protein or fat values; second, cut grass hay is generally higher than the first cut. Depending on how you buy your hay you can find that nutritional information is displayed on the packaging as it is for pellets. Barn dried grass such as Readigrass is both palatable and somewhat higher in nutritional value than standard hay.
Sometimes the most obvious place to begin can be the best. Hay and or Grass are essential for your rabbit to graze on throughout the day. Due to the fact that rabbits are grazing animals, it’s very important they have a constant supply of this kind of food.
Alfalfa is also a good method to increase protein levels whilst still providing plenty of fiber. It’s often fed to young rabbits but is good for putting weight on adults. It does have higher calcium content than grass hay though, so if the source for the weight loss was related to calcium issues such as bladder sludge you can want to discuss this with your vet before feeding it.
If your rabbit has been reluctant to eat hay, then slowly introducing fresh grass can encourage them to eat and give fiber, again grass from new growth will have the more nutritional value that older leaves.
Dry food provides highly concentrated simple to digest nutrition, which is why it is restricted to adults. When trying to increase a rabbit’s weight, increasing the dry food is a very simple method to increase calorie intake.
If you are feeding a low protein or high fiber pellet (which is a great choice for healthy adults) you can try mixing in some pellets aimed at young or breeding rabbits. These will have higher protein content or calorie content so you can increase calories without needing to increase the volume as much, which is particularly handy if the rabbit has a tendency to stop eating hay if they have too many pellets available.
If the rabbit looks like they’re eating well, but are still failing to gain weight then try giving some treats. Treats don’t contain to be expensive ones bought from the pet store either. You can attempt to use chopped up vegetables or fruit such as carrots as a treat. The rabbit will appreciate this, but try not to go overboard due to the high sugar content in fruit and veg.
If your rabbit is used to eating fresh foods, you can consider introducing small portions of fruit and root vegetables such as apple, carrot, parsnip, and sweet pepper. As these plants store energy in the roots, they have more calories than leafy greens. It’s not the most efficient method of increasing calories, but if your rabbit is reluctant to eat, then tasty foods are good to tempt them. Oats One food that is very good for putting weight on rabbits is rolled oats or porridge oats. You can buy these from the supermarket or in a feed supplier. You can feed small quantities, e.g. a teaspoon, dry but suggest mixing them with a little water to make ‘porridge’ before feeding as they do swell quite a bit. Around a tablespoon, a day is normally plenty. They are normally well tolerated by rabbit’s digestive systems, but it’s worth starting with a small portion to check they don’t cause rabbit a problem.
Read: How To Identify Sick Rabbit.
Oats are particularly good if the weight loss is because the rabbit has been reluctant to eat as they are generally considered very tasty by rabbits. You can mix other ingredients into the porridge such as a recovery powder (powdered pellets), vitamin supplement, medication or finely chopped hay depending on your rabbit’s needs.
Caution over diet changes
Changes to a rabbit’s diet must be done gradually so your rabbit’s gut can adjust to processing the new foods. Many of the changes here are tweaks to a standard rabbit diet, which must make changes easier, however, you’ll need to consider what your rabbit is currently eating and not add a lot of new foods at once.
Whilst it’s tempting to attempt and feed up a rabbit that looks underweight, a slow steady weight gain is healthier than a sudden one. Often weight loss is associated with muscle loss, so weight gain is slower as you aren’t just fattening up rabbit but supporting new muscle development.
Commercial foods for weight gain
Oxbow Critical Care: It is high in fiber with no added sugar, comes in banana and apple flavors, and it will support your rabbit nutrition needs.
SARx PLUS for rabbits: Designed for weight gain, has most nutrients that rabbit desire and will boost appetite.
Care fresh Alfalfa Hay Food: Excellent for dental health, has a high protein content, it is pure alfalfa and can help your rabbit gain weight.
That’s all folks about Rabbit fattening methods.
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