Features of breeding rabbits in pits

Rabbit breeding is fun and exciting, but also troublesome.

Since ancient times, our ancestors have been raising rabbits. Having no idea about the possible accommodation for keeping these pets, they equipped them with the most natural conditions: They dug a hole and placed several families of rabbits there, gave them food and water. At the same time, the animals independently equipped themselves with conditions for development and reproduction. But in the process of developing this kind of activity, breeding rabbits in pits is used less and less. This article provides a drawing and detailed instructions for choosing a place for a pit and arranging it with your own hands.

Consider the pros and cons of keeping and breeding rabbits in pits

The positive aspects of this growing method

  • benefit in material terms;
  • occupied territory, which contains rabbits - small in size (even when keeping a large number of livestock);
  • saving time and physical strength;
  • increased immunity and animal resistance to disease;
  • obtaining additional nutrients directly from the soil;
  • improved and accelerated breeding process (with this type of content in females, the maternal instinct is developed at the highest level);
  • reducing the amount of stern;
  • optimal close to natural conditions existence;
  • with a large livestock, the opportunity arises self-control rats;
  • improved taste of meat.

Disadvantages are considered

  • inbreeding (related mating), which further leads to the degeneration of the offspring;
  • inability to control animal diet depending on age;
  • complexity of control mating process;
  • wildness of animals (alienation from people);
  • impossibility of selling skins, as a result of damage during fights between rabbits;
  • complexity rabbit isolation when a disease occurs;
  • the inability to grow, using this method, rabbits with valuable fur or large breed rabbits.

How to choose the right place for the pit and equip it with your own hands: drawing, detailed instructions

The place where the hole is to be dug should be in the shade and placed on an elevated position to avoid flooding the hole with water. To control breeding, it is worth equipping a second pit for females., who will be selected for divorce, their babies and the male-producer. Pits are located at a distance of 20 meters or more from each other. Do not worry if there are trees, cellars or wells near the chosen pit location, as they will not harm your pets in any way.

The size of the pit depends on the number of heads; for 100 or 200 individuals, it is necessary to dig a hole 2x2 in size, and at least 1 meter deep (preferably 1.5 m).

By form pits are different, usually using the shape of a rectangle.

Now you need to process the walls of the pit, for this you can choose any material (the best option is slate leaves), it will not be gnawed by rabbits. We process three walls completely, the fourth is also fenced, but at the same time we leave a hole that will serve as an entrance to the hole. The entrance needs to be dug a little (down or straight, but not up) so that the rabbit knows where to dig.

The bottom of the pit must be covered with sand - about 20 cm. And lay a fine flat mesh on top. This will allow urine to enter the soil easily, feces will be easy to collect with a shovel, and the mesh will prevent rabbits from digging additional burrows. Additionally, the bottom is covered with straw, which must be changed from time to time. The best option for the required amount of cleaning is 1 cleaning every few days or a week.

Above the pit, you need to put a canopy with a slope in the opposite direction from the entrance to the hole... Pit fencing is a good option to protect animals from predators and dogs.

We install a door at the entrance to the burrow, feeders and drinkers (in sufficient quantity) along one wall. They must fit in size for both adult rabbits and babies. Now we can launch the rabbits.

We release rabbits into the pit

It is necessary to settle rabbits in the pit that have reached 4-5 months of age, this is the most crucial moment. If the question arises of choosing a breed for this type of keeping rabbits, then you can choose any breed, but it is better to keep the giants in cages.

The best breeds for keeping rabbits in this way are: California, Butterfly, Soviet chinchilla, Silver.

What to do when rabbits aren't digging holes

There are times when rabbits that are released into the hole do not dig holes. This is due to the fact that the rabbits have lost the burrowing instinct laid down by the ancestors. More often, similar situations occur with adult rabbits (1 year and older). The digging instinct awakens in females before the round, and by that time they do not want to bother themselves with unnecessary worries.

When this situation arises, you need to make it clear to the rabbits that they are in the hole. It is necessary to plant rabbits that lived in similar conditions to young rabbits and they will push the livestock to the right actions by their example.

