A Knowledgebase for the Rabbit Industry...
- Raising rabbits is not a "get rich quick" business.
- The rabbit business can be profitable on a small scale or as a full-time operation, provided particular attention is paid to the selection of a good breeding herd and good management is practiced on a daily basis.
- Interested individuals should realize that daily care is required and a capital investment is necessary for the proper facility. An important point, which many producers may take for granted, is to establish a suitable market prior to starting in different areas of the country.
- Another consideration is particular zoning laws which may differ in each community. There is ample information available for those interested in rabbit production.
- Rabbits are an ideal small stock project for urban or small farms. Rabbits are quiet, clean and relatively odorless. Raising rabbits can be anything from an interesting and profitable hobby to a full-time living. Today, many people are investigating the possibilities of rabbit production, and those who have studied the subject find its present stage of development worthy of their consideration and investment.
- A great number of rabbits are raised each year for pleasure, show, meat, fur, and research purposes. Domestic rabbit meat is a specialty item and is finding acceptance by consumers wherever methods of merchandizing are available. Commercial rabbit production can be designed as a part time endeavor to provide extra income, or expanded into a full-time occupation. Rabbit meat can be prepared and served in many ways. The all white meat of the domestic rabbit can be found in supermarkets packaged as 2 to 2.5 pound fryers or broilers, and the price of rabbit meat is competitive with beef. On a comparable basis, rabbit meat has less cholesterol, fewer calories, and a lower percentage of fat than beef, pork, chicken or lamb, and has a greater protein content.
- The two most popular breeds for meat production are the New Zealand and the Californian. These breeds are most popular because they combine white fur (preferred by processors) and good growth characteristics. New Zealand rabbits are slightly larger than the Californian, 4.1-5.9 versus 3.6-4.5 kg. The New Zealand rabbit has a completely white, red or black body, whereas the Californian is white with colored nose, ears and feet.
- Management entails breeding, housing, equipment, feeding, health maintenance,record keeping and marketing. Failure in any one phase will negatively impact other areas. Feed is the single largest operating expense. Feed costs account for 75% of total production costs. Rabbit feed should contain 12 to 18% protein.
- Rabbits will reach market age at about 8 weeks of age or less. Rabbits may be sold live or dressed. In most cases producers must develop their own markets. Meat rabbits must have good loins, shoulders, hips and pelts. Rabbits raised for meat are generally marketed as broilers, weighing 2.0 to 2.3 kg liveweight. The fur market requires that rabbits have meaty carcasses and clean, top quality pelts. To obtain a satisfactory price, a large number of pelts are usually required. The price of pelts depends on quality. For research work, rigid guidelines may be specified such as a specific age, sex, size or breed. The market for rabbits raised for research is generally handled on a contract basis.
External Links Production
|Commercial Rabbit Production||J.C. Moreki, Ph.D.|
|World Rabbit Science Association||WRSA|
|Rabbits||University of Maryland|
|Rabbit Research Program at TAMUK||TAMUK|
|Rabbit Production in Florida||University of Florida|
|Guidelines for Entry into Meat Rabbit Production||Alabama Cooperative Extension System|
|Agricultural Alternatives - Rabbit Production||PENNSTATE College of Agricultural Sciences|
|Meat Rabbit Farming||CSIRO|
|Rabbit Production in the World||François LEBAS|
|Rabbit Education Society|
|Husbandry Standards for Commercial Rabbit Production||Corinne Fayo, Mark A Grobner PhD and Linda Welch 2005|
|Rabbit Farming||Arlene & Dean Goforth|
|Ag Marketing Resource Center-Rabbits||Iowa State University|
External Links Science
|Proceedings 10th World Rabbit Congress||WRSA|
|Recent Advances in Rabbit Sciences||Edited by L.Maertens and P.Coudert|
|Organic Rabbit Farming Based on Forages||Mekarn|
|Epizootic Rabbit Enteropathy (ERE)||Dominique LICOIS
|In late 1996 in France, a severe digestive disease appeared in fattening domestic rabbits. Named the Epizootic Rabbit Enteropathy (ERE), this digestive syndrome has become the main cause of mortality in rabbit farming.|
|IS EPIZOOTIC RABBIT ENTEROPATHY(ERE)
A BACTERIAL DISEASE?
|Huybens N Houeix J Szalo M Licois D Mainil J Marlier D.||The etiology of epizootic rabbit enteropathy (ERE) is still unknown despite ten years of continuous research. A putative bacterial etiology is at the basis of current research.|
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