First of all, newcomers to rabbit breeding are interested in the question of which breed to choose, because there are only about 90 of them. It is clear that in such a variety it is very easy to get lost. How to understand what type of fluffy animals will be profitable at low costs. To breed rabbits is not only a hobby but also a profitable business for raising rabbits. We bring to your attention a small overview of different breeds of rabbits.
Why the choice of breed depends
All types of these fluffy animals are conventionally divided into meat breeds, downy and meat-hide.
That is, those who are thinking about breeding rabbits at home should first decide which product they want to receive at the end.
The next moment when choosing a breed will be the upcoming conditions for keeping rabbits: under each climatic zone, a species is deduced and, if you place the animal in an environment that is not comfortable for him, then it will obviously feel not the best way.
The place where they are going to keep the rabbit will also play a significant role. There are breeds that feel great in pits, but there are also those who need more convenient conditions.
Animals of this species are specially bred for meat, so they will have rather high growth rates for rabbits.
The most common meat breeds are:
- White New Zealand
- New Zealand Red
- French ram
New Zealand White differs in light skin color, small erect ears, slightly elongated body. The body length for the male is 47 cm, for the female – 49 cm. Weight – 4.5 kg. It is better to choose rabbits from 4 months of age. These animals are perfectly adapted for keeping in cages, because they have fur on their legs. In general, New Zealand white takes root very well in our climate. However, it is necessary to protect rabbits of this breed from drafts, and their maintenance will take a lot of physical strength and time.
New Zealand Red Rabbit distinguished by short reddish hair. The weight of an adult reaches 4.5 kg and the body length is 48 cm. The advantage of this breed is significant growth indicators: rabbits can be slaughtered already for 60–70 days. Animals need attention to themselves: in the summer it is better to keep them in the fresh air (to carry them in cages), in the winter – in specially designed cages with a constantly maintained ventilation system. But it should be remembered that New Zealand red rabbits must be protected from loud noises, bright light – from this the animal can become depressed and fall ill.
California breed differs in a strong physique, proportional body, wide chest, short and straight back. An adult animal weighs 4.5 kg and is distinguished by fecundity. They are very unpretentious to the conditions of detention, tolerate frosts well and without bedding, but the feed should be of high quality with a lot of protein. It will be necessary to constantly examine the animal at the veterinarian.
Flanders (see details about the Flanders breed). Representatives of this breed should have a very large head with prominent cheeks. Ears are long (up to 10 cm), with an edge. Body length – 70 cm, weight – 10 kg. Colors are recognized as officially recognized: black, dark gray, gray – red, white, blue, sand, opal. Rabbits of this breed are unpretentious, for their proper maintenance you should take care only of a balanced diet. The mesh cage is not recommended for these animals – rabbit paws can suffer from it. Read how to make a cage for rabbits with your own hands.
French ram can weigh up to 12 kg. This is an economic breed: for 1 kg of growth, 3.5 kg of feed is needed. Animals are adapted to mesh cells due to the peculiarities of the structure of their paws, it is characterized by fertility (up to 9 rabbits).
Rabbit fluff, like sheep or goat, can retain heat for a long time. Therefore, the animals of this breed are called longhair.
This type includes:
- Angora down
- White downy.
Angora down rabbit differs in various colors: black, white, blue, gray. Such animals weigh up to three kilograms, the body is shortened, with small ears, on the tips of which brushes can be found. The body of animals is covered with a long, thick silky pile. The length of the hair reaches 22 cm and above. A cage can be chosen for medium breeds, while it can be either home-made or purchased. It is necessary to observe certain conditions for keeping animals. The hair of the animal should be constantly combed out so that no tangles are formed. Often rabbits die from bowel obstruction.
White down breed of rabbits distributed in our latitudes. It has a spherical body, 45 – 50 cm, medium size, erect ears. For a year, one rabbit can bring up to 300-750 g of fluff. They are kept in holes; rabbits should be combed out 2 times a day. If mats are formed, do not pull them out, as you can injure the animal. Large lumps should be carefully cut with scissors. The animal does not tolerate temperatures above 28 degrees – heat stroke can occur.
Rabbits of this species differ from the previous ones in that, together with meat, they also provide valuable fur. This includes:
- Soviet chinchilla
- White giant
- Gray giant
- Vienna blue
- Black – brown
- Russian ermine
Soviet chinchilla appreciated for its heterogeneous coloring of the skin: colors change from light tones to dark gray or silver. The weight of the animal reaches 5 kg. Among the advantages of the breed are calm, fertility, cleanliness.
White giant (see in detail. White Giant rabbits) are albino rabbits: they have red eyes and a pure white color. The body is proportional, weight – from 5 to 7 kg. The body length reaches 60 cm. It is a dairy breed, with good fertility. Use it to increase other breeds.
Gray giant (see in detail. The Gray Giant and how to breed it) is diverse in its color: gray, dark gray, iron gray and black. Weigh from 4.5 to 7.5 kg. The body is 66 cm long, the ears are set with the letter “U”. This breed is well adapted to the local climatic conditions, has a large weight of meat and good skin size, but they are not as high-quality as in rabbits of other breeds.
Representatives of silver breed have a uniform coat color from light to dark silver. Body length – 57 cm, weight – 4.5–6.5 kg. Rabbits are prolific, their skins are very beautiful, go for tailoring natural fur products.
Vienna blue – These are medium-sized rabbits with a color from light to dark blue. The body length reaches 57 cm, and the mass ranges from 4.5 to 5 kg. The advantages of this breed are excellent quality meat and beautiful soft skins.
Black brown rabbit – A large, tightly knocked down animal with large and wide ears. Body length – about 61 cm, weight – 3 – 6 kg. This prolific breed has good maternal qualities. Delicate meat is valued in the market, and skins are preferred over other breeds.
Russian ermine – These are small rabbits, their body length does not exceed 50 cm. And the weight is only 4 to 5 kg. The body structure is fragile. The fur of rabbits of this breed, which looks like ermine, is very much appreciated.
How to choose a breed?
What should be guided in order to give preference to a particular breed?
- The purpose of breeding. As mentioned above, everything will depend on the goal of your implementation. Nowadays, special meat-and-breed breeds have been bred, which allow both wool and meat to be obtained from a rabbit.
- Be sure to pay attention to your pet’s parents. They must be prolific since a lot depends on the rabbit’s outbreak. And their children will be able to give great offspring, and this is the point of raising a rabbit.
- Start your business with medium-sized rabbits. They will not take up much space, do not require increased nutrition and some special conditions of detention.
- Choose white rabbits. They are calmer, because of this they remain prolific for a longer period.