Rabbit breeds of the original butterfly breed are very popular with farmers, breeding them for a large amount of dietary meat and beautiful skins with unusual coloring. Due to the high fertility and rapid muscle growth, breeding these animals is a profitable occupation, and the docile nature of the pets allows them to be used as living toys for children.
The history of the breed
The general category of rabbit breeds, known as "butterfly", was first introduced to the general public at the end of the 19th century. Then the English rabbit breeders based on the Angora breed brought out small animals with unusual symmetrical patterns on the skins.
At the initial stage, breeding the rabbit breed butterfly was conceived as a decorative direction. Kind and docile animals were supposed to become pets and delight children.
Butterfly breed rabbits had a basic white coat color with a long black stripe running along the spine. On both sides and the back of the animals there are scattered small spots of black, chocolate or gray with bluish tones, making their skins elegant and beautiful.
The weight of rabbits barely reached 2 kg. They were playful and perfectly suited for home keeping. But the color of their skins caused a real boom for fashionistas who want to have unusual fur coats, hats and coats.
After that, many breeders engaged in the industrial breeding of animals of this breed to get delicious meat and enjoying the great popularity of skins.
Modern standards of eared butterflies
Throughout the next century, there was a focused selection of these animals. The goal was to increase the production characteristics in the meat and fur areas.
In the Soviet Union and modern Russia, the butterfly rabbits interbred with different meat breeds, including flandres, white giants, Viennese blue rabbits and Soviet chinchillas. With the help of many years of breeding, it was possible to bring out representatives of the modern breed, which are significantly different from their predecessors. They have:
- torso up to 60 cm;
- girth of 34-38 cm;
- small head and strong paws;
- white shiny coat of medium thickness and length;
- a strip of dark fur about 3 cm wide passes along the entire spinal column;
- symmetrical spots on cheeks and sides (according to the standard, spots on the body should not touch the strip on the spine);
- dark ears, nose and continuous eye rims.
The weight of a powerful muscular body reaches 4.5-5 kg, and rabbit for one okrol can bring from 7 to 15 rabbits.
Miniature pets for children
Today, the term "butterflies" means rabbits of different breeds, similar to each other in fur color, but differing in size, shape of the body, head and ears, as well as in the length and density of wool.
Among the decorative breeds are highly valued dwarf butterflies, which are great for the role of a pet. Animals have a gentle disposition and quickly become accustomed to their owners. They are unpretentious care, have an excellent appetite and live in captivity for 5-6 years.
This species of rabbit butterfly has a cylindrical body and enlarged head, as well as protruding ears that are closely spaced to each other. The average weight of animals is about 3 kg, although males are significantly smaller than females.
Particularly exquisite species of butterflies are English rabbits, which are famous for their extraordinary acumen and long lifespan. With proper care, animals of this breed can live from 8 to 12 years, with an average weight of 2-4 kg.
A fit and properly folded rabbit has a short well-groomed coat and a small head. There are several basic colors, and symmetrical spots can be black, brown-chocolate, tortoise, gray-blue and even lilac.
Meat and meat-fur breeds
Animals of the Rhine breed bred by German rabbit breeders are extremely popular as decorative animals.
The Rhine breed of rabbits differs in endurance and unpretentiousness in the maintenance. The animals have a body in the shape of a regular cylinder, powerful hind legs and brown shiny eyes. The short and very thick hair of this variety of butterflies can be white, black and golden-red. The weight of an adult animal does not exceed 3 kg, and the female is always heavier than a male by about 1 kg.
The Czech Rabbit butterfly has a weight of up to 4 kg and a strong cylindrical body. Its meat has excellent taste, and its upright short hair has a distinctive shine.
Czech butterfly is perfect for keeping as a pet, as well as for breeding for meat and skins.
The largest butterfly breed rabbit is a motley giant. It has an elongated body up to 66 cm long, and the white color is accompanied by patterns of black and blue.
A well-fed animal already gains more than 5 kg of live weight by 4–5 months, and individual individuals can reach 9–10 kg. This breed of rabbit is best suited for farming with the aim of obtaining meat and skins.
Rules for choosing eared pets
Animals should be purchased for home keeping and breeding only after they have reached the age of 45 days. Such rabbits can already eat solid food by themselves and do not feel severe stress as a result of changing their habitat.
When buying, be sure to check with the manufacturers. Find out how many babies were in the litter, and also specify whether antiglyst and anti-tick measures were carried out for them. At the time of purchase, the animal must be vaccinated against myxomatosis and UHD.
Depending on what purpose you are pursuing when purchasing a butterfly rabbits, first study the description of the breed and learn about the peculiarities of keeping these animals.
Remember that dwarf and ornamental animals are characterized by low fecundity, and their females bring no more than 2-4 rabbits per okol. Meat-fur varieties of rabbits butterfly, on the contrary, can bring in the litter from 7 to 15 kids.
The main disadvantage of such breeds for home keeping is the rapid growth of animals, which already by 4-5 months become large and do not like to play with children very much.
Unpretentious and quick-witted animals
Along with representatives of dwarf and other decorative trends, the butterfly breed is excellent for keeping as a pet, which creates much less problems for its owners than traditional cats and dogs.
The decorative rabbit quickly learns to walk on the cat tray, rarely damages household property and is very attached to its owners. Feeding does not require the purchase of expensive products, and hay harvested in the summer may last for a whole year.
However, due to the excellent fur and meat with a dietary taste, they prefer to breed rabbits of this breed for industrial needs even in domestic rabbit farms. From an average size of a rabbit butterfly you can get 2.5-2.8 kg of meat product.
Basically they use the cellular system of animal breeding, in which reproduction can be controlled, the case of males and females that are not related by blood. This is very important, as the pairing of butterflies with other breeds leads to a deterioration in the taste of their meat and wool quality.
Cell content more reliably protects rabbits from the spread of infectious diseases, and rabbits are born healthier and well-groomed.
In recent years, in order to reduce costs and increase meat productivity, some breeders have been switching to the use of penning, semi-free and pit technology for their breeding.
All these methods provide for long-term keeping of animals in the open air and giving them the opportunity to move a lot. With such approaches, rabbits develop much faster, forming strong skeletal muscles. The flavor characteristics of meat, which becomes more elastic, also increase. The shine and saturation of the hair with hairs are noticeably improved, making it possible to sell luxury skins at a high price.
When keeping animals in the fresh air, they are less susceptible to infectious diseases. The rabbit breeder can only follow the diet of their food, make timely vaccinations and carry out sanitary and hygienic treatment of the premises.
Observe hygiene and diet
In order to improve the quality of skins and meat, it is required to limit the animals a little, by feeding no more than 2 times a day. In addition to traditional greenery, hay and cereals, butterflies need to be given hard vegetables, fruits and young shoots of trees.
This will help your pets grind off ever-growing incisors, as well as replenish their diet with minerals, vitamins and biologically active elements.
Females become sexually mature at 4-5 months and can be crossed with older males.
To ensure the birth of resilient and healthy offspring, avoid closely related crossbreeding and try to replace males as often as possible.
Bearing rabbit cubs lasts 30-32 days, and around the butterflies usually passes without complications. After 20 days, babies can begin to teach to eat solid feed, and by the age of one and a half months they become independent animals, independent of the female.
Get acquainted in our article with another interesting breed "Rabbits lop-eared sheep".
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