The average life span of rabbits
The life cycle of rabbits is important not so much for lovers of decorative breeds as for people involved in the industrial breeding of these animals. Making your own plans for raising rabbits for meat, it is important to know at what age it is better to send an individual for slaughter so that its qualities do not have time to deteriorate, and when to remove the rabbit from breeding.
What affects the life span of the animal
Rabbits differ not only in appearance and purpose, their lifespan is also not the same. It depends on many factors:
- the conditions in which the animals are kept;
- proper care;
- injuries and illnesses;
- use in production.
Containment conditions affect health, and the main point here is cell size. The rabbit needs to move, even if it is raised for meat. The larger the area, the more movement and less fat. Fat does not benefit anyone, spoils the quality of the carcass and shortens life. Individuals for fattening are kept in small cages on purpose, but within reason. To producers, on the contrary, a large enclosure is important, otherwise it will be very soon necessary to remove them from breeding.Animals walk outside the cage is desirable. Let the decorative ones walk around the apartment, at home, in a private courtyard, but under supervision so that the rabbit does not get injured and does not damage property - he tries everything on the tooth. For meat you need to build an aviary on the street, where animals can walk for at least an hour a day. At the same time, the animals are timid and can die from a sharp loud sound, and they categorically must not fall from any height.
Important! Rabbits are sensitive to temperature conditions, receive heat stroke if it is hot (the temperature for them is up to +25 ° C) and easily get frostbite if the cage and the room are not insulated.
The quality of the diet, adherence to the feeding schedule, nutritional value also directly affect how long the rabbit survives. The daily norm of food is divided into 6-7 feedings. If you do not keep the animal for slaughter for meat, limit it to excessive food - the rabbits are voracious and will eat as much as they are offered. Due to overeating, not only muscle mass increases, but to a greater degree fat, and this entails heart problems, the body wears out several times faster.Thick individuals often lose their reproductive functions. The livestock is exclusively fed for industrial purposes, not caring for the longevity of individuals. Usually they are killed as soon as the beast reaches the desired mass, under the age of one year.
Rabbits are prone to many diseases, most of which are due to poor care and poor sanitation in the cell. Follow the rules for caring for animals:
- timely vaccination of rabbits;
- regular cleaning - the cage and litter should be clean, dry, without an unpleasant odor;
- disinfection of habitat, feeders and drinking bowls once or twice a month;
- airing of the room where individuals live (without a draft);
- maintaining the temperature regime;
- cleaning ears from dirt and sulfur;
- clipping of claws;
- only fresh water and food.
Genes are inherited by rabbits in the same way as humans, so it is important to buy animals from reliable, responsible breeders, preferably professional ones.Buying a rabbit from the hands, and not in the nursery, you can only hope for good luck. This is especially true for thoroughbred individuals — unscrupulous owners can give out thoroughbreds as purebreds and offer you a cross under the guise of a good stock.A good heredity of a rabbit is one of the key points from which you can build on, considering how much the animal will live on average. Healthy, strong individuals are born from healthy and strong individuals that transmit their immunity. And vice versa, rabbits from weak, painful parents will also often get sick and live less than representatives of their own breed. External defects, for example, a malocclusion, are also a reason for rejection of an individual; it is strictly forbidden to allow such a breeding.
How many rabbits live
How long rabbit species live, depends on their purpose and habitat. Wild, decorative and industrial - today there are three completely different types of animals, and in all cases the role of man has become very significant.
Decorative rabbits got comfortable at home, but their average life expectancy is still 7-8 years. Not because breeders intervened, but because of the accelerated pace of life of these animals. A vivid example, a rabbit’s pregnancy lasts from 28 to 32 days, and puberty begins at 4 months.But if you sterilize rabbits, they can live up to 12 years. This is due to a decrease in activity. Sterilization of non-breeding decorative rabbits, in particular, males, is also useful because the animal will not be marked in the apartment, house (and they do it in a jump, drops with an unpleasant odor and unsightly color will be on all walls, on furniture at a height of more than half a meter )
Important! Males sometimes become sterile in the summertime involuntarily, without castration. Reproductive functions are restored without outside help after a drop in air temperature.
In favorable conditions, a wild rabbit can live 9–15 years, but in nature it is usually only 1–2 years, in rare cases 3 years. High mortality is due to bad weather conditions, infectious diseases that blood-sucking insects carry, attack by predators, burning grass in the fields in spring (small rabbits and hares do not have a single chance to escape from fire and smoke).In captivity, wild rabbits are even less likely to survive. They are not adapted to unnatural conditions, caring for them is extremely difficult and often ends in death for the animal.
Did you know? According to the latest data from the Guinness Book of Records, the longest rabbit from Australia lived the longest, caught by Walker Longford, who left the beast for himself as a pet. Favorite Flopsy lived 19 years.
Common domestic rabbits of a large breed live for about 8 years, dwarf ones for 5 years. Straight-eared individuals live longer than fold. There are breeds that are ranked among centenarians among rabbits:We can conclude that the size of the beast is associated with its life cycle.
Meat-skinned rabbits are notable for a wide variation in life expectancy. It depends on the breed, and here the role of breeders is already direct - the characteristics of the species changed significantly. Accelerated growth and weight gain, the rate of puberty (not all at 4 months, in some species twice as late) - all this affects the processes in the body, wearing it to a greater or lesser extent.
If Flanders, White and Gray representatives, Butterflies can live 8 years (12 years is not advisable for meat breeds, nobody will keep so much), then Soviet chinchillas and Californians live only 5-6 years, and New Zealand and Vienna blue - only 4 years . The listed species can live longer, but after the indicated age they no longer gain weight and do not grow; it makes no sense to keep them further if they are kept for slaughter. The same applies to livestock for breeding - 3-4 years is the upper limit, after which individuals are allowed for meat.
How old do rabbits live?
The frequency of use of the rabbit to reproduce offspring is the main factor affecting the duration of her life. Pregnancy and feeding greatly weaken the body. Rabbits are large-sized animals that can bring offspring up to 6 times a year, so on average a rabbit lives no more than 4 years.
Okrol 3-4 times a year prolongs the life of the manufacturer to 7 years. In precocious breeds, for example, New Zealand or California, on the contrary, the life time is reduced and is only 2–2.5 years. Keeping them longer is not economically feasible.
Did you know? There are usually more fetuses in the womb of a rabbit than there are newborn cubs. Due to stress and natural protection against excessive reproduction, some embryos resolve.
Signs of Aging
Determining when a rabbit begins to age is not visually difficult. The main signs of an individual's aging:
- decrease in activity;
- lack of interest in your favorite games (for decorative breeds);
- loss of fluffiness and hair loss;
- blurred vision, lack of brilliance;
- sagging belly.