You can also force the rabbits to dig artificially (this requires a bayonet shovel). Near one of the corners, you need to dig a long hole, similar to the entrance to a hole, about 20 cm high. The underground passage should have a slope of 20 - 30 ° downward. The diameter of the entrance should reach 40 - 45 cm, and the length of the funnel is about 50 cm. We find a log with a diameter of 15 - 20 cm, insert it into the blank for the hole, and carefully ram the gaps from above and on the sides with earth or clay. While the soil has not hardened, pull the log out, widen the entrance to the hole, making it cone-shaped.

After the work done, the rabbits will sniff and examine this object, and then begin to actively explore and settle in it.

How to catch a rabbit in a hole?

Catching a rabbit with this type of content is difficult, because over time, rabbits run wild and become shy. To easily catch a rabbit, you need to equip the valves, which will be located at the entrance to the burrow.

It is required that the rabbits develop an instinct to exit the burrow when distributing food. A whistle can serve as a signal that informs about the distribution of food.... After the animal comes out, close the bolt and catch the rabbit with a net.

What is the difference between winter content compared to annual

For beginners in the field of rabbit breeding, the question arises: is it worth insulating the pits before the winter season?

You don't need to do anything like that, because the temperature in the pit is the same regardless of the season and fluctuates around 10-15 degrees Celsius... This temperature balance helps to avoid stress and illness.

Animal feeding in burrows

The feeding process is almost the same as in the cage keeping of rabbits. The diet includes:

  • grain of barley and oats;
  • corn;
  • hay;
  • branches, hanging them on the walls of the pit;
  • roots.

The pits are equipped with feeders and drinkers, raised above the floor level away from the burrow in order to avoid covering the feed with earth. Food is poured in sufficient quantity so that there are no fights between the animals.... The water should be changed frequently, and make sure that it is always present. It is necessary to accustom the animals to the sound signal, which will call the animals to the feeders.

Breeding rabbits in a pit

It is impossible to control the mating processes with this technique., but still reproduction of rabbits in a pit in most cases is a successful process.

Rabbits are in position almost all the time and do not rest from a previous pregnancy, and therefore, rabbits are born a lot... Being in a burrow, rabbits feel more confident and calmer, recover faster after childbirth.

At the same time, the rabbits feed from all the rabbits., which are nearby, as a result of which they get better immunity and therefore do not get sick.

With this method of breeding, it is necessary to replace the breeding rabbits in time, which will allow increasing the herd without losing the properties of the breed.

Useful Tips

  1. As experience has shown, before planting rabbits in their hole soldered with antibiotics, and pierced femalesto avoid possible infection of future offspring.
  2. Need to accustom animals to yourselfwatching them feeding (in the future it will help to catch rabbits).
  3. It is advisable to build a roof over the pitto prevent the burrow from flooding during heavy rainfall.
  4. When arranging a pit equip the ventilation system... To do this, it is necessary to mount a pipe so that the animals do not suffocate in winter.
  5. A prerequisite for arranging a pit is ensuring the penetration of sunlight into the pit (at the entrance you can put a grate that will let the sun's rays through).
  6. If the rabbits have found a way to freedom, it is worth tracking where the escape routes are. And then all these fill the entrances to the holes and make new holes for the rabbits with a downward direction.

After analyzing the information provided, we can conclude that not only professionals in this field can breed rabbits, but also amateur beginners. Raising rabbits is not so difficult, it just needs to be treated responsibly. Sure, rabbits do better in pits than in cages, so why not arrange such necessary living conditions for them close to their natural environment.

Pit or rabbit cages?

Hello! My name is Vladimir. In this blog I want to share my experience breeding rabbits in pits... This old, well-forgotten method is gaining more and more popularity today, as it is much easier, simpler and more effective than breeding rabbits in cages. (About what is RABBIT PIT and how to build it, I tell you on this VIDEO).
Having tested both methods in practice, I came to the conclusion that breeding rabbits in pits is much more convenient, interesting and profitable than using cages for rabbits.

