About New Zealand Rabbits


Unpretentious in the content of rabbits of the New Zealand breed. They quickly gain industrial weight and have excellent quality fur. Females are ready for reproduction as early as 5 months, and within a year they make 3-4 acrols. In each litter the rabbit brings in 6-10 babies, who by 4-5 months are gaining the necessary condition. The demand for the skins of these animals is very high, as well as for the valuable dietary meat that has a delicate flavor.

The history of the breed

The New Zealand rabbit breed was bred at the beginning of the 19th century by Californian breeders who crossed the Belgian flanders with silver-colored champagne rabbits. During the experiments, it was possible to isolate a clean line of animals that were extremely resistant to temperature fluctuations, unpretentious in content and grew very quickly, reaching a weight of 4-4.5 kg already by four months of age.

Due to the high rate of gaining muscle mass, the cultivation of such animals for meat has become very profitable, and the profitability of the rabbit farms has increased dramatically. Rabbits had a thick fur of brown-red color, which was perfectly suitable for the manufacture of fur products, although it did not differ in elitism.

Over time, New Zealand rabbits began to appear in litters. To obtain new characteristics, they began to cross between themselves and representatives of the breed flandr.

Due to the influx of fresh blood, white New Zealanders became larger, the number of rabbits in the litter increased, and a sufficient amount of milk produced by females allowed to sharply reduce the mortality of the young.

When representatives of this breed were crossed with chinchillas and angora, New Zealand rabbits appeared with black fur color. They are not widely used and used for decorative purposes.

Traits common and different

A common feature of various breed directions is a strong body with strong and large hind legs, as well as a massive back. The length of the body reaches 50 cm, and the average weight of the animal by 5 months is about 5 kg. To feel the difference, compare the New Zealander with small breeds by reading the article "Colored dwarf rabbits."

For one okol females bring 6-10 cubs. The abundance of breast milk fully provides the rabbits with essential nutrients, strengthening their immunity.

A distinctive feature of the fur of representatives of this breed is its monotony. In New Zealand red rabbits, the color of the skins is uniform brown, brown-red or bronze.

In the white variety of animals, the skin color should not even have individual hairs of different shades.

Animals that have a black fur color wear a pelt that is shiny as satin, which shimmers under the rays of the bright sun.

Original red subspecies of New Zealanders

Rabbits of New Zealand Reds were specially bred as beef breed, therefore special attention was not paid to the qualitative characteristics of the fur. Strangely enough, this breed has no relation to the country that is present in its name (New Zealand).

Thanks to unpretentiousness and excellent appetite, the New Zealand red rabbit became very popular among US farmers immediately after the breed was introduced. The low level of costs for obtaining large quantities of high-quality meat interested and European breeders, who successfully began to breed representatives of this type on their own farms.

Rabbit New Zealand red caught on well in the UK, Germany and Italy. He began gradually to force out representatives of other meat breeds, which were distinguished by soreness and a much lower growth rate.

Description of red haired New Zealans

A characteristic feature of rabbits of the New Zealand red (NZK) breed is the presence of a short, wide muzzle and a nose with a small crook. The eyes are brown and shiny. In a healthy animal, they should not be watery and have mucous secretions. Straight erect ears have a length of no more than 11-12 cm.

The legs of the animals are straight and massive with well-developed muscles. Unlike other breeds of giant rabbits, the legs of the NZK perfectly support the weight of an adult animal, excluding the possibility of involuntary bone fractures.

The weight of the rabbits is 5% higher than the weight of the males and can reach 5.3 kg, although it is recommended to slaughter the animals when they reach 4-4.5 kg. During this period, the fat content in meat is minimal, and the qualitative characteristics of rabbit meat meet the needs of gourmets.

The color of rabbit fur is uniform, and the lower part of the body has a lighter shade.

The length of hairs is 3-3.5 cm. It is very thick and silky and is very popular in the clothing industry, being an excellent material for sewing fur products.

The main characteristics of white

White New Zealand rabbits look very similar to their red counterparts, but they have snow-white fur, a bit larger size and better performance of females. Description of the breed, which is considered universal and suitable for meat and fur breeding, includes:

  • the presence of a completely white silky fur, which is very pleasant to the touch;
  • the presence of a small head with a shortened neck;
  • compact body, the size of which does not exceed 45-50 cm in length;
  • smooth back to the sacrum, broad back;
  • long and strong paws;
  • well developed muscles;
  • short erect ears up to 11 cm.

Like the representatives of other albino breeds, the New Zealand white rabbit (NZB) has eyes of red or pink color. This is due to the lack of pigment that paints the iris of the eye, and translucent blood vessels.

Males look more rough, but for industrial purposes their content is more preferable.

Rabbits with perfect white fur

Breeding rabbits NZB has its advantages, greatly expanding the capabilities of the rabbit breeder. White fur is very popular in the clothing industry, because it can be used for sewing luxury fur products.

Due to the fact that any paint falls on white fur evenly, skins are used for sewing designer clothes of any orientation, and the demand for them is always great.

When breeding this subspecies, the rabbit breeders paid special attention to preserving the precocity of animals and their attaining slaughter weight by 4-5 months.

The New Zealand white rabbit is ready for mating at the age of 5-6 months, and the period of its suckling is less than 30 days.

In each litter there are 8-10 rabbits, and the number of males and females is about the same. The bunny rabbit is a good mother and never refuses cubs, which she feeds on milk for two months. The amount of milk produced by her is enough to feed all the babies, but the breeder must take care that the animal feeds properly and has free access to drinking water.

White is more profitable than red

The New Zealand white rabbit is much more profitable in breeding than its red fellow, the rate of early ripeness of which is 10-15% lower. The white giant has powerful paws capable of supporting its body weight. Therefore, animals suffer less from the mesh floors used in cell breeding.

A unique feature of the breed is that the white New Zealand rabbit at the age of two months can weigh up to 2 kg, and by three months it gains 2.6-3 kg of live weight.

If you need dietary rabbit with a low content of cholesterol, then already at this age can be slaughtered animals. But it is better to wait for 4-5 months, when the rabbit will pick up 4.5-5 kg.

After skinning and skinning, the weight of the carcass is 54-58% of the body weight of the rabbit, and the meat content in it approaches 78%.

Remember that the older the rabbit, the more fat accumulates in its carcass, and the meat itself loses its juiciness, becoming more rigid.

Problems and content rules

New Zealanders are susceptible to various infectious diseases that their body cannot fight. The most dangerous are myxomatosis and UGBC, which can only be protected by a timely vaccine of the associative vaccine. This vaccination is done to the little rabbit at the age of 45 days.

Due to the use of poor-quality feed in rabbits, intestinal obstruction or swelling may develop. If we do not take timely measures to eliminate these problems, the animal will die within a few days.

The main cause of problems with the gastrointestinal tract of New Zealand rabbits is the consumption of low-quality food contaminated with fungi or mold.

Another problem is the invasive infection of New Zealand rabbits with parasites. If you are professionally engaged in breeding these animals, then do not forget to periodically give pets veterinary drugs that destroy worms, as well as preventing tick-borne infection.

Proper care, regular cell cleaning and periodic disinfection will destroy the larvae of blood-sicking insects, and will also prevent the development of staph infections.

Feeding the New Zealand rabbits is no different from the diet of other breeds. They are very fond of carrots, melons and legumes, silage. You can cook vinaigrettes from boiled vegetables, as well as produce rich in vitamins and trace elements of feed.

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Write in the comments about your experience of breeding rabbits of the New Zealand breed.




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