Particularly large gray giant rabbits began their existence in the USSR since the 1950s. These large animals became a clear achievement in breeding. This variety has proven itself in the meat and skin direction. When broiler feeding, they are compared with meat breeds. Currently, giant crawls are popular all over the world. They are even kept as pets. In the article we will tell about the distinctive rabbit features, about the breeding and maintenance of these individuals.
At the heart - flandr
During the USSR, since 1946, the zoologists of Ukraine began work on the creation of a new rabbit breed. This took place on the territory of the Petrovsky animal-breeding farm, which is located in the Poltava region. The basis was taken breed flandr (about it we describe in detail in the article "Description of the breed rabbits flandr") and ordinary mongrel individuals.
Breeders had to create a species that did not require efforts at breeding and at the same time would have good meat characteristics. The last factor was especially important in the post-war difficult time. They got it to the full. The result was a public domain.
Already by 1952 the gray giant rabbit was approved. He stood out in large weight. In addition, an animal of such a breed can be called viable and prolific. It perfectly adapts to warm climatic zones. These qualities went from flandra. Tolerability of severe winters and effective mating was taken from local animals of an unspecified breed.
The breed of rabbits, the gray giant, is then successfully bred on the territory of Crimea in breeding industrial farms. Poltava and Kirovograd regions, Tatar ASSR were also the main reproducers of this type of rabbits.
In modern times, the gray giant breed is improving in the area of animal fur. Experts are working on the quality of rabbit fur - increase the density, pubescence of the legs. Meat productivity also does not stand still.
Next we give a description of the breed. As already mentioned - a lot of weight is the main advantage. Rabbit reaches an average of 5 kg.
Some representatives of the gray giant breed are special giants - up to 7 kg. This means that the meat will be in large quantities. The same can be said about the skin. Its size is impressive.
Other distinctive features of this breed of rabbits:
- strong, massive body, the length of which can reach 75 cm;
- strong and strong bones with a developed broad chest, whose girth is up to 39 cm;
- head rather large and elongated with straight ears (V-shaped), which reach 15 cm;
- feet are well-fed and straight, as well as widely set;
- the coat is of medium length, not thick, and the skin area reaches 3000 square meters. cm.
The last factor from the list is valued precisely for size, and not for the density of the fur. It should also be borne in mind that in terms of the amount of meat, this large rabbit is slightly inferior to special meat breeds. For example, the weight of Flandra can reach 12 kg.
According to the description of rabbits, the gray giant can be compared to chinchilla. The only difference is that the latter has a bright wedge on the back of the head, while the former has a uniform shade.
There is a standard hare (gray) coat color called agouti. This color is most common among gray giants. In this case, the rabbit's abdomen and paws are white inside. Due to this color the breed got its name.
Sometimes there are individuals of dark gray or brown. In this case, the belly and bottom of the tail is smoky. In another way, we can say that they look grayish. There is a color like ferrous gray. Such rabbits create the effect of gray hair. In the rabbits is the golden color of the coat. In this case, legs, tail and belly are white.
There are also black rabbits of the giant breed. They have a belly and tail in the lower part of a lighter or matte.
Gray giants in their colors do not have any one stable color. In the shades listed above, there are always two, or even more tones that smoothly change from one to the other. The color of hairs in rabbits at the base and at the edge can also be different.
Exposure and a lot of feed
Now let's talk about the positive and negative qualities that can be found in these giant rabbits, in addition to great weight.
First of all, the gray giant rabbit of breed has a calm disposition and high (for this species) intelligence. This is clearly visible on females who are able to care for their offspring. They take care of the little cubs that no longer need mother's milk. If we talk about males, they can sometimes show aggression, so they are removed from the young.
The qualities obtained from wild, outbred rabbits are the ability to withstand low temperatures, even up to 25 degrees of frost. At the same time, negative indicators do not affect reproduction (only without drafts). Rabbits breed, no matter what. This happens even if the wrong feed is used. In short, the gray giant animal breed is very unpretentious and resistant to disease.
The rabbit has some negative features. First of all, to maintain such a weight, a large amount of feed is required. Since the breed is not meat, then the output is not so much product. However, it is of good quality, and this is a plus.
Secondly, the skin, though large, is rather poor-quality due to uneven thickening (selectors are working on it). Also, speaking of the offspring, such a rabbit in the litter often has a baby with a defect, in the form of curves and thin paws.
Adapt to local conditions
Since the rabbits of the gray giant originate in a warm climate zone, at high temperatures they breed better. But low and they are not a hindrance. That is why the breed is gaining popularity in the northern regions. In this case, they do not even always use insulated cells, although it is advisable to bring them to the shed in winter, because the additional heat during the cold season will not interfere.
Spacious cells, lack of drafts and cleanliness belong to the correct maintenance at home. The last factor is the hygiene of places of residence, inventory, as well as their disinfection.
The cells are disinfected by hydrated lime or by using a blowtorch (if the construction is made of wood). Also suitable and 10% bleach solution. Such prophylactic procedures are done once every six months. Processing takes place if new rabbits are planned to be shared, if the rabbit is infected, or an infectious disease has occurred.
If we talk about cages for rabbits, then their location on the street should be in the shade, in places without drafts. This is in summer. If there is no shaded place, then it is necessary to make a canopy or covers. Be sure to have feeders and drinkers, which should be cleaned in a timely manner.
The floor in the cages is upholstered with iron so that the rats do not penetrate. For gray rabbits, it is undesirable to do a net floor, because at the same time with a large weight and sparse hair on the paws, this will provoke animal tradermatitis.
Often, the mother liquor is attached to the cells from the side, where the rabbit gives birth and nurses the rabbit.
Fertile and high-milk
Gray male giants are active in grooming females. They mate well, rabbits are prolific and can bring up to 8 rabbits. Individuals of the female are very attentive to the cubs. They feed them only with their milk, as it is always in abundance.
Usually maternal instinct is not peculiar to female rabbits, but in this breed the characteristic is opposite. Adult animals do not tread young after about.
At the age of 5 months, the rabbit become fertile, and the males are ready to mate from seven months of age. In this case with individuals of the female should not expect greater maturity. Rabbits stop growing and start to gain weight. With obesity, females find it harder to get pregnant.
Pregnancy in rabbits lasts up to 35 days. Around is approaching when the rabbits begin to move in the womb. Their movements are seen from day 25.
Already 4 days before birth the animal begins to nest. Usually, when they are around, females do not help. In this regard, they are independent. It is only necessary to ensure that newborns do not crawl away from the mother rabbit, otherwise they may die.
Sometimes youngsters of a gray giant can be born more, up to 14 individuals. The little rabbit at the time of birth reaches a mass of 75-85 g. At about the 12th day, the little ones crawl out of the nest, since their eyes are already opening. If a blind newborn crawled out, then it must be returned to the rabbit.
Young animals grow very quickly. The rapid growth will be in the presence of high-calorie high-calorie feed. Rabbits eat vegetables, hay, grain. Let out special rabbit compound feed. The most important thing is to ensure a regular supply of food. Feeding gaps adversely affect the work of the gray giants' digestive system.
If the kids eat good semi-concentrate food, they can weigh 1.5 kg in two months of age. Further, by months - in 3 - 2.0 kg, in 4 months - 2.6 kg. Also, when feeding rabbits, you can focus on protein feeding. In this case, the weight will be somewhat more. To the above standards, you can add 100-200 g.
From about six months of age, gray-haired rabbits stop growing. Females go for slaughter when their weight is 5 kg, and males, when they reach 6-6.2 kg.
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