Various meat breeds of rabbits
Rabbit meat is a tasty and healthy product that will appeal to many gourmets. And if you look from the point of view of the farmer, it is also a very convenient product for sale, which diverges quickly and at a good price. Therefore, rabbits of meat breeds have become very popular among breeders, as it is convenient and profitable to breed them. But for beginners who are just starting to think about this business, it is difficult to choose the right breed. Therefore, they should first look at the list of varieties of these animals.
Selection of meat breed rabbits
Rabbits of any breed can be used as a source of delicious and dietary meat. An exception is only decorative varieties. But in order to get the maximum profit, you should breed animals that were bred specifically for meat, and not a skin breed. There are also meat-and-animal animals, and even animals of animal-skinned productivity. And they won’t get much meat from them. There are several factors that you should pay attention to when choosing a breed of meat rabbits:
- The quality of the meat. In almost every rabbit, meat has a pleasant taste, and is good for health. But there are breeds that give a more delicious and delicate product. And their carcasses can be sold at a great price.
- Weight gain rate. Depending on how quickly the animals gain slaughter weight, the cost of caring for them to achieve productivity also depends. And also with this parameter the speed of product realization is directly related. Those animals that gain mass more slowly are not so profitable for maintenance.
- Sizes of rabbits. There are several breeds that differ in really large sizes. These giants reach a mass of 6-7 kg, and they have an excellent lethal yield. Sometimes these animals do not belong to meat, but to meat-hide species.
- Precocity. The faster these animals breed, the more offspring, and the higher the profit. For meat rabbits, this parameter is very important. Although these animals breed quickly, some breed faster than others.
- Resistance to infectious and fungal diseases. There are many unpleasant diseases that can destroy up to 80-90% of the total number of rabbits. And it is better for a beginner to give preference to those varieties that better resist these ailments. Such resistance makes it easier to breed animals.
In addition to all these factors, you should also pay attention to which animals are better adapted to the area. And you should see which breeds of rabbits for meat breeding can be purchased. Some varieties are not available or rare in a number of regions, and you have to buy those animals that are available. In any case, before buying, you should look at the breed description and consult with experienced breeders. Perhaps they can advise a worthwhile variety.
Description of individual breeds of meat rabbits
It is difficult to single out the best meat breeds of rabbits. All of them have their own advantages and disadvantages, and therefore should be chosen based on their own preferences. For one farmer, small, but early-growing animals that are capable of gaining slaughter weight with high speed are suitable. And another breeder will choose meat-animal animals that are large in size, but at the same time have an average rate of weight gain. Here is a comparison table that describes some varieties of rabbits:
|Breed name||Live weight of the rabbit||Killer exit||The number of rabbits in the litter||Skin color|
|Gray giant||4 to 7 kilograms||55-57%||7 to 11 pieces||Dark gray color|
|Soviet chinchilla||4 to 8 kilograms||55-58%||6 to 8 pieces||Silver gray, various shades are possible.|
|New Zealand White Rabbits||4 to 6 kilograms||53-59%||8 to 11 pieces||Pure white coat color|
|California breed||4 to 6 kilograms||56-60%||8 to 12 pieces||White coat with a black muzzle, ears and paws|
|Flanders or Belgian giant||5 to 12 kilograms||53-55%||5 to 8 pieces||Black, white, shades of gray, red and beige|
|White giant||4 to 8 kilograms||54-57%||6 to 9 pieces||Only pure snow white color is allowed.|
These are not all breeds that can be bred at home. In principle, the farmer should remember that meat-and-meat and meat breeds of rabbits are the best for breeding, at least for beginning livestock breeders. Special attention should be paid to those varieties that were bred in Russia and Ukraine. They are best suited to local conditions. And it is precisely among them that there are a lot of the largest copies that give really a lot of tasty and healthy product.
The largest varieties of rabbits
The largest rabbits are usually found not among meat, but among meat-and-peel varieties. The names of these breeds are well known to professional breeders. It is worth comparing them with the classic representatives of the meat industry. Firstly, they do not grow so fast and gain weight, which is why a little more food is spent on their breeding. On the other hand, the monthly growth lag is offset by the receipt of not only carcasses, but also medium or high quality pelts.