Let's compare these two methods:

Rabbit cages require constant care for each. While you pour feed into each one, pour water, remove manure - it will take a lot of time and no pleasure. In a pit for rabbits, it is enough to pour water into just one drinker 2 times a week, pour compound feed into one feeder and remove manure once a week (I talk about the design of such drinkers and feeders for rabbits on this VIDEO). By the way, it is much more convenient to remove manure with a shovel from the floor than to pick it out from the floor of mesh cages. In winter, in the cold wind, chipping off frozen manure and serving cages in the summer in the heat is not very pleasant. In the pit, the temperature is more comfortable for both rabbits and the breeder.
The scourge of the cellular content is the blanks. Those. the rabbit seems to be carried to the male rabbit, it seems that mating is taking place, but in fact the female is not pregnant. When they understand this, a month will pass - there are no rabbits, the rabbit has been eating all this time, occupied the cage, and all is in vain - lost profit - there could be rabbits, but no. Sometimes the rabbit's hunting was incorrectly determined, sometimes the sperm of the male rabbit turned out to be sterile due to the heat, or some other reason. It got to the point that when breeding rabbits in cages, 4 okrols per year from one female rabbit is considered an excellent result. In the case of pit breeding, there are never blanks. The male rabbit sits in the hole for a long time - it will not work the first time - it will cover more and more. The number of okrols per year from one female rabbit can be increased to 6-8 - in a pit the rabbit is more hardy.
A lot of time when keeping rabbits in cages is spent caring for newborn rabbits, there is a great chance of doing something wrong and the rabbit will either eat the rabbits, or trample, or simply refuse to feed them. Mothers must be thoroughly disinfected, otherwise there is a great chance of losing a brood. In the burrow, rabbits give birth in natural conditions, the rabbit's natural reflexes are turned on and the breeding of offspring is much more successful without the participation of the breeder. By the way, the rabbits every time, taking out the rabbits, dig a new hole, and they throw the old one, so the rabbits' hole is clean.
There are no problems with heating the mother liquors in winter and hot in summer. Okrols go quietly all year round - in the hole there is a constant, comfortable temperature for rabbits, about +10 degrees. In winter, rabbits cannot breed rabbits in cages without a complex and not entirely reliable system of heating the mother liquors, which is not available to everyone. In the summer, in the heat, rabbits also do not want to breed. There are cases of death from heat, rabbits sometimes freeze to the floor in frost.
Feed is used more efficiently. What a well-fed rabbit scatters - a hungry one will pick up. In cages, rabbits experience stress from the heat, then from the cold and, constantly because they cannot hide in a secluded place. The resources of the body are spent on this and the weight gains are slower. In the hole, the rabbit leaves all unfavorable factors in the hole, and calmly digests the food there. It is believed that rabbits spend more calories running through holes and hang more slowly - in fact, pit rabbits give the best weight gain - their metabolism is accelerated. If the rabbit is motionless, digestion is slower. I caught half of the monthly rabbits from one litter and put them in a cage, leaving the other half in the pit. By the end of feeding with the same feed, pit rabbits weighed 200-300 grams per carcass more than caged rabbits, despite the fact that they were originally the same weight.
Also in the pit it is much more convenient to distribute branch feed, or tall stalked grasses - we simply collect them in a broom and insert them into a rope loop hanging on the wall so that the rabbits do not get dirty. Adult rabbits tear off the leaves, spit out half of them on the floor (rabbits generally like to spit out, malnourished, and reach for a new piece), and the rabbits are picked up before they have time to trample.
Rabbits are less likely to get sick. In the burrow, mosquitoes carrying myxomatosis cannot reach them (without light, navigation does not work for them). Rabbits can chew on the right root or soil particles, the minerals they need, digging or running over them is a good exercise. Most breeders who breed rabbits in pits do not even vaccinate their pets.
One pit can contain 100-200 rabbits (but it is better not to allow more than 100), how many cages does this replace? Huge savings in food, materials, labor and space.
It is much more difficult to steal rabbits from a pit than from cages. A booth is being built over the pit. If you try to break in, the rabbits will run into the hole. It is also much easier to defend against stranger cats, dogs, rats and birds that steal rabbits or food.
Watching rabbits in a hole in their free time is much more interesting than cages where nothing is happening. In terms of its calming and relaxing effects, the rabbit pit is similar to a fish tank (and if rabbit breeding is a hobby for you, then this is a big plus).

