In the industrial rabbit breeding of rabbits of different breeds is widespread. This provides offspring with the necessary production characteristics. Cubs are better adapted to local conditions, have a stable immunity and grow faster, gaining lethal weight in the shortest possible time. Rabbits can give birth more often, bring up to 10-12 babies in one per year. They produce a lot of milk, and rabbits are less susceptible to disease.
The problem of degeneration of domestic rabbits
In the wild, rabbits breed chaotically, producing offspring with positive characteristics and defects. As a result of natural selection, only the most adapted to life animals survive, due to which lines are formed that are adapted to certain conditions of existence.
In a farm, such crossing of animals is unacceptable because it leads to degradation and deterioration of the production characteristics of the herd. Even receiving proper care and feeding rabbits grow weak, have various defects and slowly gain industrial conditions. The performance of females is reduced to 3-5 rabbits per okrol, the young are born weak and non-viable.
The only way out of the situation will be to carry out selection work and a regular "influx of fresh blood" in the rabbitry.
Selection as a means of improving rabbit herd
In our country, rabbits are often bred for meat, and the farmer is interested in the profitability of the farm. He needs rabbits to be fertile and milky, and those born rabbits have strong immunity and quickly regain meat condition while consuming the minimum amount of feed.
For such purposes, a breed of animals suitable for the local climate is selected, it is easier to tolerate abnormal cold or summer heat. It is better to acquire future producers in individual breeding farms, which guarantees the absence of close relations between males and females.
If you decide to cross these animals together, several generations of babies will be guaranteed to meet the requirements of the breed. But then the mating of rabbits with kinship bonds begins, leading to gradual degeneration. Often this is manifested in the reduction of the mass of offspring and the gain of industrial weight much later than usual.
On how to cross the rabbits to produce a productive herd, we describe below.
Methods of productive animal crossing
Rabbits are bred for a large number of dietary meat, hides or fur, as well as decorative animals, which differ in docile temperament and can become a friend for your child.
Separately, isolated species of dwarf rabbits. In fact, these are the same ornamental animals, in the genotype of which the genes of dwarfism are fixed.
Depending on the purpose of breeding, different crosses of rabbits are used, each of which performs narrowly defined functions.
- uncontrollable or chaotic;
When breeding rabbits in breeding farms, animals of the same breed are not closely related. This allows you to keep clean, but leads to gradual degeneration. Therefore, systematic selection work and the use of producers of other breeds is indispensable.
Read more in the article "Is it possible to mate rabbits relatives".
Inexpensive and practical introductory crossing
The simplest and most common way of improving the herd in small farms is introductory crossing or “fresh blood rush”.
As soon as you notice that rabbits lose their production condition and have a narrow butt instead of a wide round one, it is necessary to urgently purchase one or several producer rabbits in the breeding farm and cover all mature rabbits with them.
From the resulting offspring, the strongest rabbits with the best production characteristics are selected, and then they are mated with each other.
If you do not specialize in breeding purebred animals and do not participate in exhibitions, then it is best to introduce other breeds with the necessary characteristics for introductory crossing.
Absorption mating will restore farm performance
If you did not take the time of selection, allowed chaotic mating of animals and your rabbits were crushed, then you can’t do without absorbing mating. This method of improving the breed is more complicated. But it guarantees that within 1-2 years you will return the desired industrial characteristics to the animals.
Get a breeding male of the desired breed and cross it with the females. From the obtained litters, select the strongest and largest females, seed them separately and grow up to the age of puberty.
The matured females of the improved breed can be crossed again, but for this they use another male, newly acquired in the breeding farm.
Strictly avoid the close relationship of the crossed producers or inbreeding, which leads to the appearance of babies with defects.
The result is not long in coming. After 4 such manipulations, you will restore the productivity of the rabbit farm. After this, it will only be necessary to periodically carry out introductory crossing of animals.
Heterosis Effect and Hybrids
In large rabbit farms, industrial crossing is widespread, reducing the cost of meat and increasing the rate of weight gain in rabbits.
In this case, the effect of heterosis is used, when hybrids of two different breeds have larger sizes than their parents. This gives a positive result, increasing the precocity of animals. The animals gain slaughter weight by 70-75 days, compared to 90 days for the original forms.
