Viennese blue rabbits are distinguished by their outward beauty, the color of their fur immortalized in their name, and the excellent yield of nutritious meat. The rest of the article is all about keeping these animals for commercial purposes and as a pet.
When you get acquainted with the breed, it will not be out of place to find out how and when it was bred.
The appearance of the Vienna Blue Rabbit is due to the Austrian breeder Johann Konstantin Schulz. He achieved this result from 1895 to 1897 by crossing a giant rabbit, the Belgian Flanders and the Moravian Blue Rabbit.
For the first time, the copy was presented at the Pet Festival in Prater in 1897 under the name "Blue Giant". The seven-pound rabbit looked huge. And experts advised in the future to reduce the weight of the breed. But the skin was excellent! Gray with a blue tint. The quality of the fur was high.
Schultz with a team of breeders fulfilled the wish of the experts, reducing weight and, accordingly, the name of the breed. The breed received recognition in 1903, called the Vienna Blue Rabbit. The first high mark of the breed was received from specialists in rabbit science in Germany, and then from Dutch and Swiss breeders.
Connoisseurs of rabbits in our country had the opportunity to get acquainted with this breed only after almost 3 decades. Local breeders appreciated their prevailing virtues and recognized as valuable for breeding.
In the subsequent breed, they kept and took improvement measures, adapting it to the local cold climate, increasing weight and increasing the size of the individual, improving the taste of meat, maximizing the quality indicators of fur as close as possible to ideal criteria.
To determine the choice of a breed for rabbit breeding or to make a decision about buying a pet, of course the first thing to study is the characteristic and nature of rabbits.
The appearance of the Vienna Blue breed is fundamentally different from that of the rest of the rabbits. The specimens are medium in size: the length rarely exceeds 55 cm, and the weight of a mature animal that is on moderate nutrition is about 5 kg. The body appears large and muscular, and the chest and back are broad. The limbs are straight, strong. The head is small, the length of the ears is medium.
Rabbit fur deserves special attention. It is beautiful, uniform gray-blue color, without spots and interspersed white or black hairs. By summer, the fur can change its color to brown, and after autumn molting, it can return to the original. A purebred blue overflow comes with a second molt from birth, before that the fur is usually gray.
The thickness of the coat is ideal over the entire surface of the skin - there are no areas that stand out due to the rarity of the coat or tangled shreds.
Signs of breed quality and its value
The criteria for determining the thoroughbred component include the following:
- Body: high density, up to 57 cm long, well-developed muscles, wide chest and back.
- Ears: 13-15 cm long, rounded.
- Eyes: from dark blue to blue.
- Extremities: strong, straight, with sharp claws.
- Weight: 4-5 kg. Rarely, specimens weighing up to 7 kg are found.
- Hair: homogeneous, bluish-gray, without the presence of other color blotches, fur density - 20-21 thousand hair per 1 square. see skin.
The value of the breed is determined not only by the rate of maturation and set of meat. The main direction is the use of the skins of the Vienna Blue Rabbit in industry when simulating valuable furs.
Productive characteristics of the breed
The most suitable climate for growing Vienna blue has Central Russia. The development and reproduction of this breed is possible in cold regions.
Under favorable conditions, the animals are early enough. So, at the age of 2 months, the weight of the rabbit can reach 1.6 kg, at 3 months - up to 2.5 kg, and at 16-18 weeks, Vienna blue weighs up to 3.6 kg.
Females bring up to 10 gray rabbits per litter, weighing up to 75 g each. The rabbit is a responsible milk mother, so the survival rate of babies is at a high level, even in cold climates.
Mostly blue rabbits live up to 7-7.5 years, but there are cases when animals survived up to 12 years.
This breed is characterized by average indicators of productive yield, ripening speed and price category. The skins of adults are large, and the meat volume after slaughter is approximately 60%.
Vienna blue - the most suitable eared for keeping at home and subsequent breeding. Rabbits are completely non-aggressive, calm and express friendliness. They differ in shyness and curiosity. Suitable for training, quickly getting used to the person and becoming manual.
However, under adverse conditions of detention, negative actions on the part of a person can respond with aggression.
If such a rabbit is purchased for decorative use, it should be borne in mind that with growth, the amount of food needed by the animal will increase, and thick coat must be looked after.
Advantages and disadvantages
Indisputable advantages are inherent in the breed:
- Precocious breed. With an optimally selected diet, animals rapidly gain strength and enter the ripening phase. Slaughter is possible starting from 4.5 months.
- Low feed consumption. Individuals, compared to other meat breeds, eat a little. The amount of fed food is affected by the fact that, because of the early maturity, the life of the animals is short.
- Excellent quality criteria for fur. Among the meat breeds, this one has the highest quality skin. The fur is beautiful, thick, similar to an elite fur. You can read about how to make a rabbit skin at home here .
