Understanding the lifestyle pattern of rabbits is a decisive factor for success. For instance, in nature, rabbits live under the ground, where they are protected not only from enemies but also from high ambient temperatures. Their lack of sweat glands limits their thermoregulation capability.
Similarly, keeping rabbits in overstocked cages provokes aggressive behavior and enables the rapid spread of skin diseases such as ringworm, which can be easily controlled by avoiding stress factors and supplementing their diet with natural feed additives designed to calm the animals, reduce the negative consequences of heat stress, and enhance their immune response against dermatomycosis.
Good management also helps to control coccidiosis—a serious problem in rabbits, especially in its hepatic form. Survivors fail to gain weight or resume their previous performance, and usually become carriers of the disease.
Feeding protocols must be flexible and can be adapted to different situations such as pregnancy toxemia, a metabolic disorder that leads to the death of pregnant does. The disease can be easily managed by adjusting feed and feed additives, which in turns boosts farm profitability. Fortunately, most of the serious rabbit diseases such as coccidiosis, respiratory diseases, pregnancy toxemia, and heat stress can be avoided through a flexible feed management system based on a scientific understanding of the nature of rabbit diseases, physiology and lifestyle.