AVS 324_ Legomorphs.docx

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Animal and Veterinary Science
AVS 324
Fred Launer

Legomorphs (Rabbits)  Terminology: -buck: male rabbit -doe: female rabbit -kit: young rabbit -kindling: give birth (parturition)  Feeding: -feed conversion: 4:1 (4 lbs food to have 1 lb of weight gain) -alfalfa pellets are a good feed  Digestion: -rabbits digest approximately 14% of cellulose -rabbits have a cecum but the large intestines don’t absorb much -cecatrophs: type of waste that rabbits re-eat (from cecum), once it is re-eaten the small intestine can absorb the nutrients  Breeding: -females mature at 6 months old, males aren’t mature until 7-12 months old -rabbits are seasonally polyestrous (can get them to come into heat by manipulating light) -estrous cycle is 16-18 days -gestation length on average is 31 days -usually 8-10 kits per litter -when breeding put the female in the male’s cage rather than the male in the female’s cage -need to put a nesting box in with the doe when she is going to kindle, the kits are very fragile (doe pulls out fur for bedding) -handler needs to have the doe used to their smell because otherwise if a human touches her kits she’ll smell the scent and kill the kits -wean kits at 35-42 days old -female has 2 rows of teats -milk production starts when prolactin is released, when the kits nurse she releases oxytocin to help let down her milk -doe should be rebred 21 days after kindling (then put back with her already born kits) -if a doe gets too excited, too hot, too cold, etc. she’ll kill her kits  Conformation/Ideal Rabbit: -general size guidelines: -small: 2-4 lbs -medium: 9-12 lbs -large: 14-16 lbs  Medical: -Pasturella: caused by ammonia (it already exists in the rabbit but the compromised immune system makes it show up) -Coccidiosis: prot
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