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Producing Quality Meat Rabbits. Quality Assurance WHAT is Quality Assurance? WHAT is Quality Assurance? Quality Quality Standard Standard Assurance: Assurance:

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Presentation on theme: "Producing Quality Meat Rabbits. Quality Assurance WHAT is Quality Assurance? WHAT is Quality Assurance? Quality Quality Standard Standard Assurance: Assurance:"— Presentation transcript:

1 Producing Quality Meat Rabbits

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

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

4 Commercial Rabbit Industry 8 to 10 million pounds of rabbit are marketed each year in the US 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 Total Fat (g) 819 Cholesterol (mg) 8287 Protein (g) 2927 Iron15%12%

6 Parts of a Rabbit Carcass ForelegRibLionRump Hind leg

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

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

9 Housing Provide a dry environment Provide a dry environment Provide plenty of space Provide plenty of space General rule of thumb: ¾ square Foot per pound of body weight. 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 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 Free Choice Growing Fryer (1-3 mo.) Free Choice Replacement (3-5 mo.) oz. Breeding Bucks oz. Dry bucks/does oz. Source: National Research Council 1194

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

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

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

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

15 Reproduction Traits of concern: Traits of concern: Number of kits born Number of kits born Number of kits weaned Number of kits weaned Litter Weights at weaning Litter Weights at weaning Litters per year (usually 5-8) 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** 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: Things to consider with meat rabbits: Slaughtering Facilities Slaughtering Facilities Packaging & Labeling Packaging & Labeling Potential Buyers Potential Buyers

18 Marketing Selling Rabbit Meat Selling Rabbit Meat From the Farm- can be slaughtered on farm and labeled as not inspected, no license required. 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. 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. 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. 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 Backyard Production of Meat Rabbits in Texas. Texas Ag. Extension Publication E-138 Agriculture Alternatives- Rabbit Production. Penn State Cooperative Extension Publication Agriculture Alternatives- Rabbit Production. Penn State Cooperative Extension Publication


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