Every farmer knows firsthand: in order for animal breeding to bring pleasure and a stable income, it is important to properly care for the animals, provide them with everything they need and try to comply with living conditions close to ideal. And if it comes to baby animals, then there should be no disputes - it is important to comply with all conditions so that newborns grow up strong and healthy individuals.
This type of farming is not an exception, as breeding rabbits. For little rabbits, it is necessary to create special houses called queen cells. Then the owner will be able to achieve excellent conditions for the successful birth and feeding of offspring in the first days of his life.
Description and purpose
As is known from zoology, in natural habitat, that is, in nature, rabbits prepare burrows some time before the birth of their cubs. These shelters help create a warm and safe environment for newly born babies. It is in the hole that the female is able to safely give birth and in the first days to feed the babies. It is natural for adults and small rabbits to be in some kind of shelter, therefore, it is important for the farmer to create similar conditions so that the birth process is successful.
It should be borne in mind that if a pregnant rabbit is in an open cage, she can experience feelings of anxiety, often get nervous. As a result, the female may lose milk and she will not be able to feed her offspring . Therefore, it is important to provide her with a secluded place where she can naturally and comfortably bear and give birth to cubs. And for rabbits that are born blind and hairless, warm conditions are necessary. These will certainly be provided by the rabbit, but it is important for the farmer himself to make sure that the space for such procedures is the most convenient.
An excellent solution for all these purposes is the mother cell. Roughly speaking , this is a container that is closed on all sides and equipped with a small round or oval loophole. In it, you can alternately combine such a structure as a maternity ward (or, as it is also called, a birthing box) together with a house for immature babies and mothers.
Industrial queen cells, which are most often used on large-scale rabbit farms, are a kind of extension to the rabbit's main dwelling. A similar design can be made with your own hands. It is only important to consider a few features that will help you create the perfect rabbit house.
As mentioned above, the main requirement for a homemade mother liquor is to create conditions as close as possible to natural ones. It is also important to focus on the climatic conditions of your region and the season during which you plan to produce okrol. In order for the living conditions of the cubs and mothers to be comfortable, it is necessary to equip heating. If this is not provided, you need to take care of the availability of warm bedding. It can be a clean insulated cloth, dry hay, sawdust, cardboard or paper. The choice again depends on the weather conditions.
The dimensions of the dwelling, of course, depend on the size of the breed of rabbits itself: they should not be cramped, but it is also better not to build a house that is too spacious. This is fraught with consequences. If the mother is small and cramped in it, the rabbit may simply refuse to go there and feed the offspring, which is not good for newborns. If the puppy is too large and spacious, then the female is able to confuse it with the cage itself and begin to relieve herself there. Of course, this way the outcome of events will significantly worsen the sanitary standards of animal breeding and add a lot of work to the farmer.
The main requirement for the general design of the mother liquor is the presence of an opening and removable top cover, which can be removed for cleaning and control over the cubs and rabbits. Therefore, it is important to take into account all the nuances in advance, make measurements, develop a drawing so as not to miscalculate and from the first time create a practical and convenient mother plant for both rabbits and the owner.
Most often, breeders of animals when creating a queen cell are guided by its standard and long-developed sizes. The size of the house for rabbits can also be affected by the capacity of the cage itself, how large the space in it is still free for the kids. Of course, it is important to pay attention to the breed of rabbits so that they are not cramped. If the type of animal is rather large, then the size of the mother liquor increases accordingly.
Consider the standard values used by those who want to make a birthing box with their own hands.
For medium breeds
Medium animals are those whose weight does not exceed 6 kilograms, and the length is no more than 0.5 meters. These include breeds such as the Viennese blue rabbit, New Zealand representatives of the family, silver, rex, butterfly, French ram and some others. But for Californian, Dutch and black-brown rabbits, it is better to make a queen cell a little larger in size. The optimal size of the mother liquor for their maintenance:
- height - 0.3 meters;
- length - about 0.5-0.55 meters;
- width - does not exceed 0.4 meters, often it is 0.35 meters;
- the diameter of the loophole is no more than 0.2 meters.
For large breeds
These include, for example, a gray or white giant, a Soviet chinchilla. The mother liquor of the following dimensions is ideal for them:
- height - about 0.75 meters;
- length - no more than 1 meter, usually it is 0.9 meters;
- width 0 is about 0.5 meters, often 0.4 measures are taken;
- the diameter of the loophole is 0.2 meters.
Breeds such as the Belgian Giant and Risen are likely to require slightly more space. The length and width must be increased by 5 centimeters, and another 10 must be added to the height.
For decorative rocks
For example, for dwarf and colored rams, for black-fire and angora rabbits, a queen cell with the following values is required:
- height - 0.25 meters;
- length - about half a meter;
- width - about 0.3 meters;
- the diameter of the loophole is 0.1 meters.
