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Looney Lop's Rabbitry

Raising Belgian Hares
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THIS PAGE IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION....

I have been meaning to create this page for some time now. This will give you tips and information on raising hares from my own experience. I have found a lot of the info available online is untrue and leads people away from the breed. Please enjoy and feel free to contact me with any questions you might have!

"Proper" Caging:

My cages are 24" tall x 30" deep x 24" wide or 48" wide. I use show cooping style coops were the cage is wire but the floor is wooden and I put down pine shaving and hay. I have raised hares on wire and find that either way works. The big problem with wire is having a strong enough floor to support the development of strength in the hares ankles. I have not found that wire floors cause sorehocks on the hares, if it does then it's probably because of low quality floor wire. If you need to use wire make sure it is a very strong wire and that you bed it down with hay or straw or even a piece of plywood or carpet thru the middle for them to be on. Another caging option is large plastic dog crates! They clean up very nice and just bed it down with pine shavings and hay or straw. My cages have plywood floors so to get as much life out of the wood as I can I buy cheap plain ol' cat litter boxes from the dollar store and try to get them to use them. I have some hares that use thier boxes without any problems and I have some that don't care where they go! (haha, 90% of them will take to the box just fine though) This will help keep the wood from breaking down from the urine soaking into it.  My cages were purchased from Plank Cage and Supply out of Michigan. Willis Plank and his family make excellent cages and will make them to your liking! I will post a link to thier website on here asap.                                                                       

My barn is not heated and the Hares do just as well as any other breed of rabbit in the cold and the heat.

 

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Here's one wall of the barn with Hare cages...you'll have to pardon the mess...winter prep was going on when I took this! :)
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A Hare unit...I like wire dividers (floor wire used so they can't pick on each other thru the dividers) because it allows air flow thru the entire barn.

Breeding:

I table breed everything I own. I don't think that putting two rabbits in the cage together is a good idea because all it takes is one angry rabbit lashing out to ruin your show rabbit. I simply put them both on the running table and keep control of the doe while the buck "does his thing".  Belgians are not any harder to breed or get litters out of then any other breed. I actually have better luck getting my hares to breed and give me babies then my English lops! I use wooden nestboxes and bed the bottom with a little bit of shavings and then hay. My average litter size is 9 but I've had as few as 2 and as many as 13.

Posing the Hares:
There are many different ways to pose a hare. I will try to get a video on here soon that walks you thru all the different ways of posing...it's easier then trying to type out and explain how to do it. :)  My biggest pet peeve is never to pose by grabbing the ears. This is a good way to break thier ear base causing the cartilage to not be able to support thier ears...not to mention the rabbits don't like it! Just take your time, be relaxed and confident, and you'll do just fine!
Fun Photos!
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