So why do so many still keep rabbits in cages?

Firstly, rabbit breeders are most often very conservative and adhere to the usual order. In addition, in rabbit farms, especially in large ones, a lot of money has been invested in making cages and training staff to breed rabbits in them. Switching to another method of content, even more profitable, is associated with serious costs.
Secondly, under certain conditions, for example, high groundwater or rocky (or even heavy clay) soil, it is still better not to torture yourself and the rabbits and breed them in cages. But, if you have soft land on your site, or sandy soil - pit breeding of rabbits is your method.
Thirdly(Most importantly), cage breeders are afraid of the pit-keeping disadvantages associated with the impossibility of controlling the rabbits - but I will show in this blog that these disadvantages can be easily eliminated using a device I have developed - a "valve trap" and a simple technique. Although, even with an uncontrolled approach, the pit dilution has numerous supporters, but when using my technique and the "valve trap" it becomes as controllable as the cellular one, while retaining all its many advantages.
Breeding rabbits in a hole, I quickly realized that if I have a tool in my hands with which I can reliably get all the rabbits out of the hole whenever I need it, the hole breeding will lose all its shortcomings that frighten cage breeders.

The rabbits in the pit fight - but if we remove all males older than 90 days from the pit, this will not happen.
Rabbits interbreed with each other in blood and shrink. - Again, if we remove the grown males and leave only the male of the producer in the pit, this will not happen.
It is believed that in the pit it is impossible to achieve planned crossing, it occurs spontaneously, it is impossible to carry out routine vaccinations and preventive measures - then I will show that when using my technique and "VALVE TRAP" this can be done easily.

In the articles on uncontrolled pit keeping, it is proposed to release males and females into the pit, periodically throwing food and removing manure, and wait for the offspring. And then make a falling door, cutting off the hole from the hole, and, hiding, pull the rope, closing it when a suitable appetizing rabbit enters the hole.

I also started like this and I really did not like it:

This hunt takes a long time
The wrong rabbits come across. It seems that rabbits have some kind of telepathy - when you are waiting for a particular rabbit, he seems to feel it and does not come out. All the others will come out of the hole into the pit, and he is hiding.
Some, the most cunning, rabbits can live in the pit for months, outgrowing the age of slaughter, wasting food in vain and covering rabbits that have just reached puberty. Because of this, the growth of rabbits stops, they remain small for life and give birth to the same small rabbits. (Moreover, children will often be weak and with deformities, since haphazard mating often occurs between blood relatives.
The males cover the rabbits that have just given birth (this is called a compacted roundabout), and the rabbit, not getting rest, after two or three such roundabouts in a row, may die. By the way, if a small rabbit dies in a hole, other rabbits will either eat it or throw it into a hole, and if an adult large rabbit, it will stink out of the hole for several weeks until they bury it.
It is impossible to control the number of rabbits in the pit.
Rabbits quickly realize that they are trying to catch them - and become even more fearful, which makes it even more difficult to catch them.

It is because of this that breeders using cages criticize the raising of rabbits in a pit, and, in general, rightly so.

I, too, could, having experienced all this, throw the pit and join the cage breeders criticizing pit breeding.
But I did it differently.
I realized that if I had a tool in my hands with which I could quickly and reliably catch all the rabbits out of the hole whenever I need it for various simple manipulations with them according to the method described below, which I have developed over a long time - then all these problems of pit breeding of rabbits will disappear and only advantages will remain!

And I came up with it. Moreover, it is quite simple to manufacture. "TRAP-VALVE" solves all the problems of pit content.
Why did I succeed? By my basic education, I am a professional design engineer, and since 1985 I have been organizing the work of various industries, developing equipment, devices and mechanisms for them - now, as a hobby, I started to optimize the breeding of rabbits in pits.

These are not theoretical developments - I myself keep the rabbits in the pit. I have faced the various challenges of pit breeding myself and have found simple ways to deal with them. From my own experience, I have developed techniques that, thanks to the Valve Trap tool, allow you not only to get more rabbit meat of better quality with less money and labor, but also breeding rabbits, which is still considered impossible in the pit. Just do not think that this technique will require a lot of additional work - nothing of the kind - it comes down to setting a trap-valve for 1-2 days at the exit from the hole into the pit once every two months. It takes a maximum of 10 seconds to set the trap.

