Unpretentious rabbits of the Californian breed are loved by many breeders. They were bred in California, but today they are popular throughout Russia and in neighboring countries. The secret of the celebrity of these animals is that they are undemanding to care and living conditions. If you have never been involved in breeding eared pets, it is better to start with Californians. They perfectly adapt to change, reproduce easily, and demonstrate excellent survival.
The history of the emergence and causes of popularity
It is believed that the appearance of the California rabbit livestock farmers are obliged to the farmer and breeder George West. As its name implies, its home country is California.
For many years, West has been engaged in crossing several breeds: white New Zealand, Russian ermine, and chinchilla. At that time, many tried to bring out the animal, which would have good meat and at the same time high-quality skin. No one was able to achieve the perfect result. Except Vesta. The result of his work was a unique Californian rabbit, possessing the best features of its progenitors.
However, having appeared in the early 20s of the last century, Californians remained a non-approved breed for a long time. Official recognition, as well as their own name, they received in 1928. The first representatives were brought to Russia in the early 1970s; since then, popularity has grown. Today, among the meat varieties, Californian rabbits occupy the second place in demand.
Appearance, according to the standard
Californian rabbit has a very remarkable appearance. According to the international standard, it has a white color with dark spots on the skin - on the nose, paws, ears, tail. The spots are usually black, but they are also chocolate and bluish in color.
Spots are clearly delineated, visible even in newborns of baby rabbits. Some babies are born monochromatic and not white, but smoky. This is not a genetic marriage, the coat color changes with time, spots appear, and the little rabbit acquires a characteristic appearance for the breed.
Representatives of the Californian rabbits belong to the meat variety, and their constitution is appropriate. The body is wide, small, its cylindrical shape. Animals have a small head and a short neck. Valuable meat is concentrated in the lumbar region. Californians' muscles are well developed, but there is no dewlap. The paws are short, the nose is crooked, the eyes are red. This is the external description of the breed.
The California rabbit is not only raised for meat. It is also kept as decorative. If the pet participates in exhibitions, the following disadvantages are excluded:
- too large or small spot on the nose;
- additional blemishes on the body;
- dull, rare wool;
- ears longer than 13.5 cm and drooping;
- weight less than 3.5 kg or more than 5.5 kg;
- different colors of the iris.
These disadvantages in agriculture are not considered significant and do not affect the quality or quantity of meat, reproductive abilities.
Low fat and good offspring
In the case of the Californian rabbits, breeding is beneficial, fully justifies the expectations and the money spent.
In the litter, as a rule, from 7 to 15 kids. They are born weighing 45 g, but in just 2 months the weight of the animal reaches 2 kg. Growing ends at 7 months, when individuals cease to grow rapidly. At the same age, rabbits of all meat breeds are usually sent for slaughter. By this time, Californians are gaining from 4.5 kg to 5.5 kg. Females are slightly larger than males.
If we talk about weight by month, at the age of 1.5-2 months the weight of babies will be 2 kg, and after another month they will gain up to 3 kg. At 5 months, Californians weigh 3.7–4 kg, peaking at 7 months.
The output of meat is 60%, of which muscles are 80%, and fat is only 2.5%. This is an excellent balance that makes the product dietary, but tasty and nutritious.
The characteristics of mothers are only positive. They have a lot of milk, so they can well feed all the rabbits in the litter. In a year, one female animal gives up to 35 babies.
By the way, to assess the productivity of rabbit breeds, they use the so-called index of knitness - the ratio of the length of the body, measured by oblique, and chest girth. The maximum rate - from 60% to 65%, this is exactly how the Californian breed of rabbits demonstrates.
Additional earnings in breeding Californians - the sale of their beautiful skins.
Choosing an animal correctly
Starting breeding rabbits California breed, it is important to choose the best individuals for the farm.
Buying an animal you need to be careful. Ask the seller how many rabbits were in the brood. Acquire those who do not have too many brothers and sisters. The rabbit must be active, have a normal weight. The coat of a healthy animal is smooth, soft, thick, clean. No discharge from the eyes or nose is allowed. Eyes should be clean, without cloudiness or pus.
