Rabbit Management

Good management is essential if the rabbitry is to be run in an efficient manner. The main ingredient of good management is regularity-it is threaded through a whole multitude of jobs that must be performed to keep the rabbitry clean and in good order. Good livestock management is not acquired overnight. It comes with practice and experience. Trial and error play an important role in learning how to look after a rabbitry.

An old saying-“one man’s meat is another man’s poison”-is somewhat applicable to livestock management. What suits one breeder and his rabbits may be detrimental to another breeder and his rabbits. Everyone has his own method for doing things, even the simplest tasks such as feeding and cleaning. The right way to do things is the way that suits you; other fanciers can be imitated to a certain extent, but not in all instances. Although experience is the best teacher, there are certain rules that every manager should observe.

The fancier who takes time and trouble with his stock will generally be more successful than the fancier who rarely has the time to make sure his stock is well cared for. Cutting corners is useless. There is no shortcut on the long and sometimes frustrating road to success. Even when the fancier attains success, he cannot allow himself to sit back and enjoy the fruits of his labor. He must be forever on the alert in order to keep his stock fit and at their best.

One of the rabbit fancier’s greatest management assets is his instinct that tells him when everything is going right and when something is amiss. Handling the stock regularly sharpens this instinct. The breeder will learn to recognize when a rabbit is losing flesh, whether it is putting on too much weight or whether it needs a little more conditioning. Simply by looking over his stock, 250 an experienced fancier can tell whether a particular rabbit is fit and well or about to succumb to a minor illness. The best advice for a breeder is to keep the eyes and ears open and the mouth shut!