Rabbit Production

ECTS Value: 5 ECTS


Overall Objectives and Outcomes

Rabbit production is an important sector in the Maltese Islands due to the fact that we as Maltese are one of the most countries in the word that consumes rabbit meat. Furthermore, we also love keeping rabbits as pets and also rabbits for shows. Mastering this module, learners will be able to
keep and breed rabbits for meat production and also as pet rabbits. 

This module starts with the origin, classification and the process of domestication of the rabbit and continues with the requirements of breeding rabbits in terms of choosing the right breed, housing requirements for different breeds and purpose, nutrition and climate conditions. Learners will also be presented to the different breeding systems and also consider the economic importance and production features of different breeds and hybrids of rabbits in the commercial rabbit production. This module will also focus on the biology and morphology of the rabbit, reproduction, genetics and prevention and treatment of parasites, pests and diseases.

By the end of this programme, participants should be able to:


a. Define how the wild rabbit was domesticated for various uses.;
b. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of how to keep, maintain and breed commercial rabbit breeds;
c. Apply knowledge of the theory covered in the unit to prevent parasites, pests and diseases in the theory.


a. Manage the keeping and breeding of rabbits for meat production and/or the pet industry;
b. Understand the origin, classification and the process of domestication of the rabbit;
c. Know the requirements for breeding rabbits in relation of choosing the right breed, and housing requirements;
d. Be aware of the different breeding systems and production of different breeds and hybrids of rabbits in the commercial rabbit production;
e. Be able to develop a preventative and treatment protocol for parasites, pests and diseases.


a. Prepare food and water for rabbits according to breeding purpose, their sex, growth stage and reproductive phase;
b. Design a cleaning and vaccination schedule to prevent pests and diseases;
c. Conduct a basic reproductive scheme for commercial rabbits;
d. Select the best breed for a specific purpose;
e. Identify health issues, disorders and reproductive problems of rabbits;
f. Decide on a breeding scheme for a specific category of rabbit;
g. Suggest proper rabbit housings according to animal welfare regulations and the specific needs and requirements of a particular rabbit breed;
h. Report which are the required features for keeping rabbits as stock rabbits;
i. Describe the behaviour and health status of particular rabbits;
j. Explain a commercial rabbit reproductive scheme;
k. Discuss which are the most important features required in common rabbit breeds and hybrids in relation to their breeding purpose;
l. Discuss the basic principles and conditions to humanely slaughter rabbits for meat production;
m. Evaluate own understanding of the commercial and pet rabbits’ reproduction system;
n. Undertake further studies on the prevention of pests and diseases;
o. Save records of work and breeding schemes;
p. Use video clips to understand the process for a humane slaughter of rabbits.


Mode of Delivery

This module adopts a blended approach to teaching and learning. Information related to the structure and delivery of the module may be accessed through the IfE Portal. For further details, kindly refer to the Teaching, Learning and Assessment Policy and Procedures found on the Institute for Education’s website.

Assessment Methods

This programme adopts continuous and summative methods of assessment including assignments, online tasks, reflective journals, projects and video presentations. For further details, kindly refer to the Teaching, Learning and Assessment Policy and Procedures.

Suggested Readings

Core Reading List
1. Bennett, B. (2009): Storey’s Guide to Raising Rabbits, 4th Edition. Storey Publishing. USA.
2. Cheeke, P.R., Lukefahr, S.D., Mcnitt, J, Patton, N.M. (2013). Rabbit Production. CABI Publishing. England.
3. Pathak, N. (2014). Rabbit Production. Satish Serial Publishing House.

Supplementary Reading List
1. De Blas, C. and Wiseman, J. (1998): The nutrition of the rabbits. CABI Publishing. England.
2. Phull, R.K. (2003): Rabbit Farming And Its Economics.

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