Required materials and tools
To build a standard size mother liquor, the following materials will be required:
- plywood sheets 0.03 centimeters thick;
- wooden board 2.5 centimeters thick;
- wooden bars, the section of which is 2.58 by 2.5 or 2.5 by 3;
- a metal sheet;
From the tools you need to prepare:
- nails and screws (those that are convenient for you, but it is important to proceed from considerations of the reliability of the structure);
Now let's go directly to the instructions, in which we will describe in detail how to properly make a mother plant with our own hands and provide newborn rabbits with a warm and safe home. The first step will be to create the walls of the structure from a plywood sheet: in total, you need to make 12 rectangular sheets. The front and back walls must be the same size, they need 4 rectangles, their sizes are 0.3 and 0.56 meters.
The side walls are created from 4 rectangles, the dimensions of which are 0.3 and 0.35 meters. And finally, for the size of 4 rectangles for the floor and roof, they are also 0.3 and 0.56.
At the next stage, you need to stock up on wooden slats of a certain length: their number is 14 pieces. 8 bars should be 0.56 meters. They are ideal for the construction of a solid structure for the front and back walls, the bottom and the ceiling of the mother liquor. The length of the other 4 bars should be 0.31 meters - for the rest of the joints inside the birth ward.
We proceed to the cladding of the general structure. From the bars obtained at the second stage, it is necessary to build a rectangular frame, resorting to the help of nails. Then fill the resulting frame on another sheet of plywood, prepared in the first stage. This will end up with the first side. According to a similar algorithm, it is necessary to build other walls: a floor, a ceiling and two side walls.
The wall where the rabbit hole will be located must be designed according to the same principle, adding a hole. From the bottom, you need to retreat about 0.05 meters and cut a loophole with a diameter corresponding to the rabbit breed. It is important to take into account the height from the floor to the manhole. It should be such that the rabbit can safely jump from the cage to the queen cell and back, but at the same time so that the cubs cannot reach the manhole and climb into the cage, which is still cool for them.
Now we proceed to covering the floor with a galvanized sheet of iron. This is necessary to prevent surface decay. You need to cut a metal sheet 0.52 m long and 0.31 m wide.
At the next stage, we will turn to the assembly of a full-fledged frame for the future mother liquor. It is necessary to knock down the walls and the bottom between themselves. It is necessary to attach hinges to the upper side of the side wall, and install a lid on them, which, as already mentioned above, will reduce the energy consumption for cleaning the mother liquor. At the final stage, it is important to take care of the warm keeping of the cubs - install heating, especially if the mother is winter. It can be either electric heating pads or any of your own inventions for keeping warm.
Recommendations for use
Experienced farmers recommend letting the rabbit into the built broodstock 3-5 days before the expected birth date. Such a procedure is carried out so that the animal can get used to the new living conditions: the rabbit will begin to tear the wool and cover the bottom of the mother liquor with it in order to insulate the new house, create some nests. In this, the hay prepared by the owner will help her.
A warm, dry, slightly darkened space is the main condition for the convenience of rabbits living in a queen cell. Too often it is not necessary to interfere with the calm existence of a mother and her cubs, only out of necessity. It is also important to maintain an acceptable temperature for the animals in the mother liquor. If for adults an indicator of 0 degrees is comfortable, then newborns need a temperature equal to 24-27 degrees of heat.
In winter, rabbits rarely acquire offspring, but if a favorable temperature regime is constantly maintained (+10 degrees), then the animals will decide on an okrol. In this case, the cage with the mother liquor must be placed in a really warm place. It is also important to use heating in winter to insulate the interior. It must be borne in mind that too warm a mother cell is just as bad for babies as a blown one.
In order to constantly maintain the optimum temperature inside, it is important to take care of insulation even at the construction stage. For this purpose, sawdust or other similar materials are compacted between the joined plywood sheets. You can use foam, sheathing the walls of the mother liquor with it.
There are other options as well. In specialized stores you can find a wide selection of different heating products. For example, electric mats or special films with built-in heating elements. Moreover, many breeders use a simple heating pad to keep warm in the mother liquor. Here you just need to remember to change the water to heated one.
It is worth noting that farmers do not have a specific period, upon reaching which the mother liquor can be removed from the cage. However, they are sure that this should not be done before the rabbits reach the age of 21 days, and in the winter period it is better to wait some more period of time. Many also believe that this can be done when the cubs can independently make their way through the loophole from the queen cell into the cage. It was at this time that it was already possible to safely remove the structure, and to settle the rabbits in separate cages.
For information on how to make a do-it-yourself queen cell for rabbits, see the next video.