So what is the technique?

It is not difficult. I'll share it for free.

We use the following physiological characteristics characteristic of rabbits. It is known that pregnancy in rabbits lasts 1 month, feeding with milk of rabbits - 20 days (then the rabbits themselves begin to go into the pit to the feeding troughs, but milk is still sucked) and puberty in rabbits occurs by about 90 days. Therefore, we act like this:

It is advisable to have 2 pits for breeding rabbits - one of your own and one of a friend.
Each of them contains 4 (but it is possible to have five) female producers.
The male rabbit is one in two pits.
If you are too lazy to dig the second hole, and you have not found a colleague of interests, then the male rabbit will have to sit in a remote cage instead of the second hole. In any case, he should not be in the pit for more than 25 days in a row, so as not to re-coat the females immediately after giving birth. If this happens several times, the female rabbit may die of exhaustion.

For 3 weeks we lower it into one of the pits. When the male-producer sits in the hole for 3 weeks, we put a trap-valve there at the exit from the hole, which releases all the rabbits into the hole from the hole, but does not let anyone back into the hole (except for very small rabbits). (Only one hole is made from the pit, in other places the walls are sheathed with sheet materials so that the rabbits cannot dig out).
Usually, in a day, all rabbits (even the most cautious and timid ones) will come out through the trap-valve into the pit - everyone wants to eat and drink. But you can, for fidelity, hold the valve for a couple of days, just do not forget to go down into the pit twice a day and push it back into the hole through the valve of the female rabbits so that their dairy rabbits do not die of hunger.
So, in a pit with a trap, we have: Male-producer, 4 female rabbits, 4 broods of rabbits at the age of about 80 days. Another 4 broods of approximately 2–3 week old rabbits sit in the burrow or seep through the trap.
We do the cleaning of the pit: the male-producer is taken to a remote cage, and all broods of 80-day-old rabbits for fattening. We leave rabbits and baby rabbits in the pit.
The main thing is that not a single teenager (especially a male) should remain in the pit. And it doesn't. With our trap.
We remove the male-producer for a week in a remote cage - in quarantine. To a remote cage - meaning away from the rabbitry - firstly, so as not to transmit possible infection between the pits, and secondly, so that animals, smelling each other, and not being able to mate, do not receive unnecessary stress.
Then for 3 weeks we transfer it to another pit. Again for a week in a remote cage. Then again into the first pit, etc. round. Those. The trap appears in each pit every 2 months for one to two days. And the male - every 2 months for 3 weeks.
The male producer usually does not go into the hole, but sits right in the hole, remaining tame, thanks to frequent communication with a person. But if he prefers to hide in a hole, it will also be easy to catch him using a valve trap.
This gives us complete control over the breeding of rabbits in the pit. This is only possible thanks to the use of a trap valve.

If you are too lazy to dig a second hole for breeding rabbits and you have not found a colleague of interests, then the male rabbit will have to sit in a remote cage instead of the second hole. In any case, he should not be in the rabbit hole for more than 25 days in a row, so as not to re-coat the female rabbit immediately after giving birth. If this happens several times in a row, the female may die of exhaustion.

It is also necessary to monitor the female rabbits. The rabbit who gave birth to and feeds the rabbits can be identified by the following features -
1) A more emaciated appearance than usual,
2) The fluff on the belly is plucked (coarse wool is plucked around the nipples, it may not be plucked on the belly)
3) The nipples are enlarged and drawn "sucked"
4) When pressing on the nipple, milk is released (sometimes only after a few hours without rabbits in the presence of water and food)

If the rabbit, which we identified as a female rabbit, after a three-week visit of the male of the sire to the pit, after the allotted time (pregnancy 31 days + 2-3 weeks is the schedule for setting our trap), does not have these signs - we replace the rabbit.

