Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Hares are coprophagic......in simple terms they eat their food twice..........after it is digested they will re eat their droppings again. Im told that a hare will only live for 3 weeks if its deprived of this second stage of its digestion.
This is also thought to be one of the reasons hares are so prone to coccidosis.......and why many leverets fall foul of this deadly parasite.
Its is recommened to dose hares for coccidosis before placing them in pens as prevention is better than cure.
Baycox2.5 is recommended....2 to 3 cc depending on hare size. or they can be dosed in the paddock water supply. At the same time hares are wormed with1cc of Panacur sheep wormer We were shown video footage at the seminar of hares in the paddocks at Powerstown.....both day and night. The one thing that stood out is how much water was drunk. So plenty of fresh clean water should be laid down.
Another recommendation is plenty of feeding stations...........for 60 hares.......20 feeders.........this is the best way to avoid bullying.
A simple bucket .....moderated to form a feeder. Hares will not eat wet oats. There are two holes cut into the buckets to allow hares to feel safer while eating. To encourage hares to eat the oats mix cut pieces of apples in with the mix.
The bucket is mounted on blocks to stop wind from blowing it over.
The main food should consist of green sallies.(willow)..........turned or changed daily. These should also be placed facing the same direction so to avoid injuries as hares gamble and play in the paddocks.
Other foods are sheaf oats and whole oats, beet apples and haylage.........but foods with plenty of energy are reccomended.
It is though that sheaf oats are used in preference as these are more natural to a wild animal
One great tip from Aiden Supple was to paint mollases onto the front of the hare before its release into the pen. He felt this encourages the hare to start grooming itself and settles him down far quicker.