Rabbit meat is a tasty and healthy product that will appeal to most gourmets. In addition, the cultivation of meat breeds of rabbits for the farmer will be a good profit. Because it is very popular to breed them, and very convenient. But it is very important to choose the breed of rabbits.
How to choose the rabbit breed?
Rabbits of any breed are a source of delicious and dietary meat. The exception is only decorative animals. But to get maximum profit, you should breed rabbits that are bred specifically for meat, and not those that are bred for skins. There are a large number of meat-animal animals, and even animal-skinned animals. And they will not be able to get meat. You should pay attention to several factors when choosing meat rabbits:
- The quality of the meat. In almost every rabbit, meat has a pleasant taste, and it is also healthy. But there are breeds that are good in that their meat is more tasty and tender. Such carcasses are sold at a high cost.
- Sizes of animals. There are some breeds that are really large. These giants reach a mass of 6-7 kilograms; as a result, they turn out to be large for slaughter. Sometimes such rabbits are considered not meat, but meat-skinned.
- Weight gain rate. Depending on how quickly rabbits gain slaughter weight, the cost of caring for them to achieve productivity also depends. And the speed of implementation of the animal depends on this parameter. Those animals that are slowly gaining weight do not bring any profit at all.
- Disease resistance. There are a huge number of infectious and fungal diseases that can cause the death of up to 80-90% of the total number of rabbits. Therefore, it is better to choose those varieties that are more resistant to disease.
- Precocity. The faster the rabbits breed, the faster they will bring offspring, respectively, and the profit will become greater. For beard rabbits, this parameter is very important. Despite the fact that animals breed quickly, there are species that breed faster than others.
In addition to these factors, you should pay attention to which animals will be better in the area. You should also pay attention to the breed of rabbits, since some species are not available or extremely rare in some regions, because of hopelessness you have to buy animals that are available.
Before buying rabbits, it is very important to consult experienced breeders who can recommend a standing variety.
Types of meat rabbits
It is very difficult to immediately answer which are the best meat breeds of rabbits. All of them have their own advantages and disadvantages, and therefore you need to choose them based on their own preferences. One farmer will like small, but early-growing animals that can very quickly feed slaughter weight. Another breeder may like meat-animal animals, which are large in size, but have an average rate of weight gain.
What varieties of rabbits are:
- Gray Giant. The rabbit is a dark gray color, which is gaining about 4-7 kilograms of live weight. Slaughter yield is 55-57%. The litter can have from 7 to 11 rabbits.
- Soviet chinchilla. An animal with a silver-gray skin (sometimes different shades are obtained). Slaughter yield is 55-58%. In the litter can be from 6 to 8 rabbits.
- New Zealand white rabbits. Rabbits that have a pure white coat color. Slaughter yield is 53-59%. The litter can have from 8 to 11 rabbits.
- Californian breed. Animals with white hair, black muzzle, paws and ears. Slaughter yield is 56-60%. A litter can have from 8 to 12 rabbits.
- Flanders or Belgian giant. Rabbits can have different shades: black, white, beige, reddish, grayish shades. Slaughter yield is 53-55%. In the litter can be from 5 to 8 rabbits.
- White giant. This type of rabbit has an exceptionally pure snow-white color. Slaughter yield is 54-57%. The litter can have from 6 to 9 rabbits.
These are not all breeds that can be bred at home. In any case, it should be remembered that the meat and meat and skin breeds of rabbits are the best for breeding, at least for those who first decided to start breeding rabbits. Special attention should be paid to species that are bred in Ukraine and in Russia. They are best suited to local conditions, have tasty and healthy meat.
Large breeds of meat rabbits
The largest rabbits can often be found not among meat, but among meat-and-peel varieties. Many professional breeders know these breeds. It is worth comparing them with the classic representatives of the meat industry. First of all, they do not grow so fast and gain weight, so in order to feed them you need to give a lot of food. On the other hand, the monthly growth lag is compensated by the fact that you can get not only a carcass, but also a high-quality skin.
