The gray giant is a highly productive breed of rabbits, which was obtained as a result of long selection work. These animals were bred in the Poltava region of Ukraine. During selection, Belgian flanders and outbred rabbits were crossed. The result of the work was animals resistant to the local climate, food and diseases.
The gray giant is a highly productive breed of rabbits, which was obtained as a result of long selection work
Already by the 50s. Twentieth century gray giant rabbits have been recognized by many breeders. These animals are kept both for obtaining high-quality meat, and for the sake of good skins. Recently, rabbits of this breed have gained particular popularity, as they are excellent for growing in many regions. Animals are characterized by increased resistance to diseases and unpretentiousness in terms of feed.
Characteristic features of representatives of the breed gray gray giant
In any animal giants, the most notable feature, of course, is size. On average, a fattened rabbit of this breed reaches a weight of about 5.1-7 kg. The champions were quite successfully fed up to 12 kg. The body length of the animal reaches 56-66 cm. The chest girth of representatives of this breed is about 35-40 cm. The animal has a very strong and broken body. The breed of rabbits is a gray giant characterized by a powerful skeleton. The head in animals is usually large. The features of the muzzle are rude. The ears are large and erect, the tips have a slightly rounded shape. In rabbits, there is usually a clearly visible skin fold on the chest. The chest of the gray giant is wide and well developed. The breast area is clearly distinguished.
These animals were bred in the Poltava region of Ukraine
The back is slightly elongated and very wide. The legs of the gray giants are also large. They are strong and stable. Healthy thoroughbred animals have thick joints. Representatives of this breed are bred because of tasty and healthy meat. The coat of animals is dense, but its quality is still average. The main advantage of dressed skins of representatives of this breed is their size. It is thanks to this feature that the fur of gray giants is popular with people engaged in the production of various items of clothing.
In any animal giants, the most notable feature, of course, is the size
Currently, 4 main rabbit color options are highlighted, including:
- gray hare;
- iron gray;
- the black;
- dark grey.
Each of these colors is valued in its own way, so all kinds of animals are raised. The color of the skin almost does not affect the quality of the skin. The most common representatives of this breed are distinguished by a dark gray color. The color of an animal’s fur coat usually does not affect meat productivity.
The best large breeds of rabbits (video)
The main pros and cons of the breed
Giant rabbits have recently been especially popular with breeders. However, they are not suitable for everyone. This must be considered before starting to breed animals. The gray giant rabbit has a number of advantages, which often attract owners of private farms. The advantages of this breed include:
- large body size;
- calm disposition;
- big skin;
- unpretentiousness in the content;
- disease resistance;
- they survive the cold well;
- increased instinct for raising offspring.
However, these animals have certain disadvantages. First of all, rabbits of the breed of gray giant do not differ in early maturity, which significantly increases the cost of their breeding. For normal growth and development, these rabbits require a lot of food. Given that the breed is not purely meat, its productivity in this regard is not too great. The skin of the animal is not of high quality.
Among other things, often in almost every litter there is a rabbit with obvious developmental defects. Typically, such an individual has thin or curved legs.
Gallery: gray giant rabbit breed (25 photos)
Prerequisites for keeping rabbits giants
Representatives of this breed are resistant to weather conditions. They can be kept in cages on the street even in winter. This does not require additional insulation. Cell size should take into account the parameters of adult animals. It is advisable to keep each individual separately so that they are not constrained. For one rabbit, the cage should be 75x75x50 cm. The breed of gray giant is unpretentious, but you need to take care of the absence of drafts. Cells must be solid. They must be positioned so that animals do not fall under direct sunlight. Many breeders equip cages with a wooden trellised bottom and a special tray. In this case, the waste products of rabbits are poured down, which greatly facilitates the care of them. When raising these animals, special attention must be paid to hygiene.
High temperatures can be used to disinfect cells. In this case, a conventional blowtorch is used (all walls and corners are fired). Disinfection can also be carried out by treating the cells with slaked lime. You can use 10% bleach solution to eliminate pathogenic microflora. Particularly important is disinfection before new individuals are introduced into the cage. This will reduce the risk of the spread of infectious diseases.
Each cage must have a feeding trough, a drinking bowl and a sennik. These animals require constant access to food, as otherwise they may have serious digestive problems. Water in rabbits should always be clean, so in no case should it be allowed to stagnate. Particular attention should be paid to the diet of animals. Representatives of the gray giant breed are not too whimsical in this regard. For an adult individual per day, you need to give:
- 50 g of concentrates;
- 200 g of greens;
- 60 g of succulent feed;
- 30-50 g of hay.
If animals are kept in the winter, special attention must be paid to harvesting vegetables. This breed of rabbits is omnivorous: they can eat any kind of root crops, but you need to thoroughly clean such food from the ground. Spoiled vegetables should not be given to rabbits, as this can cause digestive upsets. Together with succulent forages, it is always necessary to present the animals with sufficient hay. Grain is best given crushed or in the form of a mash. Many breeders for feeding representatives of gray giants germinate this type of food in order to increase its nutritional value. Compound feeds are best purchased in finished form, but you can make them yourself.
Gray Giant Rabbit (video)
Difficulties breeding gray giants
Females of this highly productive breed are fertile, and in addition, they have enough milk for young animals. An additional compartment must be fitted to the side of the cage. The size of the mother liquor for the rabbit of this breed should be about 30x60x30 cm. There must be a roof and insulated walls in this compartment so that the young animals do not catch a cold.
Preparing for childbirth, the female herself will arrange a nest at the bottom of the mother liquor, lining it with hay and her own wool.
As a rule, females aged 5-6 months who have no signs of severe obesity are selected for mating. Typically, pregnancy in this breed lasts about 28-35 days. Labor activity begins in the morning. From 8 to 12 babies are born. To help the rabbit during this period is not necessary. At the same time, it is necessary to ensure that young individuals do not crawl away from the mother, since in the first hours of life their warmth and milk are especially important.
Usually, from the second day of life, the female rabbit visits them only 2-3 times. Some inexperienced breeders are frightened by this attitude of the mother. However, this behavior of the rabbit is completely normal. Her fat milk is enough to feed young animals. Usually rabbits begin to leave the nest on day 12, when their eyes open. After the young growth switches to plant food, it can be weaned from the female.