Farmers who are engaged in rabbit breeding, mainly raise their pets for rabbit, less often - for the skins. Growing rabbits for meat at home, like any process of animal husbandry, has its own subtleties. We will tell about them in this article. Videos from experienced breeders will help to get a more complete picture of the meat rabbit breeding.
Breeding rabbits for meat
To breed pets at home in order to get rabbit meat is necessary according to the standard scheme. At first, the young are acquired, as a rule, not by rabbits, but by individuals that have recently reached puberty. Then the animals are crossed, waiting for the appearance of offspring, after which the rabbit's offspring grow up to the age of 3-4 months. Farmers use 4-month-olds for slaughter, which are taken from females and grown to a weight of 3-4 kg or more. Then the rabbits again go on bonding, and the whole cycle continues.
Breeding rabbits for meat is a year-round process, as female rabbits can give birth throughout the year. On average, after slaughtering annual offspring, 100 kg of rabbit meat can be obtained.
Male producer and breeding female slaughtered at the age of 2-3 years, replacing them with new, younger. However, if the rabbit is a good mother and always feeds the rabbits herself, she will be able to give birth up to 5 years. It is after 5 years that the reproductive function fades away in rabbits.
What breed to choose?
What kind of rabbits it is better to breed for meat? Many recommend such breeds as the White and Gray Giant, California, Silver, New Zealand Red, Soviet Chinchilla. One of the most precocious is considered to be the New Zealand, California breed. Rabbit breeders classify such rabbits as broilers, since as early as at 2 months of age they weigh 3–3.5 kg each.
If you want to grow individuals, focusing on weight gain, use the so-called "industrial crossing" method. With this approach, the rabbits of some meat breeds are crossed with others, getting hybrid early maturing rabbits. In this case, three females are enough, giving 2-3 offspring during the year and one producer crawl. They just allow to reach that very figure of 100 kg of rabbit meat per year.
The following video is about which beef breed to choose. The material is certainly useful to those who have not yet decided on the choice.
Maintenance and care of animals
Breeding rabbits at home, as well as caring for them, is a snap. The main condition for maintenance is cleanliness. Broiler breeds are sensitive to drafts, do not like dirt. In unhygienic conditions, craws grow worse and gain weight poorly. Because of the size of the animals, it is necessary to seat them alone after 3 months, especially for males.
Females can be kept 2-3 in a standard cell size 120x70x60. For the sake of their peace and preservation, young suckling ladies also lodge one by one. For fluffy rodents need to constantly care. The most important thing is to vaccinate, keep in a warm room in winter, protect from drafts and clean manure in time. The better you take care of the rabbits, the cleaner the cages will be, the healthier and more beautiful the animals will be.
What food to give to rabbits of the meat direction? The diet of animals at home is different from what is taken as the norm in the production. On large farms, animals are kept mainly on animal feed. But in private farms, the basis of the diet is grain, vegetable supplements and pruning, hay, dried grass (in summer). Root crops and some fruits, for example, apples, are given in small quantities.
Remember that rabbits are herbivores, which is why they need a lot of hay. Of the crops they prefer the most nutritious - oats and barley. Vegetables are best eaten such: pumpkin, zucchini, squash, corn. If it is possible to grow wild herbs, it is more profitable to grow them in their own fields (for example, alfalfa, fodder lupine, nettle, wheat grass). Next, we suggest you watch a video with the breeder's comments on how to feed the rabbits in the winter to gain weight quickly.
At what age to score?
At home, young crawls are slaughtered upon reaching the age of 4-5 months. What kind of individuals is better to select for slaughter? First of all, the smallest, because large ones can later be put on the tribe. However, if you are going to score all grown-up rabbits from one litter, 4 months is the optimal time. Just at this age they have the most tender meat without foreign smells.
Taste qualities of kroliatiny are optimal until the age of 2-3 years. But in such an age gap, only "their own" rabbit and males fall. The older the animal, the greater the likelihood that you will get a carcass with different fragrances that are difficult to remove. Specific smell of meat is given by glands located in the junction of the spine and femur. Therefore, when the carcass is trimmed, this part is removed.