- Simple care and maintenance measures. The breed is famous for its unpretentiousness. Special conditions of detention and feed excesses are not required. In terms of health, animals do not suffer from problems.
There are no obvious flaws in Vienna Blue. Possible breeding problems include:
- the possibility of falling into depressive and stressful conditions;
- retaliatory aggression as a defensive reaction;
- graying of hair in adults older than 4-5 years.
See in the video below an overview of the Vienna Blue rabbit breed:
Prospects for breeding Viennese rabbits in Russia
Due to its adaptive ability and the presence of warm fur, the Vienna Blue can live and reproduce safely throughout almost all of Russia. The northern climate requires only a little care about the shelter to find during periods of abnormally low air temperatures.
The breed does not require special training of the breeder and the organization of complex additional conditions for rabbit breeding.
With good weight gain rate, high value of meat and fur qualities, rabbits are suitable for narrow and industrial breeding.
Maintenance and care
The procedures and conditions for caring for Vienna Blue are no different from measures for keeping other breeds of rabbits. It is possible to breed and grow animals not only in street cages. Sheds, rabbitries, and other structures are suitable for this. However, in order to improve the quality of the fur and prevent the development of epidemic diseases, it is recommended that rabbit cells be placed in the fresh air. This has several advantages:
- prevention of diseases and their course;
- increase animal immunity;
- the possibility of selection and organization of individual nutrition;
- mating planning and control
In accordance with the minimum temperatures, health and other conditions of animals, the cells are transferred under shelter or indoors. The combination of containment methods is a common measure in rabbit breeding.
The basic rule of rabbit breeding is to ensure comfortable hygiene in an area of sufficient size.
The nutritional composition of rabbits is determined by the time of year and the goal pursued by the breeder. So, in winter and during feeding activities, the diet contains a large proportion of concentrated products, and in the summer they switch to the predominance of green fodder.
- alfalfa, vetch, clover, oats, peas, corn, etc.
- root crops: carrots, beets, etc.
- gourds: watermelon, pumpkin, zucchini, etc.
- fruits: apples, pears, etc.
- grass hay
- and branches of willow, linden, willow, acacia, etc.
- compound feed
- meat and bone meal and fish meal
- acorns and others
We recommend additionally reading an article on how and how to feed rabbits .
Green foods form the basis of the eared diet. Juicy and rough nutrition supplies fiber, vitamins and minerals to the body.
Do not forget about the additional vitamin-mineral complex, most needed in the autumn-spring periods, when carrying and feeding rabbits and other conditions that provoke its deficiency. To avoid overdosing, keep in mind that many feeds are already enriched with vitamins and minerals.
Three meals a day for rabbits. Juicy food is given in the middle of the day.
Food for animals should always be fresh, be in constant access. Check the leftovers daily for freshness and nutrition. Neglect of this rule will inevitably affect the state of rabbits.
The container with clean water, hay and feed for turning teeth from the cage are not removed.
Protect animals from the possible use of mushrooms, potatoes, tomatoes, sugar and other sweets, sunflower seeds, red cabbage, bread, onions, garlic and nuts. These products are fatal to rabbits.
When breeding rabbits, it is important to be able to select individuals that will be slaughtered, i.e. need fattening, and individuals intended for further breeding. This selection takes place in three stages:
- The first stage is when rabbits are hatched from the female , from 28 to 60 days from birth.
- The second stage is at the age of 3 months.
- The third stage - at the age of about 5 months, after the onset of maturity.
It is important to ensure that parental pairs do not form from individuals of the same litter. Otherwise, the offspring will be weak, and the breed will degenerate.
Parent couple selection criteria:
- perfect health;
- lack of congenital malformations and respectable appearance;
- breed development;
- well-developed mammary glands in females.
Mating is allowed for animals no younger than 7 months old, although puberty comes much earlier. With good performance, you can save a couple for 5 years. If you have a small fetus or a female throws cubs, eats them, etc., try to disband the couple, changing partners, or choose a new one from the repair individuals.
It takes up to 35 days to bear the offspring, it takes no more than 2 months to feed it, and it is possible to plant young animals from the mother within a month after birth. For a year, do not allow more than 5 inspections, so as not to cause irreparable harm to the health of the rabbit.
Health and Prevention
In order to prevent diseases and epidemics, in addition to keeping in hygiene and good nutrition, rabbits are vaccinated. Vaccination against viral infections, for example, rabbit viral hemorrhagic disease, and myxomatosis are especially relevant. The first vaccine is injected at 1.5 months, the next at 3 months. Then the animals are vaccinated once a year.
If the Viennese blue rabbit lives as a pet, rabies vaccination is necessary.