This method is practically not used at home, since it is necessary to simultaneously breed two or even three pure breeds of animals, as well as to allocate a fattening workshop for hybrids.
Some novice breeders make a serious mistake by acquiring large hybrids on the markets, and then wonder why their livestock shrinks.
Remember that hybrid rabbits in the future to cross with each other is not necessary, because their offspring will be much smaller. They are suitable only for fattening and slaughter.
The best breeds for hybridization
For industrial crossing, rabbits of various meat breeds are used, but not always the result is positive. Some species are categorically not suitable for crossing each other.
Therefore, breeders have determined which breeds of rabbits are better suited for industrial crossing, allowing you to get strong and enduring hybrids.
Cross-breeding table of various breeds of rabbits to produce productive offspring:
Next, we will tell whether the hybrids can be crossed with representatives of the original breeds.
In home farm conditions, this does not make sense, and in large farms, variable crossbreeding of hybrids with representatives of initial breeds is practiced. It is believed that this gives a good result and enhances the production effect. But it requires considerable effort and large production areas.
The scheme of such a cross rabbits is simple. The female of the first generation hybrid is not covered by a related male of one of the original breeds, but by the young rabbits born from it - by a representative of another breed, after which the process repeats.
Separately, reproductive crossing is distinguished, which leads to the consolidation in the offspring of the best signs of parents and even the breeding of new breeds. This is a very complex process that requires excellent knowledge of genetics and spacious production areas with a large number of individual cells.
Most often, the breed introduced from other regions and not adapted to local climatic conditions begins to cross with local rabbits, which tolerate excellent changes in winter and summer temperatures, humidity levels, as well as periodic shortages of fresh green fodder.
Outbred rabbits are best suited as the original breed, and purebred males provide a rush of fresh blood.
From the litter are selected the largest and strongest individuals that are suitable for further crossing rabbits. In a number of cases, they switch to absorption and variable crossbreeding, or use representatives of the third breed with the necessary traits.
As a result of this method of breeding, the Russian giant, Soviet chinchilla, black fire and other rabbit meat breeds were bred.
Chaotic Crossing Harm
The most common in amateur rabbit breeders is chaotic crossing. By purchasing a pedigree manufacturer in the market, you do not get a guarantee that you are not a hybrid.
Even defects invisible to the eye appear in the next generation, in which there will be cross-breeds of various breeds not adapted to life. The herd gradually degenerates, and the content of rabbits ceases to be profitable.
Even if you closely watch the animals and do not allow closely related crossbreeding, the acquired producer is able to have the same recessive genes as your rabbits. This is due to the fact that in the conditions of one region, the purebred rabbits are in distant kinship with each other.
For breeding, select only the best individuals from each litter, do not interbreed with close relatives and periodically carry out introductory crossing, pouring "fresh blood" into the herd.
Rejection of problem manufacturers
If you decide to breed rabbits, then make sure that the best representatives of your herd are allowed to cross. They must have good health, do not suffer from diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, have an excellent appetite and gain weight quickly.
Remember that the fur of a healthy rabbit is shiny and has no bald spots, and its paws must be strong and withstand the weight of a massive body.
The best producers are crawls under the age of 3 years, and older animals should be immediately rejected, sent for slaughter with females who have miscarriages or have eaten their offspring.
If the rabbit failed to fertilize after two incidents with different males, or in the first two okolah she brought no more than 5 rabbits, also send it to the culling.
Do not allow to cross animals that are not satisfied with your color or the presence of a bony backside.
Inbreeding and the problems caused by it
Inbreeding or closely related crossbreeding is allowed only for medical purposes, when rabbits are used to test certain drugs.
Such animals have the same set of chromosomes and researchers are able to determine the effect of various chemicals on their bodies.
Previously, this method was used to breed individual breeds of animals (white giants, rams), as well as fixing complex mutations (color Rex).
With the help of inbreeding, all species of dwarf rabbits are bred. Representatives of these breeds are not able to live in the wild and without the help of a human being necessarily die, which once again confirms the harmfulness of closely related crossing.
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