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Pros and cons of breeding rabbits in pits

In addition to reducing equipment costs, the obvious advantages of the method include:

  • stimulation of motor activity in rabbits
  • no need for large farm areas
  • strengthening the immunity of animals, resistance to diseases
  • no drafts
  • reduction of time and physical efforts of the owner
  • extraction of nutrients by animals directly from the soil
  • acceleration of reproduction
  • the birth and nursing of offspring does not require intervention, the female copes independently
  • reduction in the amount of feed consumed
  • improving the taste of rabbit meat.

With all the advantages of the method, there are also disadvantages:

  • mating within a population leading to degeneration
  • nutrition is difficult to control
  • running wild
  • skin damage in fights
  • competition between same-sex individuals
  • growing large breeds is not suitable for keeping conditions
  • the spread of infections in the population
  • isolation of sick animals is difficult.

For the pit, you should choose a site located on a hill. It is imperative to check the groundwater level. The pit should be dry, and in spring it should not be flooded.

The size of the pit will depend on the size of the plot and the number of livestock. It is optimal to dig a depression in the form of a 2 × 2 m square. 200 animals can be raised on such an area. And digging and cleaning the groove will not be difficult. To prevent rabbits from getting out, the minimum depth of the pit should be 1 m.If possible, it is better to increase it to 1.5 m.

It is important to strengthen the three walls of the pit. This can be done with bricks, slate. Strengthening will prevent landslides and prevent rabbits from digging holes wherever they please. They can make their burrows only in one wall, not covered with reinforcing materials.

So that the eared ones do not organize their dwellings in the immediate vicinity of the floor, it is worth making a landmark for them - at a distance of 20 cm from the bottom of the hole, in the earthen wall, dig a small depression.

In winter, in order for the animals to be warm and comfortable, it is necessary to insulate the walls with straw mats.

The floor in the pit must not remain earthen. Otherwise, it will be constantly damp, which will lead to diseases in rabbits. It can be made from a metal mesh or slats, under which a 20-centimeter layer of sand is poured - this material well removes moisture and odors.

Another way to equip a floor is by cementing. Pouring must be done at a slope so that the waste flows into one place, and it is easier to clean it up. Lay a bedding of straw or sawdust on the floor.

Ideally, if you put at least the simplest ventilation system and artificial lighting into the pit.

Feeders and drinkers should be installed in the place where the eared ones are kept. They need to be attached to one of the fortified walls at such a height that animals of different sizes can comfortably eat food, but at the same time they cannot climb into them with their whole body.

So that other animals that may pose a danger to them do not visit the rabbits, it is worth making a fence around the pit.

How to choose the right breed

Arrangement of the rabbitry

Breeding rabbits at home for novice rabbit breeders is best done with cages.

Seat selection

If there is already an outbuilding on the territory, then inside it a place should be allocated for new residents. If the rabbitry is being built from scratch, then they choose a place that is on a hill and is not heavily blown by the winds.

For summer housing, it is not necessary to install the cages indoors. A canopy is made over them, which will protect from bad weather and close them from the wind. If the cells are made mobile, then in the summer they are installed on the street, and in the winter they are moved indoors. If it is not possible to build a rabbitry, a garage, balcony or any other room that is pre-insulated is suitable for wintering.

When keeping animals in winter, care must be taken that a ventilation system and artificial light sources are installed in the rabbitry.

Arrangement of cells

To equip houses for fluffy pets, they use improvised means or purchase building material in specialized stores. It is better to construct cages from plywood or sheets of fiberboard, chipboard. One side of the makeshift house should be made of fine-grained metal mesh. The optimal size of the cage is 120 × 60 cm, the height is 40 cm. The numbers depend on the size of the pets. There are giant breeds that require a lot more space. Ask the breeder about the breed standards when buying rabbits.

Rabbit hygiene is of great importance in disease prevention. Rabbits need to be kept in clean and dry cages.

If there is not enough space, the cells are arranged in 2 or 3 rows. Higher structures are difficult to maintain. Pet houses are installed at a distance of 60 cm from the ground.

Breeding rabbits involves mating and giving birth to rabbits. Females' houses must contain a queen cell. It is installed separately in the cage. The dimensions of the cage for the rabbit must exceed the above norms. A drinker and a feeder are installed and fixed in each cage. Otherwise, pets will turn them over, making it difficult to care for.

