The choice of breed of rabbits in the meat direction should be based on the coincidence of several characteristics at once. First of all, attention is paid to precocity, size, constitution and physiological features. Each of the factors is very important. Let's try to figure out which varieties of rabbits for meat are most suitable for home cultivation. And also talk about the secrets and tricks of fast fattening.
The advantages of the meat line
The most popular today are rabbits of meat breeds. This is explained by the nutritional value of rabbit meat. The main difference of this type of meat is that it consists mainly of muscle mass. The pulp is rich in vitamins and microelements and contains even less cholesterol than lean beef.
The most valuable is the meat of a young domestic rabbit. The flesh has a delicate pink color and contains no fat at all.
General characteristics of rabbit meat breeds:
- fertility and high survival of offspring;
- big weight;
- high index of downwardness;
- early maturity;
- unpretentious care.
Speaking of the index of downwardness, it is worth noting that this is an increase in lean body mass. Growing rabbits for meat at home, I want to get the highest possible result with minimal costs.
Considering that breeds of rabbits for breeding for meat were created artificially, many of their characteristics were maximally improved. Including adaptability to environmental conditions.
Next, we consider the largest breeds of rabbits that are suitable for growing at home.
White New Zealand. Considering the best meat breeds of rabbits, first of all, we can single out the white New Zealand line. Externally, the representatives of this species look strong and powerful, with large bones, a massive head and huge ears. The coat is white, thick and short. Distinctive features include pronounced fringe of the extremities and red eyes.
Gray giants. Another popular breed of rabbits for meat is the gray giant. This line is easy to breed and grow yourself. Her representatives are resistant to various ailments, prolific and unpretentious. Characteristic features - large erect ears, massive body (up to 66 cm), powerful back with rounded croup. The fur is thick, short. Color - different shades of gray.
Belgian flanders. It refers to the number of broiler rabbits. It follows that the main characteristics of the line are precociousness and huge dimensions. The weight of an adult individual is about 10 kg. These fluffy giants received the status of the largest representatives of the rabbit kind.
Despite its impressive size, Flandre looks very attractive - wide, erect ears and a fluffy tail are the hallmark of the line. This breed can not be called the most profitable for domestic breeding, as individuals are demanding to the content, voracious and vulnerable. But for big farms, these giant rabbits are perfect.
Californians. Considering which breeds of rabbits are beneficial for the meat direction, you should definitely mention the California line. Representatives of this species have a very interesting color. The main tone of the coat is white, and the ears, tail, nose and legs are saturated brown and black. The advantages include very valuable meat, large size, strong natural immunity and fertility. Minus - breeding individuals are expensive.
Chinchilla and silver. Soviet chinchilla rabbits became the basis of rabbit breeding in the northern regions of our country. Adult representatives of this line grow to 72 cm in length and can weigh over 6 kg.
The main advantage of the breed is its adaptation to low temperatures. These early ripe rabbits are broiler, they are very fertile and have strong immunity.
Another breed of meat rabbits, adapted for our harsh climate - European or Poltava silver. Refers to the number of lines that are beneficial for home breeding.
Silver rabbits are prolific, viable and grow quickly. An important advantage is their valuable fur.
Next, let's talk about growing broiler rabbits - features, key aspects, the possible difficulties of care.
General characteristics of meat giants
All rabbits broiler breeds are alike. Meat yield over 60% with a live weight of 5 kg. With prolonged feeding, the body weight may exceed 10 kg.
Breeding meat rabbits usually have larger hind legs. This feature is explained by the fact that it is this part that accounts for the largest load associated with the large weight of the animal.
When choosing a breed of rabbits for domestic or industrial breeding, usually attention is focused primarily on the giants. This is not surprising, given the advantages of these breed lines. Among the advantages characteristic of each of them are fertility, the good-natured nature of animals, valuable meat and, of course, large sizes.
It is impossible not to note the excellent maternal qualities of rabbits - and because of this we can talk about the excellent survival rate of the little rabbits.
But all the best breeds of rabbits that grow rapidly have specific disadvantages. And these characteristics are important in order to decide which breed of rabbits are best to breed.
Cons of broiler breeds:
- long puberty - maturity comes at the age of 6-8 months;
- due to the fact that the bunny rabbit is already born large, there are rarely more than 8 babies in one litter;
- there are frequent complications in females after caulking, caused precisely by the large weight of the rabbits;
- such breed lines require strict adherence to feeding rules;
- giants can develop diseases of the joints and bones;
- for large rabbits, spacious cages with a solid bottom are better suited.