Unfortunately, the carcass of meat-and-skin rabbits is not too fleshy, and they are inferior to representatives of meat varieties in the slaughter yield. And fur and skin in quality are not able to compete with the product obtained from the breeds of the pelted direction. But, despite the lag in growth by months, and the average quality of the product, it is more convenient for a beginner to work with these animals. They are quite unpretentious and easy to maintain, which is why they sometimes outperform fast-growing, but demanding, breeds for profit.
Rabbit breed Flanders
Flanders is also called the Belgian giant, and it was used in breeding a number of other meat and meat-hide breeds. It is usually referred to as meat-and-peel varieties, therefore, as in the quality of the hide and in the slaughter yield, it is not a champion among representatives of its production direction. But Flanders sets records for weight and overall body dimensions. Individual representatives are able to reach a mass equal to 12 kilograms. On average, these animals weigh 7-8 kilograms in adulthood.
The characteristic differences of this variety are its massive and powerful body, and its head is large with respect to the body. With the overall size of the animal, these differences stand out against the general background. The color of the Belgians is plain, white, black, various shades of gray, red or beige. Different animals from the same litter may have a different shade of coat. But no matter how large this breed is, it has a number of its serious shortcomings, which should also be noted.
Firstly, Belgian giants grow up for a long time, and, if you look at the months, the masses of a mature animal reach only at the age of 8-9 months. And early slaughter does not bring benefits, since the slaughter yield at a young age is less than that of an adult rabbit. The second problem that breeders of these animals are faced with is their exactingness on the conditions of detention. They need clean, spacious and comfortable rabbitry, otherwise the stock will begin to die. Finally, these animals are very demanding on the quality and quantity of food received.
Rabbit breed Gray Giant
Among large breeds of meat-and-pelletic direction, gray giants are still worth noting. They were bred on the territory of Ukraine back in the 50s of the twentieth century. Representatives of this species are suitable for beginner rabbit breeders, as they do not require separate care and are easily adapted to local conditions. Females of this breed weigh on average 4.5-5 kilograms, and males weigh 6 kilograms. At the same time, individual representatives can grow up to 7 kilograms of live weight.
Although gray giants belong to meat-and-pellet breeds, the quality of their skins is at an average level. According to this parameter, they are inferior to rabbits of any skin type. On the other hand, a large area skin can be obtained from one animal, which is why many farmers value them. In terms of meat quality and slaughter yield, they are somewhat inferior to most meat breeds. These animals are characterized by average precocity, but quickly breed, and perfectly look after their own offspring.
Rabbit breed Soviet Chinchilla
A novice is able to confuse Soviet Chinchilla and Gray Giant. These two breeds have a similar appearance, weight and skin color. But at the same time, the chinchilla is able to achieve more mass, and it has a slightly better lethal output. In fact, this variety is perhaps the most convenient for breeding by beginner rabbit breeders. Although in different forums on this subject, you can find different opinions. Already by the age of 120 days, the average weight of young animals is 3.5 kilograms, and he is already ready for slaughter.
The Soviet chinchilla has a decent slaughter yield, and very tasty and tender meat that can be sold without problems. And thoroughbred representatives are able to boast high quality furs and skins. At the same time, the longer these animals grow, the more meat and skins they give. Therefore, not only expense increases over the months, but also potential profit. The weak side of breeding these large animals is food. They need only fresh and high-quality food, otherwise they will begin to hurt and die.
Rabbit Breed White Giant
When breeding these animals, representatives of the Flanders breed, which was already described, were used. In addition to them, representatives of various other breeds were used, which were united by one important circumstance. All rabbits used in breeding were albinos, which affected the color of this species. All animals have a pure white color of fur, and any deviations are considered a serious marriage. Only animals with snow-white hair are allowed to breeding.
The quality of the skins and furs of the White Giant rabbits resemble the Soviet chinchilla, and they are also able to compete with the skinned varieties. They also have excellent meat quality, which is why their breeders are selling excellent carcasses and skins. How these animals look can be seen in the photo and video. The classic white coat and red eyes of an albino will be easily recognized even by a beginner. But, no matter how good this breed is, it has its own drawbacks that make it not the most convenient for beginners.
