WHAT is Quality Assurance?
A pledge or a promise
WHO is responsible for Quality
Everyone involved in food production!
Food processors (packing plants, milk
Grocery stores & restaurants
Commercial Rabbit Industry
8 to 10 million pounds of rabbit are
marketed each year in the US
Nutritional Value of Rabbit
Rabbit 100g Beef 100g
Calories 197 283
Total Fat (g) 8 19
Cholesterol (mg) 82 87
Protein (g) 29 27
Iron 15% 12%
Parts of a Rabbit Carcass
What are the steps to quality
1st – Housing
2nd – Nutrition
3rd – Health/Breeding Programs
4th – Marketing Plan
Many types and Varieties
Need to provide
Protection from drafts
Provide a dry environment
Provide plenty of space
General rule of thumb: ¾ square Foot per pound
of body weight.
Example a 4lb rabbit would need 3 square feet of cage
space or a 18”x 24” cage
Nutrition – meat type rabbits
Major Nutrient Requirements & Simple Feeding
Class of Production % Pro % Calories % Daily feeding
Fat (per lb.) Fiber level
Pregnant (21d.) or 16-20 3-5.5 1136 12-14 Free Choice
Growing Fryer (1-3 16 2-4 1136 14-16 Free Choice
Replacement (3-5 16 2-4 1136 14-16 6-8 oz.
Breeding Bucks 16 2-3 1136 14-20 6-8 oz.
Dry bucks/does 12-15 2-3.5 955 14-20 4-6 oz.
Source: National Research Council 1194
Common Diseases of Rabbits raised in a
meat production system:
Newly weaned rabbit is most vulnerable
Enterotoxaemia is the most common
Coccidiosis is a protozoa that causes
Respiratory Disease (Snuffles)
Larger groups of Rabbits
Poor Ventilation and high ammonia levels
caused by urine.
Parasites & Sore Hocks
Two main types of Parasites
Mites: cause ear and skin mange
The main disadvantage to wire cages
Wear of the fur on the hocks and can create
open sores on the hocks
Traits of concern:
Number of kits born
Number of kits weaned
Litter Weights at weaning
Litters per year (usually 5-8)
Management Schedule for 6 or 8 litter per Doe per
Litters per Age to Time to Litter
Doe per Wean Litter Rebreed Interval**
6 28 days 28 days 59 days
8 28 days 14 days 45 days
* Age of Litter
** Number of days between litters if no infertile matings
Things to consider with meat rabbits:
Packaging & Labeling
Selling Rabbit Meat
From the Farm- can be slaughtered on farm
and labeled as not inspected, no license
At a Farmers Market- Must be processed by a
licensed slaughter facility, mobile retail food
Grocery or Restaurant-Must be processed by
a licensed slaughter facility, retail food
establishment license required.
DATCP- Division of Food Safety: Wisconsin food Regulations Overview for
Farmers and Market Gardener Wishing to Direct Market.
Backyard Production of Meat Rabbits in Texas. Texas Ag. Extension
Agriculture Alternatives- Rabbit Production. Penn State Cooperative
Extension Publication 1994.