Unfortunately, meat-rabbit rabbits have a not too meaty carcass, and their slaughter yield is much lower than that of representatives of meat breeds. And fur and skin in quality can not compete with the product, which is obtained from the breeds of the skinning direction. But, despite the fact that they are significantly behind in growth by months, have an average product quality, it will be much more convenient for a beginner to work with these rabbits. They are quite unpretentious and do not require special conditions for maintenance, due to which they are very profitable and often ahead of fast-growing, but more demanding breeding breeds.
Flanders, a Belgian giant, is a meat-and-meat variety of rabbits. It is difficult to call him a champion among the representatives of his line of production based on the quality of the hide and the lethal yield. But Flanders is a champion in terms of weight and overall body dimensions. Individual representatives can reach a mass of up to 12 kilograms.
Flanders (Belgian giant) Agouti color
Flanders - the largest breed of rabbits
The average weight of the Flandre rabbit is 7-10 kg
It takes a lot of space to keep such a breed of rabbits
A characteristic difference of this breed is that the animals have a powerful and massive body, and a head that is large in relation to the body. Based on the overall size of the animal, these differences stand out against the general background. But no matter how large this breed is, rabbits have their own serious drawbacks, which should be noted:
- Long growing up. If you look at the months, the masses of an adult animal rabbits reach only 8-9 months. And early slaughter will not bring any benefit, since the slaughter yield at a young age is less than that of an adult rabbit.
- Demanding on the conditions of detention. The Belgian giant needs only clean, spacious and comfortable rabbitry, because otherwise the livestock will begin to die.
- Demanding for food. These animals are no less demanding in food, since they should be fed only with quality food and in sufficient quantities.
Belgians have a plain, white, black color, also beige, gray, red shades. Different animals from the same litter may have a different shade of coat.
Among large breeds of meat-and-pelletic direction, it is also important to single out such a breed of rabbits as the Gray Giant. They were brought to the territory of Ukraine in the 50s of the 20th century. Representatives of this breed are suitable for those who have just started breeding animals. A feature of this species is that rabbits do not require separate care and can easily take root in the area. An adult reaches an average weight of 5 kg. At the same time, individual representatives can grow up to 7 kilograms of live weight.
Despite the fact that the Gray Giants are a meat-and-pellet breed, the quality of their skins is of average quality. According to this criterion, they are inferior to rabbits of any skin type. On the other hand, one animal can get a large skin, for which many farmers appreciate this species. As for the quality of meat and slaughter yield, they are somewhat inferior to most of the meat breeds. These animals are distinguished by their average early maturity, but they breed very quickly and perfectly look after their own conclusion.
The Soviet Chinchilla is similar to the Gray Giant, because in appearance, weight and color of the skin they practically do not differ (as for external differences, the Gray Giant does not have a white wedge on the back of his head). But Chinchilla can reach mass faster, having the best lethal yield. In fact, Soviet Chinchilla is considered one of the most convenient breeds for breeding novice rabbit breeders. By the age of 4 months, the average weight of a young rabbit is 3.5 kilograms, and it is already ready for slaughter. The weight of an adult rabbit reaches 5 kg.
Soviet Chinchilla is famous for its worthy lethal yield, as well as very tender tasty meat that can be sold. Thoroughbred representatives have 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 disadvantage of breeding these rabbits is food, because animals need fresh and high-quality food, otherwise they will become sick and die.
The rabbits of the breed “Soviet Chinchilla” have silver fur, black piping on the ears, and a light wedge on the back of the head
The average weight of a rabbit of this breed is 5 kg
The fertility of these rabbits is average, but this breed is characterized by a high growth rate of rabbits
When breeding these animals, representatives of the Flanders breed were used. In addition to them, individuals of other varieties were also used, which were united by one important circumstance. All rabbits that were used for hatching were albinos, which affected the color of this species. Animals are famous for their pure white fur color, and any deviations are a serious marriage. Only animals with snow-white wool are allowed for breeding.