Firstly, the White Giant is not very fertile and precocious. For high quality meat you have to pay with low growth rates. Slaughter usually occurs no earlier than 7-8 months of life, so that the animal has time to gain weight. Secondly, in one litter there is rarely a large number of rabbits. And therefore, the health of young animals must be closely monitored. Finally, representatives of this breed have an innate predisposition to a number of diseases. And therefore, caring for them sometimes causes certain difficulties.
Classic meat breeds of rabbits
Classic meat breeds of rabbits, contrary to popular belief, often do not differ in large dimensions. The question here is not how much they weigh, but how fast they are gaining slaughter mass. And these animals at farmers usually do not live long. Tribal individuals are kept up to 3-3.5 years, and those that are slaughtered for meat - from 2 to 8 months. The main advantage of the varieties of this direction is their early maturity and lethal yield. Here are some examples of classic meat rabbits:
- New Zealand white breed
- New Zealand red breed
- California rabbits
- European silver
- Poltava silver
These animals have a lower body weight than those of the giants that have already been described. But on the other hand, they are able to gain carcass weight by 3-5 months of life, because of which they are very profitable to breed for meat. And they are appreciated for the quality of the carcass, which is always easy to implement. The skins of these animals can also be used for sale, but they are usually valued less than the skins of other varieties. Even in the case of high quality fur, the area of the skin of a meat rabbit is relatively small.
California rabbit breed
These animals have a long list of advantages, thanks to which they are highly appreciated by professional farmers in the USA and Europe. Californians, despite their relatively low body weight (4.5-5 kilograms on average), are able to quickly gain weight. Young growth is often sent for slaughter already at the age of 3-4 months. And they reach puberty only 1-2 months later. Moreover, in one litter there are at least 8 rabbits. Small sizes allow keeping these pets in medium-sized rabbits.
The growth rate of California rabbits affects those who are accustomed to large, but late-ripening varieties. By the end of the second month of life, young animals weigh, on average, 2 kilograms. And thanks to the light skeleton and excellent carcass qualities, already at the 3rd month of life they have a lethal output at the level of adult representatives. Even Californians are very undemanding to the maintenance and resistant to disease. And these qualities have been noticed and appreciated by professionals. Here's what the forums write about it:
"Recently, there have often been ads -" selling California rabbits. " And the demand for rabbits of this breed is very high. The thing is that both amateurs and specialists have realized all the benefits of breeding these meat animals. They have everything a rabbit breeder needs. Californians are early, fertile, have a high lethal yield, unpretentiousness and good health. That is why in the United States this breed, along with New Zealand white animals, is the basis of rabbit meat production. ”
New Zealand White Rabbit Breed
It is worth mentioning right away that there is also a New Zealand red breed from which the White New Zealanders were bred about a century ago. They have a similar constitution, body weight, precocity and fertility. Only red animals have a bright red coat color and less unpretentiousness. White New Zealanders weigh, on average, 4-5 kilograms, and are not large animals. But then they quickly gain mass, and are distinguished by delicious and dietary meat. And they also have a high quality white skin.
These animals were taken as the basis for the breeding of the California breed. For this reason, they are similar in size, weight and a number of other parameters. Even the New Zealanders have a very good lethal yield and decent meat qualities. By the third month of life, they reach a mass equal to 2.4-3 kilograms. And at this age they are often already sent for slaughter. Breeding New Zealanders is also profitable because they are notable for good fertility. Rabbits rarely bring less than 8 rabbits in one litter.
Another advantage of the breed is their ability to adapt to various conditions. After they were brought to Russia, they easily adapted to local conditions. Even in cold regions, they can be kept in cells with trellised or mesh floors. This facilitates the cleaning and maintenance of livestock. Still these animals differ in good health, and are a little subject to diseases. With timely vaccination, the rabbit breeder will not have problems in this matter.
All meat breeds of rabbits can be divided, in fact, into two large categories. One category is meat-and-skin animals, which are large in size and weight. And the second is relatively small rabbits, whose main characteristics are early maturity and fertility. And you can choose a breed for breeding of any type. It is only important that it be adapted to local conditions and moderately unpretentious. Then breeding rabbits will certainly become profitable, with the right approach.