Special features of Rabbit

Rabbits are midway between ruminants and monogastric animals. They are called pseudo ruminant. They can convert cellulose into meat and can easily survive on kitchen scrap. They are coprophagous in nature they reinvest their faeces in the early hours of morning directly from their anus through lips. Thus replenish vitamins and cellulose content of feases.

They breed eight times in a year. Female may produce five to eight youngs which attain sexual maturity in four to six months. Life span of rabbit is about seven to eight years. Slaughter weight of rabbit is about 2 kg. which can be achieved in 12 to 15 weeks. Rabbits have got fast reproductive process and are able to remate within 24 hours of giving birth [kindling]. Their gestation period ranges to 31 days. They are prolific breeder.

The advantages of Rabbit farming

i) Rabbits are highly prolific in nature
ii) Consume a large amount of forages from diverse origins and so can be reared on small amounts of costly concentrates.
iii) They can be reared in the kitchen garden/backyard of farmer’s house
iv) Initial investment cost is low
v) Quick returns i.e. six months after the establishment of farm
vi) Income generation at quarterly interval makes the repayment easy.
Vii) Apart from providing wool rabbits also provides income from manure etc.
viii) Residual feed, together with rabbit manure is highly suitable for vermicompost which in turn provides excellent manure for fertilising the fields.

Different types of feeds suitable for feeding rabbits

S.No Category of feed Feed staffs



RoughagesDry Bulky feeds

Fresh Bulky feeds

i) Grasses

ii) Green cereal plants

iii) Legumes

iv) Roots

v) Green vegetables

vi) Other plants


i) Energy supplements

ii) Protein supplements

Hay made from grass or legume (Alfalfa)

Guniea grass, Napier grass

Maize, Sorghum

Alfalfa, Berseem

Turnips, radish, carrots, sweet potatoes, yams

Green leaves of cabbage, spinach, lettuce etc.

Banana leaves, various weeds, local grass

Maize, Sorghum, millets, barley

Soya flour, groundnut cake, cotton seed cake, meat, fish meal.

Feed requirements of rabbits (gms/day)

S.No. Particulars Concentrates Hay Greens+Veg/ Fruit garden waste
1 Breeding stock (on an average) 280 80 adlib
2 Weaners (7-12 weeks) 60 30 adlib
3 Growers (13-24 weeks) 90 30-40 adlib
4 Adult rabbits (above 24 weeks) 140 50-60 adlib

Common diseases of rabbits and their prevention and control

S.No. Name of the disease Important Symptoms Prevention and control measures
1. Coccidiosis Diarrhea, loss of appetite and dehydration. May cause death in 24-36 hours. (i) Coccidiostats like Sulphaquinoxaline + Sulphamerazine @ 0.02 to 0.10% in drinking water(ii) Strict Hygienic measures
2. Body mange (Ear canker) Intense prurity, scratching, scaling of the skin, loss of fur and animal becomes weak. (i) Application of ascabiol lotion(ii) Ivermectin injection 0.02 ml/kg body wt (S/C)

(ii) Strict hygienic measures

3. Enterits complex Subnormal temperature, crouched posture, roughned hair coat, gelatinous mucus with dry feaces and bloat. (i) No successful treatment(ii) Tetracycline in feed @ 100 gm/tonne feed

(iii) Adequate amount of fibre should be given.

4. Pasteurellosis(Snuffles) Discharges from nostrils, wiping of nose with paws, loss of appetite, high rise of temperature. (i) 400000 IU of pencillin and 0.5 g streptomycin given I/M
5. Shorehock Inflamed areas or sores on the under surface of hind paws, weakness and dehydration. (i) Sores should opened and antiseptic dressing should be applied. Provide soft bedding during treatment period
6. Hind quarter paralysis Sudden jerk, excitement, paralysis, loss of control over urination and defication. (i) Affected animals should be slaughtered.
7. Hairfball occlusion Wool get accumulated in stomach and blocks normal passage of food. (i) Treat the animal with mineral oil or neopeptin or fresh pineapple juice.
8. Wryneck Permanent turning of neck to one side, unable to eat, weakness. Affected animals should be slaughtered