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Rabbits are cecal fermenters that practice cecotrophy

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jasmine rawls

on 25 March 2014

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Transcript of Rabbits are cecal fermenters that practice cecotrophy

Rabbits are cecal fermenters that practice cecotrophy
Cecotrophy is the consuming of material from the cecum
Cecotrophs are contents of the cecum

Nutrition of Rabbits

Traits that affect profitability the most:
Weaning weights
Feed conversion
Dressing percentage
Herd longevity
Numbers of kits (baby rabbits) weaned

Breeding Programs

Aimed at research laboratories, hospitals, and universities
Requirements for entering the market make it difficult to become established
Producers must be licensed under provisions of the Animal Welfare Act
AWA specifies:
Dealers selling to bio med research must be licensed with APHIS
Violations can lead to license suspension and/or civil penalties

Laboratory specimen production

Part time operations= 20-100 does
Full time operations= 600+ does
Does produce 25-50 live offspring per year= 125-250 lbs of meat
Predominant market for rabbit meat
Custom meat sources
Individual buyers
Meat producing sector is highly dependent on availability of
Slaughtering facilities
Packaging requirements
Transportation costs
Potential buyers
Rabbit meat sold must be accordance with local or state health codes

Commercial Meat Production

Meat producing rabbits produced commercially is declining
Heavily populated states have the most pet rabbits
The rabbit fancy has a healthy contingent in every state in the union

Geographical Location of the Rabbit

Often tapped by the meat-producing segments:
Feeder rabbits
Feed for endangered carnivorous species
Breeding stock for new producers
Military training
Craft uses

Alternative uses for rabbits in the United States

Domestic rabbit-descendant of the European wild rabbit
Rabbit industry
Contains sectors such as:
Pet (largest sector)
Hobbyist/fancy segments

The Place and Purpose of Rabbits in the United States

The rabbit industry is composed of the fancy, commericial meat production, laboratory specimen production, breeding stock production, fiber production, and equipment and supplies segments.
The principles of rabbit health are providing sufficient amounts of feed and water, practicing close observation and maintaining stringent levels of cleanliness
Rabbit meat has high nutrient density, contains all essential amino acids, many minerals, and all required vitamins except vitamin C

Summary and Conclusion

American rabbit breeders association, Inc.
P.O. Box 5667
Bloomington, IL 61702
Phone: (309)664-7500
Fax: (309)664-0941
Email: info@arba.net

This organization is devoted to the rabbit fancy and to commercial production
Maryland Small Ruminant Page

Organizations and sources of information

Protein 56% A 3oz serving of cooked rabbit meat
Phosphorus 28% provides the following proportion
Iron 13% of the recommended daily dietary
Zinc 16% allowance for a 25 to 50 year old woman
Riboflavin 14% on a 2,200 calorie diet
Thiamin 6%
B12 352%
Niacin 48%
Calories 8%
Fat 9%

High quality meat
White meat
High protein
Low fat

Nutritional value of rabbit meat to humans

Cycles occur 16 to 18 days
Able to mate for all but 4 days of the cycle
Fertile during all the days of the cycle

The Doe (Female Rabbit)

Age and weight for reproducing:
Medium weight (9-12 lbs) breeds
6-7 months of age
Mating Process:
Doe is placed in the buck’s cage
Buck should never be placed in doe’s cage
Doe will fight to protect her territory
Matting process occurs naturally
Doe has to be removed after mating
To prevent fighting

Reproductive Management

New Zealand White
Best meat producing breed
Second best meat producing breed

Meat-Producing Breeds

Arranged by weight:
Small (2-4 lbs)
Medium (9-12 lbs)
Large (14-16 lbs)
Organized by hair/fur:

Classifying Rabbits

Several rabbit breeds are produced in the United States
Rabbits may be registered with the American Rabbit Breeders Association

Breeds and Genetics

Angora rabbits produce 8 to 10 inches (12 to 16 ounces) of wool per year
The fiber produced is a high quality wool

Angora Production

Record keeping
Veterinary care

Standards for APHIS include Requirements for:

Ease of rearing
Small space requirements
Low initial investment
Great variety
Breeders and owners produce rabbits for exhibition
Centered on the activities of the American Rabbit Association and individual organizations

Rabbit Fancy

Hares and rabbits-developed in the western hemisphere and migrated to Asia and Europe
North and South America- greatest number of species
Date of domestication-unknown
Spain- credited as place of origin of domestic rabbits
Sources suggest domestication occurred around 600 B.C
Phoenicians traded the rabbit to regions of the world
Romans kept hares and the rabbits brought from Spain
Probably brought to the U.S. before the early 1900s

Historical Perspective

Provides good repeatability of animal model studies
Large enough for single samples
Many stocks/strains available
Easily managed
Provides high-quality immunologic products
Easy to control reproduction

Research model

Diagnostic laboratory species
Immunology studies
Eye research
Pyrogen testing
Fetal drug-induced teratology
Parasite research
Testing of human products

Important Laboratory Species

By: Veronica R. Powers
Jasmine M. Rawls
Tieffan S. Roberts

Chapter 25

Net annual income $18 to $24 per doe
1000 doe operation would be considered a full time operation for two people
Full time operations usually generate about $24,000
Not a get rich quick industry

Industry Income


Supplemental income
Earned in the owners spare time
Small land requirement
Less than 1 acre
Investment is less than most agricultural enterprises
More income can be generated from producing and selling earthworms in the rabbit manure


Rabbit production

Kinding (birthing)

31-32 days
Nest box is placed in the doe’s hutch on day 28
Average liter is 8-10 kits


Reproduction Process

Normally occurs in the morning
Last about 30 minutes
Nest box should be examined 24-48 hours after kindling
To remove any dead kits

High initial cost
Considered high risk
Market not stable or consistent
Rabbits sold commercially decreased by about 40% over the course of five years between 1992 and 1997
Another significant decrease of about 25% between 1997 and 2002 census
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