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Nutrition

The nutritional program has been prepared in detail in collaboration with the Department for Animal Production of the University of Pisa. Since 1992 the Department has been studying the nutrition of hare raised in captivity. The animals are active, for the most part, at night, during which they carry out their physiological needs. Eating and drinking are divided into several small meals. During the daytime, the animals remain in their den alternating periods of rest with personal grooming.

The prime materials used in feeding the hare are mixes of corn, wheat, barley, oats, soya or sunflower flour, dehydrated alfalfa flour, fine bran. The fodder is compressed into pellets which offer ease of use and guarantee a balanced diet. The consumption of water varies: under normal conditions, 300-400 ml of water are sufficient for every 150g of dry food ingested. In summer months, or when nursing, water consumption doubles.

Veterinary Care and Preventive Medicine

Veterinary care of the animals is also studied by the University of Pisa. Cages are disinfested regularly with ammonium salts or their equivalent. Antibiotic treatment and vaccinations are applied only in case of absolute necessity under the control of the Department of Animal Pathology. In 1999, collaboration was established with the Department for the purposes of studying the diseases that affect the hare, and in particular the evolution of the European Brown Hare Syndrome (EBHS).