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Producing Quality Meat Rabbits

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Presentation on theme: "Producing Quality Meat Rabbits"— Presentation transcript:

1 Producing Quality Meat Rabbits

2 Quality Assurance WHAT is Quality Assurance? Quality Assurance:
Standard Assurance: A pledge or a promise To consumers

3 WHO is responsible for Quality Assurance?
Everyone involved in food production! Livestock producers Food processors (packing plants, milk plants) Grocery stores & restaurants Consumers

4 Commercial Rabbit Industry
8 to 10 million pounds of rabbit are marketed each year in the US

5 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%

6 Parts of a Rabbit Carcass
Foreleg Rib Lion Rump Hind leg

7 What are the steps to quality meat rabbits???
1st – Housing 2nd – Nutrition 3rd – Health/Breeding Programs 4th – Marketing Plan

8 Housing Housing Many types and Varieties Need to provide Ventilation
Protection from drafts

9 Housing 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

10 Nutrition – meat type rabbits
Major Nutrient Requirements & Simple Feeding Chart Class of Production % Pro % Fat Calories (per lb.) % Fiber Daily feeding level Pregnant (21d.) or Lactating 16-20 3-5.5 1136 12-14 Free Choice Growing Fryer (1-3 mo.) 16 2-4 14-16 Replacement (3-5 mo.) 6-8 oz. Breeding Bucks 2-3 14-20 Dry bucks/does 12-15 2-3.5 955 4-6 oz. Source: National Research Council 1194

11 Health Common Diseases of Rabbits raised in a meat production system:
Digestive Disorders Pasteurellosis Parasites Sore Hocks

12 Digestive Disorders Newly weaned rabbit is most vulnerable
Enterotoxaemia is the most common disorder Coccidiosis is a protozoa that causes diarrhea.

13 Pasteurellosis Respiratory Disease (Snuffles) Larger groups of Rabbits
Poor Ventilation and high ammonia levels caused by urine.

14 Parasites & Sore Hocks Two main types of Parasites Sore Hocks
Mites: cause ear and skin mange Protozoa: Coccidiosis Sore Hocks The main disadvantage to wire cages Wear of the fur on the hocks and can create open sores on the hocks

15 Reproduction Traits of concern: Number of kits born
Number of kits weaned Litter Weights at weaning Litters per year (usually 5-8)

16 Management Schedule for 6 or 8 litter per Doe per Year
Litters per Doe per Year Age to Wean Litter Time to Rebreed Doe* Litter Interval** 6 8 28 days 14 days 59 days 45 days * Age of Litter ** Number of days between litters if no infertile matings

17 Marketing Things to consider with meat rabbits:
Slaughtering Facilities Packaging & Labeling Potential Buyers

18 Marketing Selling Rabbit Meat
From the Farm- can be slaughtered on farm and labeled as not inspected, no license required. At a Farmers Market- Must be processed by a licensed slaughter facility, mobile retail food license required. Grocery or Restaurant-Must be processed by a licensed slaughter facility, retail food establishment license required.

19 References 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 Publication E-138 Agriculture Alternatives- Rabbit Production. Penn State Cooperative Extension Publication 1994.

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