To date, many breeds of rabbits are known, many of which were artificially bred for specific purposes. The gray giant also belongs to such selection and hybridization products. If you are used to the fact that rabbits are cute miniature animals, then this breed will clearly surprise you. This rodent is not in vain received such a name: representatives of this species are simply huge in size for their species, which makes it a favorite of many breeders. For what purposes rabbits of the breed of gray giant are bred and what is necessary for their productive breeding, we will talk about this in this article.
The gray giant breed was officially registered in 1952, after many years of work on this species. The first experimental crosses to obtain such rabbits began in 1927 in the agricultural laboratories of the Poltava region of Soviet Ukraine. As source material, breeders used the genetic base of the Belgian Flanders, brought into the USSR a little earlier and which gained immense popularity among livestock breeders.
The species was necessary to adapt to the climatic conditions of the country, as well as to improve its resistance to common diseases in our country. For this, the flanders were crossed with local outbred rabbits, which soon brought surprising results. The resulting hybrids not only acquired the desired qualities, but also the considerable size and density of the coat. Read about keeping and caring for a rabbit.
The coat color of gray giants is typically hare (or agouti). Color varies from white to brownish black. The body is covered with a pile unevenly, the approximate ratio of hard core hairs and undercoat is 1:16. The remaining villi, as a rule, are darker than fluff and painted in dark gray or black. The undercoat is light, bluish-gray. The abdomen of the gray giants is completely white, as are the “socks” on the hind and front legs. The industrial output is quite large, the skin area is larger than standard.
In addition to fur, rabbits of the breed of gray giant give excellent meat. On average, the weight of an adult female does not exceed 5 kg, and that of a rabbit does not exceed 7 kg. The production yield is still inferior to the breeds of meat, but the taste of the product is wonderful.
The body of such rabbits is large, dense. The body shape is elongated, the neck is weakly expressed, the head is round and large. Fleshy rounded ears are set high on the crown and form a V-shape, and their tips are black. Paws are strong, long and straight. The chest circumference is also large - up to 40 cm, and the body length reaches 65-70 cm. For information on keeping a rabbit of the breed Butterfly at home, find out in this article .
Rabbits breed gray giant belong to the fur-meat direction. On average, one rabbit gives up to 3-4 kg of pure meat, which is appreciated rather highly due to its taste and safety (it is practically impossible to get any infection or parasites through the meat of such rabbits). A large-area skin, all parts of which are suitable for further processing, also brings good income. The quality of the fur is good, the thick undercoat makes it warm, and the remaining fibers retain color for a long time, do not wear out and do not fall out. This breed of rabbit is ideal for breeding both on an industrial scale and on a private farm. Read about breeding and caring for a Rex rabbit here .
The Gray Giant is a breed of large rabbits. This breed is referred to as meat and wool direction.
Maintenance and care
Thanks to its outbred ancestors, the gray giant rabbit is perfectly adapted to our climate and does not require any special conditions. Cells need to be insulated only in regions with very frosty winters, in the rest of the cases it is enough to simply cover from the wind and precipitation. The only thing you should pay attention to is the size of the dwellings, for such large-sized animals you need more space than milking ordinary rabbits. Be sure to distinguish between compartments for males and females, as well as spilled mothers with their offspring.
It is necessary to place the cages a little higher than the ground or floor level so that they are not reached by unsolicited rodents. The floor of the cage is best made of strong wear-resistant boards or completely upholstered with tin, since the paws and claws of the gray giants are strong, unlike the Chinchilla and California breeds. Choose a grid or grid for cells with average cell sizes, the main thing is that it be durable and galvanized.
The area of the cell is calculated at 0.8-1 square meters. meter for each individual.
It is better to place rabbit houses in 1-2 tiers, as large, highly located compartments will be inconvenient to clean, as well as to care for animals.
As for leaving, the main thing for the gray giants is cleanliness. It is recommended to carry out disinfection once a month, for which you can use a blowtorch (burn its walls and metal parts of the structure) or a solution of freshly slaked lime. This procedure is necessary when new individuals are populated, in cases of infection of individual rabbits and before the rounding of females. About the care and maintenance of the rabbit Dwarf ram will tell this material .
Cells must be regularly cleaned of waste products and washed thoroughly.
Feeding rabbits a gray giant, Viennese blue and Silver , is not much different from the diet of ordinary domestic rodents. To maintain the health and active weight gain of animals, a number of rules must be observed:
- observe the feeding regime, give food in small portions, but often, at least 5 times a day;
- do not overfeed, obesity will reduce fertility;
- combine different types of food in proportions 1: 1;
- regularly change the water, it should be clean, and in the cold season warm;
- give cereals better in crushed form;
- interseasonal diet changes should be carried out gradually, not faster than 6-8 days;
- periodically include supplements such as bone meal, cottage cheese and other dairy products.
The main menu should include both dry and liquid feeds, as well as fresh vegetables, herbaceous plants, a complex of vitamins and minerals.
To increase the productivity of your farm, you can include protein supplements in the diet of gray giants. You can buy them at any pet store.
The puberty of the gray giants lasts quite a long time, but this is more than justified by their fertility. In one brood, up to 8 rabbits are born. At the same time, such a rich offspring hardly causes any trouble, because the rabbits of this breed are extremely caring for babies, and enough milk is produced to feed them without any outside help. The average weight of a newborn rabbit is 70-80 grams. Weight increases very quickly, more than 50% per month. The survival rate among offspring is also great, there are almost no cases of death of a rabbit. Immediately after mating, the female should be placed in a separate cage and more vigilant supervision should be exercised. A pregnant rabbit needs a lot more food and water, and before boiling it must be moved to a warm room. About the black brown breed of rabbits, read this link .
To keep the offspring healthy, avoid crossing closely related individuals. For the same purpose, buy new rabbits from different sellers.
- Rabbits of the breed Gray Giant and Riesen are distinguished by their large mass and are beneficial both for breeding on fur and for receiving meat products.
- They were bred artificially and due to this they are perfectly adapted to our climatic conditions and resistant to the most common ones who chatted about their species.
- High productivity and well-developed reproductive ability are the main advantages of this breed.
- In the care and maintenance, the gray giants are unpretentious and the only thing that they really need is spacious cells and timely feeding.