Breeding rabbits in pits and keeping them in winter and summer

Some breeders claim that rabbits feel more comfortable in a pit than in specially equipped rabbitries or cages. At first glance, this statement is true, since the animals are in as close to natural conditions as possible. But there are also opponents of this growing method. Therefore, this issue should be considered in more detail.

General information

Pit maintenance is the placement of rabbits for permanent residence in a specially dug and fortified pit. There, the animals themselves create a whole network of holes, increasing the usable area of ​​the structure. Gradually, the animals move underground, rising to the surface only for eating or sending needs.

Under normal circumstances, the length of the tunnels does not exceed 20 m, since the animals do not want to move away from the feeder. But design mistakes can cause some rabbits to climb out of the pit and run away. In addition, the animals are left to their own devices, and it is difficult for the breeder to keep track of them.

Features of the

If you decide to organize a pit breeding of rabbits that were kept in cages until this time, be careful. Animals need to adapt to new living conditions, and large breeds will have the hardest time.

It is better to populate young animals that have not yet had time to get used to life in captivity. Also take climatic conditions into account.In areas prone to floods, it is better not to grow rabbits in a pit, otherwise they will drown when burrows are flooded.

Please note that over time, the animals will become smaller and run wild. Of course, at the same time you will significantly save on breeding animals, but here you will have to control such a phenomenon as closely related mating. Therefore, first evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of this type of content.

«Per» and «vs»

Breeding rabbits in pits has the following advantages:

  • significant cost savings
  • the possibility of settling a large number of individuals in a small area (up to 200 rabbits can be kept in a 4x4 pit)
  • no need to control the female's birth
  • saving time spent on maintaining the rabbitry and caring for the animals
  • less influence of climatic conditions on animal health (in winter there are no drafts, and in summer - sweltering heat)
  • independent replenishment by rabbits of some of the necessary vitamins and microelements, as well as saving feed (eating seeds and roots when digging holes)
  • the best organization of society among groups of animals
  • a high level of animal reproduction and a lower mortality rate of cubs due to the fault of females (their maternal instinct is enhanced, several rabbits can participate in feeding the offspring).

But when raising rabbits in a pit, a breeder has a number of problems:

  • closely related mating over time threatens the animals with degeneration
  • pets will noticeably run wild and begin to be afraid of the owner, which will complicate the capture
  • constant fights between relatives will negatively affect the quality of rabbit fur, so it will subsequently become impossible to sell the skins
  • it is extremely difficult to identify an epidemic of any disease at the initial stage and to vaccinate, which significantly increases the risk of infection of the entire livestock
  • it is impossible to establish enhanced nutrition for pregnant females and weakened individuals.


Making a pit for keeping rabbits in a personal plot with your own hands is not at all difficult. First you need to choose a suitable place, preferably on a hill and in the shade.

So the animals will not suffer from the heat, and the holes will not get wet due to the rise in the water table. If you plan to control the mating of pets, dig 2 holes at once at a distance of 25 - 30 m from each other.

Next, draw up drawings of the future design based on the following recommendations and get to work.

  • Make a 1 - 1.5 m depression with an area of ​​2x2 m per 100 individuals. It is advisable to choose a rectangular shape for convenience during further construction, although this is not essential.
  • Then you need to stock up on material for the walls. Slate is usually used, although any raw material that rabbits cannot gnaw will do. Three walls are closed up close (some breeders even fill them with concrete).
  • The fourth wall does not close completely. It provides for a fairly large hole through which the animals will be able to freely enter future burrows. It is recommended to even dig up the ground a little (just not up!), So that the animals can then continue to work. You should also provide a door or flap, which, if necessary, can close the entrance to the tunnels.
  • Cover the bottom of the hole with a 20 cm layer of sand and lay a fine mesh over it so that the rabbits do not dig unnecessary holes. The urine of animals is easily absorbed through this filter into the soil, and the feces will need to be removed periodically.
  • As a shelter from the rain, a lean-to canopy is suitable, made in such a way that the water flows in the direction opposite to the tunnels.
  • Fence off the pit to prevent other animals from entering.
  • Install feeders and drinkers.

