Producing Quality Meat Rabbits

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					Producing Quality Meat
       Rabbits
              Quality Assurance

n   WHAT is Quality Assurance?
    n Quality


      n   Standard

    n Assurance:

      n   A pledge or a promise

      n   To consumers
    WHO is responsible for Quality
             Assurance?

n   Everyone involved in food production!
    n Livestock producers
    n Food processors (packing plants, milk
      plants)
    n Grocery stores & restaurants

    n Consumers
     Commercial Rabbit Industry


n   8 to 10 million pounds of rabbit are
    marketed each year in the US
  Nutritional Value of Rabbit
              Meat
                   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
Foreleg

Rib

Lion

Rump

Hind leg
    What are the steps to quality
          meat rabbits???
n   1st – Housing

n   2nd – Nutrition

n   3rd – Health/Breeding Programs

n   4th – Marketing Plan
                      Housing

n   Housing
n   Many types and Varieties
n   Need to provide

    n   Ventilation

    n   Protection from drafts
                          Housing

n   Provide a dry environment

n   Provide plenty of space
     n   General rule of thumb: ¾ square Foot per pound
         of body weight.
          n   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
                          Chart
  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
Lactating
Growing Fryer (1-3                       16   2-4   1136   14-16   Free Choice
mo.)
Replacement (3-5                         16   2-4   1136   14-16      6-8 oz.
mo.)
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
                     Health

n   Common Diseases of Rabbits raised in a
    meat production system:

    n Digestive Disorders
    n Pasteurellosis

    n Parasites

    n Sore Hocks
           Digestive Disorders

n   Newly weaned rabbit is most vulnerable

n   Enterotoxaemia is the most common
    disorder

n   Coccidiosis is a protozoa that causes
    diarrhea.
               Pasteurellosis

n   Respiratory Disease (Snuffles)

n   Larger groups of Rabbits

n   Poor Ventilation and high ammonia levels
    caused by urine.
        Parasites & Sore Hocks

n   Two main types of Parasites
    n Mites: cause ear and skin mange
    n Protozoa: Coccidiosis




n   Sore Hocks
    n The main disadvantage to wire cages
    n Wear of the fur on the hocks and can create
      open sores on the hocks
                   Reproduction

n   Traits of concern:

    n   Number of kits born

    n   Number of kits weaned

    n   Litter Weights at weaning

    n   Litters per year (usually 5-8)
 Management Schedule for 6 or 8 litter per Doe per
                     Year
 Litters per             Age to                   Time to      Litter
  Doe per               Wean Litter               Rebreed   Interval**
     Year                                          Doe*
      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
                     Marketing

n   Things to consider with meat rabbits:

    n   Slaughtering Facilities

    n   Packaging & Labeling

    n   Potential Buyers
                   Marketing
n   Selling Rabbit Meat
    n From the Farm- can be slaughtered on farm
      and labeled as not inspected, no license
      required.
    n At a Farmers Market- Must be processed by a
      licensed slaughter facility, mobile retail food
      license required.
    n Grocery or Restaurant-Must be processed by a
      licensed slaughter facility, retail food
      establishment license required.
                          References
n   DATCP- Division of Food Safety: Wisconsin food Regulations Overview for
    Farmers and Market Gardener Wishing to Direct Market.

n   Backyard Production of Meat Rabbits in Texas. Texas Ag. Extension
    Publication E-138

n   Agriculture Alternatives- Rabbit Production. Penn State Cooperative
    Extension Publication 1994.

n   http://www.elook.org/nutrition/beef/4434.html

n   http://www.elook.org/nutrition/lamb/3909.html

n   http://www.ams.usda.gov/poultry/standards/AMS-RabST-2002.htm

				
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