The latter condition helps to increase the size of the seed capital required for breeding the breed.
However, it is broiler breed lines that are among the most profitable for breeding. Rabbits grow quickly, and rabbit has high consumer characteristics. The key to success lies in the observance of certain rules. We will talk about them further.
Features of growing broiler breeds
Broiler rabbits have good immunity and perfectly adapt to environmental conditions. Because of this, they are bred even on the street, without necessarily arranging a warm winter road.
Females are fertile and bring up to 5 litters per year. Excellent maternal instinct and the presence of large quantities of milk provide high survival of offspring. Rabbits, if necessary, can feed not only their own, but also other people's rabbits.
The health of the meat giant directly depends on the quality of the daily diet. Its basis is a special feed, enriched with vitamins and microelements, hay and water. Greens, fresh vegetables and fruits, tree branches and needles are also useful for giants, but they cannot be the main nutritional base. These products act exclusively as a top dressing.
Food expenditure is the largest expense for broiler rabbits. But precisely because of this, young animals can be started up for slaughter already at the age of 3 months.
Features of choosing the right breed
The success of breeding rabbit meat breeds directly depends on the loyalty of the decision made. Consider, on the basis of what factors the final choice is made.
At the first stage you need to clearly define your goals. If only meat is interested, choose the breed of meat direction. When in parallel there is interest in the skins, pay attention to the representatives of the meat-animal direction.
When choosing a breed, be sure to take into account the particular climate of your region. It is recommended to choose local rulers, automatically adapted to specific weather conditions.
Inspect each individual carefully before buying for defects and signs of illness.
If the purpose of growing is just rabbit, buy albino rabbits. A characteristic feature of albinos is a very calm disposition. Due to this, they spend less energy on running and grow faster, while consuming a small amount of feed.
Of great importance is not only the breed, but also its "purity". It is recommended to buy pedigree specimens in large nurseries with a good reputation. There, the purchase will be somewhat more expensive, but it will guarantee the purchase of a good representative of the breed of rabbits, the description of which attracted you.
Rapid weight gain conditions
Fattening rabbits before slaughter has its own characteristics and secrets. The rapid growth of muscle mass, characteristic of broiler breeds, is achieved precisely by adhering to the correct feeding pattern. If you feed on the principle - often a lot, but no matter what, then the animal will die rather than grow quickly.
There are three stages of fattening - preparatory, main and final. The duration of each period is about 10 days. At the initial stage, the rabbit's digestive system adapts to the concentrated feed. That is, gradually the amount of hay decreases, and the amount of special feed increases.
At the second stage, “mixes” rich in carbohydrates are introduced into the diet. Most often for these purposes, boiled potatoes mixed with bran are used. Such food also has a beneficial effect on the taste of rabbit.
But in order for it to grow muscle mass, and not fat, it is important to control the amount of grain, produced separately. The use of concentrated feed and "mash" does not eliminate the need to add whole grains to the diet - corn, peas, barley or oats.
The key aspect of the third stage is to prevent the over-fed rabbit from losing a good appetite. When gaining body weight in the rabbit, certain changes occur, which, primarily, relate to the rate of metabolic processes. This and caused a decrease in the need for food.
Stimulant appetite are aromatic herbs - celery, dill, parsley, chicory. Wormwood has the same effect, but it is not recommended to give it to rabbits who have been decided to be fattened according to this pattern of rapid weight gain. Essential oils may add bitterness to the meat.
A small amount of salt is added to the water, which also increases the rabbit's interest in food. Read more in the article "Is it possible to give a rabbit salt".
When rabbits eat poorly and with appetite stimulants, they can be fed with high-calorie delicacies for a couple of days - fried seeds and fried acorns. After that, all individuals are sent to slaughter.
Some more fattening tricks
Males are desirable to be neutered two weeks before it begins fattening. The procedure has a positive effect on the rate of weight gain and on the taste characteristics of meat.
Young rabbits should be divided into groups, which will include individuals of the same size and age. This will help avoid situations where stronger animals drive away weaker ones from the feeders.
The cells that contain rabbits should not be too large - physical activity contributes to the inefficient use of calories by the body. But even under too cramped conditions, it will be extremely difficult for the giants to create a good appetite.
Rabbits are nocturnal animals, so their maximum appetite wakes up at dusk. If in the afternoon artificially shade the cells, you can extend the time of food activity. The number of feedings per day - at least 4 times.
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