Breeding and use of breed
The grain of breeding rabbits of this breed is reduced to obtaining tasty and nutritious meat and skins of high quality. Rabbit meat is considered a dietary product superior in value to poultry meat. All kinds of everyday and festive dishes are prepared from it.
Skins of Vienna blue are used in sewing clothes, making accessories and decorating interiors. The special value of fur is that it completely imitates elite fur.
How to choose a good healthy individual?
When choosing an individual, do not hesitate to inspect the entire animal. Pay special attention to the nuances:
- A healthy rabbit is active, gallops, its tail is directed upwards.
- The back of a healthy rabbit is rounded. Humps and dips are a sign of disease.
- A head turned sideways, tilted to one side indicates problems with cerebral circulation.
- Check the bite. Normally, the upper teeth are found on the lower.
- The eyes of a healthy animal are clean, shiny and have a clear look.
- The condition of the coat should be perfect.
Ask the seller about the pedigree and genetic abnormalities, check whether vaccinations have been carried out, what diseases the animal has had, and which drugs healed. Take an interest in what the pet especially likes from food.
The beauty of the Vienna rabbit gives them great chances for home maintenance. They are often bought for children, presented for all kinds of holidays. Pet friendliness is good quality for a pet.
You need to keep a rabbit in a cage, which would not hamper him in everyday life. In the home, be sure to install and attach a drinking bowl and feeder so that the Vienna Blue pet does not tear it off with its paws, causing the owners an additional mess in the house.
If you need advice on how to make your own drinker for rabbits, then this article is here .
The rabbit's nutrition should be as similar as possible to the diet when breeding, otherwise his health can be shaken from a lack of nutrients and elements. Replace water daily with fresh water. Use hay, straw, preferably from various herbs and crops, as bedding.
Be prepared to conduct frequent cleaning activities in and around the cage. This is necessary to maintain order and to prevent the development of rabbit diseases. Do not forget to vaccinate and show the ward to the veterinarian in case of suspected malfunction of the body and the disease.
It’s very difficult to accustom your pet to the tray, so when walking the rabbit around your house, keep in mind that he can leave his stool anywhere.
This breed of rabbits is not suitable for breeding in a house or apartment. The process requires a lot of space for the location of rather large animals, brings a lot of garbage and waste. The percentage of Viennese as pets of the total content does not exceed 7%.
Purchase of individuals
To breed, you must purchase at least one pair of rabbits. Female and male must be from different parents. It is optimal to buy immediately 2 rabbits and one rabbit. When buying, pay attention to appearance, behavior and pedigree.
For use as a pet, you can purchase individuals of any gender. Be sure to check for vaccinations.
Vienna blue can be purchased through online stores or in person visiting rabbit farms, from amateur breeders, etc. Moreover, in the absence of such a breed in the price, delivery of individuals from Europe is possible. The cost of one animal ranges from 800 to 2000 rubles.
On the basis of the Vienna Blue Rabbit, varieties were derived: Vienna White and Vienna Black.
This type of breed was produced in Germany. The rabbits turned out to be larger, with round ears and black fur with a metallic gray overflow. Such a wide celebrity and recognition as Vienna blue or Vienna white, this image of individuals has not received, but is still recognized as a popular breed that gives rabbits and beautiful furs.
The breed was bred in Austria by the rabbit breeder Wilhelm Muck. Rabbits are distinguished by the density, quality and pure whiteness of the fur without a single interspersing of wool of a different color. The eyes of this species of breed are of a beautiful blue hue.
In content, they are as unpretentious and adaptive as the Vienna blue rabbits.
Vienna Blue Reviews
Irina, 54, a rabbit breeder, Yekaterinburg.
We have been breeding rabbits with my husband for about 6 years. Two years ago, we were presented with a pair of Vienna blue. At first they were skeptical of their breeding. But over time, with firmness, we can say that this is a great breed!
They quickly adapted and began to multiply. The first okrol brought us 8 kids. When the rabbit was a little less than six months old, he weighed 5.2 kg. We are delighted with the fur of the Vienna blue rabbits, the quality is beyond praise!
Nikolay, 34 years old, builder, Omsk.
Blue rabbit breed Vienna blue bought his daughter for a birthday. We had no difficulties in caring for him. The little rabbit is kind and affectionate. Now this is our universal favorite.
Ilya, 72 years old, pensioner, Sochi.
Rabbits always attracted my attention, but only in retirement could I set aside time for a new hobby. Started the Vienna Blue. It turned out that this hobby can bring a good income. The breed is meat-and-hide, therefore it is appreciated for its good productive yield and excellent quality of skins. I want to get a variety of this breed - Vienna white.
Viennese blue is a breed of rabbits that does not require difficult conditions. Rather, on the contrary, they perfectly tolerate cold, even in street cages. With both home and production scale breeding, with optimal care and nutrition, profit is possible.