When keeping rabbits you have to take into account a number of things related to natural origin and habitat of the rabbit. For example, a rabbit as a prey needs places where it can hide.
The ideal environment• Make sure that the rabbit hutch is sufficiently aired. A low ammonia level boosts the health and prevents possible respiratory problems. It is however important that you try to avoid draught.
• Try to avoid high temperatures in the rabbit hutch. After all, a rabbit is not able to sweat. It can only cool down by increasing its breathing rhythm and by expanding the blood vessels in its ears. A temperature between 14° and 18°C is well-advised.
• A rabbit hutch preferably has a high atmospheric humidity (60 to 80%). Try to avoid fluctuations.
• Regularly clean the feeder in order to avoid the formation of fungus and remove manure and urine.
• Make sure that the rabbit hutch is illuminated sufficiently in order to optimally stimulate the biorhythm and the reproduction cycle of the rabbit. For does, the standard is 16 hours of light.
• Avoid contaminations by preventing contact with insects and vermin.
Rabbits drink about twice as much water as they eat food. Always provide enough fresh water in a drinking bottle. Avoid drinking bowls as they can be knocked over quickly, and check if your rabbit is eating enough. You can recognize sick animals or animals in poor condition by a decreased appetite. Always give your rabbits good quality hay that is dry, green and relatively dust-free. However, avoid non-commercial green food. It could be contaminated by wild rabbits or by agricultural sprays.
• Check whether your rabbit eats enough. You can recognize sick animals or animals in bad shape by their reduced appetite.
• Give your rabbits high-quality, dry, green and dust-free hay at all times. Avoid the use of non-commercial green feed. This can be contaminated by wild rabbits or by agricultural sprays.
• Rabbits drink about two times as much water as they ingest feed. Do make sure that they have fresh and sufficient water in a drinking bottle at all times. Avoid water bowls, as they can be knocked over quite easily.
• It is best to feed bucks without restriction during mating periods.
• Let the doe be covered in the rabbit hutch of the buck instead of the other way around.
Diseases• Do not try whichever medicine on your animals. Always consult a veterinarian.
• Prevention is better than cure. Buy healthy animals and keep germs out of your rabbit hutch. Avoid contact with wild animals, dirty transport boxes or other unfamiliar animals.
• Try to keep the climate conditions in the rabbit hutch as optimal as possible at all times.
• Check your animals thoroughly during the weeks after a show.