Gentle readers, if you eat cows, pigs or birds you have absolutely no call to condemn the rabbit industry. But I can and will:
Rabbits suffer from the same hardships every other farm animal suffers from such as: space deprivation, poor ventilation, manipulated lighting, and etc. Consequently they exhibit a range of neurotic behaviors such as fur-plucking, ear-biting and self-mutilation. They become obese, get inflamed feet, have poor bone density, develop gastrointestinal and urinary dysfunction.
Caged rabbits can suffer from ulcerative pododermatitis (also called "sore hocks") consisting of scab-covered ulcers on the hind legs. This is caused by the pressure of heavy body weight on a wire floor, or by excessive stamping of the feet by nervous rabbits.
In some cases the feces underneath the cages are never cleaned out. Prolonged exposure to fumes (particularly ammonia) from urine and feces, irritate the rabbits' eyes and respiratory tracts and predisposes them to disease.
In nature, rabbits’ way of dealing with dangers is by running and hiding in holes. The fact they can’t do it in the cages leaves them panicked with every change in the surrounding. When they are taken out of the cage or someone else is getting in or even to the slightest noise, rabbits often respond with digestive problems, in some cases hurting themselves or their babies, sometimes killing them.
Just to understand how hard the conditions in the rabbits farms are, 1 in 4 rabbits will die due to the intensive conditions before the age of 12 weeks (rabbit’s slaughter age) even though they can reach up to 12 years.
The industry’s way to reproduce more “meat bunnies” is by caging does and bucks (female and male rabbits) in a single cell cage and use them as a breeding stock. In the wild, rabbits form social colonies that usually consists of one to three males and one to five females. Domestic rabbits retain the full range of behaviors of their wild ancestors, so housing rabbits singly in barren cages causes physiological and behavioral problems. Young does are mated for the first time at the age of 16 weeks. Then they start their endless cycle of overlapping impregnation, gestation, birth, and nursing.
A typical litter consists of 8-10 bunnies which are taken away from their mother at 4 weeks of age.
The does are fertile 24 hours after giving birth and being re-mated before each litter is weaned.
Does have an average 'use-life' of about 18 months. During this period, they will produce 8-15 litters. The gestation lasts for 32 days. An average litter reproduces 6-8 successfully fattened rabbits (out of 8-10 born bunnies). The production targets are at least 50 rabbits per doe, per year. Bucks are usually kept until they are three to four years old.
When the breeding does' and bucks' productivity begins to fall, they are sold for low-quality meat production..
You may read the end of these bunnies miserable journey here.
You can remove your participation in the suffering of so many by simply making other choices. Whether it's rabbits, chickens, pigs, cows or any other exploited being... Please do so.
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