The quality of the skin and fur of this breed is similar to the product of the Soviet Chinchilla, and is just as capable of competing with the skinned varieties. Also, the White Giant is a rabbit with excellent meat quality, so breeders do not complain about the sale of carcasses and skins. Even beginners will be able to recognize the White Giant: rabbits have classic white hair and red albino eyes. But, no matter how good this breed is, you should be aware of some of the disadvantages:
- The species is not very fertile and precocious . Low growth pays for only the fact that the meat is high quality. Often, slaughter occurs no earlier than 7-8 months of life, so that the animal has managed to gain weight.
- In one litter, most often there are few rabbits . And therefore it is very important to monitor the health of young animals.
White giant - a large albino rabbit with red eyes
The fur is thick pure white, and the meatiness of the rabbits is average, so this breed is grown mainly for slaughter on the skin
The average weight of an adult rabbit is about 5 kg
Representatives of this species are prone to a number of diseases, therefore, often caring for them causes some difficulties.
Meat breeds of rabbits: classic species
Classic meat breeds of rabbits most often do not differ in large sizes. The point is not how much weight they have, but how fast they tend to gain mass suitable for slaughter. These animals do not live long with farmers. Tribal individuals live 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.
These animals do not have such a large body mass as giants-relatives. But at the same time they are able to gain slaughter weight by 3-5 months of life, which is why it is very beneficial to breed them, especially for selling meat. Also, such varieties are valuable for the quality of the carcass, which is always very simple to implement. The skins of these rabbits can be used for sale, but usually they are valued less than the skins of other varieties.
This breed has a large number of advantages, thanks to which professional farmers in Europe and the USA appreciate them. The California rabbit has a small body weight, about 4.5-5 kilograms, but they can quickly gain weight. Often young growth is ready for slaughter by 3-4 months. And this species reaches puberty by 5-7 months. Moreover, they are able to bring in at least 8 rabbits in one litter. Due to the fact that the "Californians" are small, rabbits can be kept in small rabbit houses.
By the end of the second month of life, the California rabbit reaches an average of 2 kilograms of live weight. And due to the fact that it has a light skeleton and excellent carcass quality, already at 3 months of age, the rabbit is gaining weight, which is not less than the mass of adult representatives. In addition, another advantage of this breed is that rabbits are not demanding on the content and are highly resistant to various diseases.
New Zealand white and red rabbit
It is very important to note the fact that there is also a New Zealand red breed, from which White New Zealanders were able to breed about a century ago. They have a similar constitution, body weight, precocity and fertility. Only red rabbits have a bright red coat color and are less whimsical. And New Zealand white rabbits weigh an average of 4-5 kilograms and are small in size. But at the same time they are gaining mass very quickly, and also have delicious dietary meat. It should be noted that their white high-quality skin is very valuable.
It was these animals that were used to breed the California rabbit. Therefore, they are very similar in size, weight and a number of other parameters. Also, the “New Zealander” has a good lethal yield and good meat quality. By the 3rd month of life, rabbits reach a mass of about 2.5-3 kilograms. At this age, they are often prepared for slaughter. Breeding of this breed due to excellent fertility is also considered profitable, since rabbits rarely bring less than 8 rabbits in one litter.
New Zealand rabbit is a medium-sized precocious breed
New Zealand White Rabbit
New Zealand Red Rabbit
The weight of an adult New Zealand rabbit is 4-4.5 kilograms
Another advantage of the New Zealand white rabbit is that it can adapt to various conditions of detention, that is, adapt even to cold temperatures. They can be kept in cells in which trellised or mesh floors. This will result in less difficulty in cleaning and keeping rabbits. This breed also boasts good health and minimal susceptibility to disease. If vaccinated animals in a timely manner, then there will be no problems.
So, in conclusion, it can be noted that rabbit breeds are divided into two large types - meat-and-pellet animals, which have large dimensions and weight, and small rabbits, which are very early and fertile. Therefore, for breeding rabbits meat breeds, you can give preference to any type.