The most important factors for maintaining a healthy rabbit herd are cleanliness, good ventilation, close observation, and protection from draught, sun and rain.
Rabbits are susceptible to several diseases that reduce production to unprofitable levels.
One of the worst culprits is coccidose - small parasites. There are two types of coccidose that commonly infest rabbits: Intestinal- and liver coccidose. Intestinal coccidose is caused by Eimeria Performa and/or Eimeria Magna. These parasites are common in rabbit intestines and can under some circumstances attack the intestines. Nobody seems to know exactly why, but it may be stress-related. Coccidose is spread with manure, unclean bedding and possibly with dust from dry manure. Liver coccidose is caused by Eimera Steidae and is normally fatal by the time you discover it. Some say that coccidose can be prevented by feeding the rabbits garlic.
The respiratory disease caused by Pasturella multocida is responsible for decreased productivity and a high mortality rate in does. Pasturella-free animals can be purchased and may be a good investment.
Cages and nesting boxes should be cleaned and sanitized after each use, and the hair should be burned off the cages. New additions to the herd and sick animals should be kept in separate cages isolated from the rest of the herd.
To help prevent disease problems, do not permit visitors inside the rabbitry. They may introduce disease and cause additional stress to the animals. Isolate any sick or injured rabbit immediately. Disinfect the isolation cage and the rabbit's regular cage to avoid spreading the disease. For a good health program, you should keep accurate records on each animal. Provide each rabbit with a tattoo identification number or ear tag, and attach an identification card with health and breeding information to its hutch.
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Updated 00-12-17 at 16:54