Check in

When the structure is ready, you can begin to populate the animals. First, young animals are launched (4 - 5 months), with preference for small breeds of rabbits. It is better to do this in stages - on the first day, place 10 - 20 individuals in the pit, and after 2 - 3 days - the rest.

Fights are possible between animals for the division of the territory - this is normal. Adult females, previously living in cages, will drive out their relatives and take their places, since they have lost their digging instinct. In general, if you decide to breed rabbits in pits, purchase animals that already have similar experience in advance. They will set an example for the whole livestock.

Digging holes

After settling in, not all animals will dig holes, as they are already accustomed to living in specially equipped rabbitries and have lost the necessary skills. How do you get adults to regain this instinct? To do this, the breeder will have to spur them to work by digging part of the tunnel on his own.

At a height of 20 cm from the bottom of the hole, dig a hole as long as possible, preferably with a slight downward slope. Then insert a timber with a diameter of 20 cm there, and cover the remaining space with earth or clay and tamp. You need to pull out the beam in a circular motion, expanding the tunnel to the exit. Rabbits will settle down in an artificial hole, and their natural instinct will return to them.


For the successful rearing of rabbits in a pit, it is necessary to periodically carry out breeding work, since constant closely related mating can lead to the degeneration of the livestock. The best option here would be to change the male.

You also need to pay attention to the appearance and frequency of mating females. Those with low rates are recommended to be culled, otherwise it will not work to breed a large livestock. Although in natural conditions, rabbits are less likely to eat their cubs, this still happens. This can be determined by the behavior of the female.

If she is aggressive, constantly carries hay, pulls out the fur on her belly too zealously, the risk of her eating rabbits increases.

When raising rabbits on an industrial scale, breeders will dig 2 holes. Young animals are planted in one (up to 3 - 4 months), the rest of the animals live in the second. To make the business profitable and the livestock not to degenerate, only 2 - 3 males are isolated per 100 individuals. This makes it easier to carry out breeding work. The presence of 2 pits also makes it easier for the owner to vaccinate pets.

Some more tips

Although some breeders claim that when keeping rabbits in a hole, the owner only needs to dig a hole, run the animals and then add food to them, this is not the case. There are a few more nuances to consider:

  • Usually, the temperature in the burrows is comfortable for the animals - 10 - 15 °. But climatic conditions in some regions can upset the balance. So, in Siberia, it is recommended to insulate the walls with straw in winter.
  • If the rabbit pit is under a roof, it should be well ventilated. To do this, a pipe is inserted into the canopy, bent from above (so that the holes are not flooded with rain) and facing the street.
  • To prevent the animals from becoming blind, a sufficient amount of light must penetrate into the pit, for which a retractable canopy or electric lamps are provided.
  • Don't forget to vaccinate rabbits. Of course, in the future it will be difficult to implement, but at the initial stage before settling in it is possible.
  • To keep the animals from running wild, come up with a feeding ritual. For example, when setting food, call the pets with a bell. So they will not be weaned from the owner.
  • It is recommended to carry out prophylaxis against rats. Although adult rabbits are able to defend themselves, young ones can get hurt. To get rid of rodents, fry a couple of onions and 4 eggs in oil, mix with broken glass, wrap in paper and wrap in plastic. All this must be put in the place of the most likely exit of the rats.
  • The feeding regime of the animals is no different from that in the rabbitry. But the food should be given more in order to avoid fights between congeners. Also remember to change the water regularly.

Catching from the pit

Breeding rabbits in pits provides for their subsequent capture for slaughter. But over time, when the animals run wild, this becomes problematic. Instinct forces animals to hide in holes at the slightest danger, and the appearance of the owner will scare them away. This is why it is recommended to tame pets when feeding.

This is where a pre-provided door or flap that closes the entrance to the tunnels comes in handy. When the animals go out into the street, the passage is blocked. It is better to use a landing net for catching.

Digging and equipping a rabbit hole is not at all difficult, and besides, this method of keeping animals will significantly save the breeder's money and time. If you decide to run a business on an industrial level, this design will allow you to breed large livestock on a regular backyard plot. But due to a number of shortcomings, many owners refuse to breed animals in the pit.

Watch the video: Raising Meat Rabbits from Start To Finish: Making Baby Bunnies Breeding

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