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RABBITS This workforce solution was funded by a grant awarded under the President’s Community-Based Job Training Grants as implemented by the U.S. Department.

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Presentation on theme: "RABBITS This workforce solution was funded by a grant awarded under the President’s Community-Based Job Training Grants as implemented by the U.S. Department."— Presentation transcript:

1 RABBITS This workforce solution was funded by a grant awarded under the President’s Community-Based Job Training Grants as implemented by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration. The solution was created by the grantee and does not necessarily reflect the official position of the U.S. Department of Labor. The Department of Labor makes no guarantees, warranties, or assurances of any kind, express or implied, with respect to such information, including any information on linked sites and including, but not limited to, accuracy of the information or its completeness, timeliness, usefulness, adequacy, continued availability, or ownership. This solution is copyrighted by the institution that created it. Internal use by an organization and/or personal use by an individual for non-commercial purposes is permissible. All other uses require the prior authorization of the copyright owner.

2 RABBITS ► Lagomorphs ► Herbivores ► Posses a single stomach  Cecum is enlarged and appears to be a reservoir in which cellulose and other food can undergo fermentation.

3 RABBITS ► Two types of fecal pellets  One type: Relatively dry, dark brown or black in color, and is the type usually observed in cage. ► Excreted primarily during the day  Second type: Very moist, usually a dark green in color. ► Eaten by the rabbit as it is excreted. ► Rarely observed in cage ► Often called night feces

4 RABBITS Day fecesNight feces Night feces very rich in nutrients produced by bacteria in the rabbit’s cecum. Rabbits unable to eat night feces may develop nutritional deficiency diseases.

5 RABBITS Normal rabbit feces which you should be seeing when cleaning their cage.

6 RABBITS ► Use in research  Studies of hydrocephalus, arteriosclerosis, hyperthermia, toxicology, ophthalmology, and reproductive physiology.  Most common – antibody production

7 RABBITS -BEHAVIOR ► Even temperament  Occasional animal that will deliberately attack ► Caged rabbit may hop around in its cage and explore ► Frightened rabbit may stomp and thump its rear feet out of fear or as a sign of aggression when startled.

8 RABBITS - BEHAVIOR ► At rest, rabbit may stretch out on its side or stomach and rest its head on the cage floor. ► Frightened rabbit may race around the cage, kicking with its hind legs or seek cover in a corner. ► May vocalize – similar to a child's cry ► Very sensitive to noise

9 BEHAVIOR ► Active and curious ► Able to escape from unsecured cages. ► Be sure to properly latch the cage door. ► Normally sit on all 4 feet ► Move around cage by hopping  Occassionally stand on their hind legs

10 RABBITS - IDENTIFICATION ► Metal ear tags  May be torn out causing infection ► Studs with imprinted permanent numbers ► Ear tattoos Note the tattoo in the rabbit’s ear

11 RABBIT – HANDLING AND RESTRAINT ► Timid and excitable  May resist handling ► Gentle and firm manual restraint causes rabbit to relax.  Grasp scruff of neck with one hand  Support the hind end and back with other hand. ► Important to prevent rabbit from kicking in an attempt to escape. ► Allow rabbit to tuck its head.

12 HANDLING AND RESTRAINT Grabbing the rabbit’s scruff Support the back end of the rabbit

13 HANDLING AND RESTRAINT Note the handler has control of the head by holding the scruff. She also has support of the back end and allows the rabbit to tuck his head under her arm.

14 What is this?

15 The above picture is showing a rabbit which is using a “cart” This is designed to allow the rabbit to be mobile. We see these in rabbits and also in dogs and cats when there is a spinal cord injury which renders them paralyzed.

16 RABBITS – SEX DETERMINATION ► Male rabbits (bucks)  Have external scrotum  Penis can be protruded by applying gentle pressure. ► Female rabbits (does)  Vulva may be seen as a pointed slit

17 Which is the male and which is the female?

18 RABBITS - HOUSING ► May be housed in groups in floor pens ► More commonly individually in hanging or rack mounted cages. ► Floors may be either wire mesh or slatted bars ► Various absorbent pads or pelleted products are available for use in the fecal pans. Note the automatic waterer in the back of the cage Enrichment

19 RABBITS ► Urine can vary from clear red to yellow to a creamy yellow. ► Urine contains a high concentration of calcium salts  Difficult to clean from cages  Usually requires the use of an acid treatment during washing. Normal rabbit urine

20 RABBITS - DIET ► Ad Lib supply of fresh clean water  Drinking bottles ► Must be fastened securely to cages as rabbits often chew on the sipper tubes.  Automatic watering system ► High fiber diets  Avoid obesity  Contribute to prevention of hairballs in stomach (trichobezoar)

21 RABBITS - DIET ► Should be fed pellets from J feeders. ► Feed by gnawing their food. ► Intestinal flora is very sensitive to dietary changes  Any changes should be done gradually over 4-5 days. ► Rabbits are coprophagous

22 BREEDING ► Sexual Maturity – 4-6 months of age ► Gestation – days ► Litter size – 4-10 ► Does with new litters, especially if first litter, should not be disturbed to prevent them from killing their young. ► Parturition - Kindling

23 OTHER INFORMATION ► Toenails grow rapidly.  Wild rabbits keep their nails worn down by digging and running. ► Caged rabbits must have nails clipped periodically.

24 ILLNESS What do you see wrong with this rabbit?

25 ILLNESS This rabbit has Snuffles. Snuffles is an upper respiratory disease which is very contagious. Snuffles is caused by a bacteria named Pasturella multocida. Discharge on left front leg from grooming Ocular discharge (Conjunctivitis) Nasal discharge – Can start watery and then turn whitish or yellow

26 ILLNESS ► Rabbits groom frequently and will ingest hair. ► If a hairball accumulates in their gastrointestinal tract, they may end up with an obstruction  Rabbit may stop eating  Feces will decrease and may stop all together. ► Helping to keep temperatures low in the animal room will reduce the amount of fur they shed. ► Also feeding diets high in fiber.

27 ILLNESS ► Malocclusion – Incisors overgrow  Rabbit may stop eating ► Need to trim the teeth in these cases.

28 ILLNESS ► Obesity  Caused by feeding a diet high in calories  Lack of exercise ► Rabbits that are obese are not able to groom properly ► They also may not be able to reach to eat their night feces.


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