Need to inspect the body of the rabbit. You can not buy an animal with scabs, inflammation, dandruff and other skin defects. In the ears of a pedigree rabbit should not be present dirt, discharge, wounds and other signs of illness or life in poor conditions.
The mental state of the animal is very important, since abnormalities may indicate bad genes. A normal individual is calm, not shy, contrary to popular belief about the cowardice of rabbits. The animal should be inquisitive, without any problems to make contact with the person and brothers. If the rabbit seems to be overly excited or, on the contrary, sluggish, passive, you should not buy it.
When you need to purchase several females at once, take those that are not related.
How to organize the best conditions
If you have Californian rabbits, breeding, growing, feeding will not be a problem. They are undemanding and unpretentious. The main thing - do not keep them in a big company crammed. Each individual must have at least 70 square meters. cm square.
Cages with animals can be kept indoors and outdoors. Due to the warm wool, including, on the paws, Californian rabbits tolerate frost well. It is better to divide the livestock and settle together individuals of about the same age.
It is important that all animals can easily approach the feed bunkers. Mother cages for female rabbit should be made of wood, waterproof, warm and without drafts, but ventilated.
It is necessary to monitor the dryness in the cells, and to avoid the direct rays of the sun. For breeding females, closed cages are better, but with good ventilation.
California rabbits can be grown in specially equipped pits measuring 2x2x1 m. They are lined with wood or mesh, and the walls are reinforced with slate. Also the pit should have a roof. Details in the article "Breeding rabbits in the pits."
Feeding and caring for animals
Californian rabbits are unpretentious, but even they need good sanitary conditions and veterinarian attention.
On large farms daily inspection of livestock conducts a full-time specialist. If you have a small farm, where you yourself are responsible for the content, then every day you need to inspect all the rabbits. Look at the wool, slimy. If there are parasites, inflammation or redness on the skin, you should immediately call the veterinarian.
Vaccinations carried out on schedule. The first - 28 days after birth - against myxomatosis. A vaccine for hemorrhagic viral disease is then administered at 45 days. After 3 months, vaccinations are done again, and then repeated 1 time in 6 months.
A successful business on rabbits cannot be built, if you save on their food. After weaning, small rabbits are fed 5 times a day, decreasing to 3 times over time. Like other rabbits, this breed needs constant free access to clean, fresh water. It needs to be changed daily. In winter, warm water is poured.
We recommend a combined diet: succulent feed plus concentrates. Taking into account the peculiarities of the breed, carrots, pumpkins, barley, cabbage, corn, bran, oats, and peas are necessarily introduced into the menu. Also add meat and fish meal. In the summer they give dandelions, plantain, clover, burdock. In winter, the first feeding starts no later than 8 am. In the summer - at 6 o'clock in the morning.
Mating and okrol
Of course, breeding Californian rabbits is not only a care, but also a breeding process. It is not difficult, since the rabbit of this breed have excellent maternal instincts.
Animals become sexually mature at 5 months. From now on, reproduction begins. After successful mating the female bears cubs from 28 to 35 days. In the last 7 days, it must be isolated from the others, as it becomes aggressive.
During the first birth it is necessary to closely monitor the rabbit. Usually the first okol at Californians lasts a long time and is difficult, a veterinarian may be needed. Subsequent delivery is easier.
Rabbits lined down the nest where the mother is located with the cubs. The female pulls fur from her belly. A week after the roundabout, it is not disturbed and kept apart with the offspring.
If the bunnies appeared at once in several females, the babies are distributed in such a way that all the rabbits have the same number of fed babies. Dairy nutrition lasts 3 months. By this time they should weigh about 3 kg.
As for the males, for mating it is better to take those whose skin has a smoky shade. Too fat rabbits in breeding work is not allowed.
As you can see, the Californian rabbit breed is perfect for beginners and experienced farmers. It is easy to care for animals, they are easy to reproduce, and skins make it possible to earn extra money.
Share our articles in social networks so that more farmers can get useful information.
Put likes and write comments - so more people will read the material.