2Quality Assurance WHAT is Quality Assurance? Quality Assurance: StandardAssurance:A pledge or a promiseTo consumers
3WHO is responsible for Quality Assurance? Everyone involved in food production!Livestock producersFood processors (packing plants, milk plants)Grocery stores & restaurantsConsumers
4Commercial Rabbit Industry 8 to 10 million pounds of rabbit are marketed each year in the US
5Nutritional Value of Rabbit Meat Rabbit 100gBeef 100gCalories197283Total Fat (g)819Cholesterol (mg)8287Protein (g)2927Iron15%12%
6Parts of a Rabbit Carcass ForelegRibLionRumpHind leg
7What are the steps to quality meat rabbits??? 1st – Housing2nd – Nutrition3rd – Health/Breeding Programs4th – Marketing Plan
8Housing Housing Many types and Varieties Need to provide Ventilation Protection from drafts
9Housing 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
10Nutrition – meat type rabbits Major Nutrient Requirements & Simple Feeding ChartClass of Production% Pro% FatCalories (per lb.)% FiberDaily feeding levelPregnant (21d.) or Lactating16-203-5.5113612-14Free ChoiceGrowing Fryer (1-3 mo.)162-414-16Replacement (3-5 mo.)6-8 oz.Breeding Bucks2-314-20Dry bucks/does12-152-3.59554-6 oz.Source: National Research Council 1194
11Health Common Diseases of Rabbits raised in a meat production system: Digestive DisordersPasteurellosisParasitesSore Hocks
12Digestive Disorders Newly weaned rabbit is most vulnerable Enterotoxaemia is the most common disorderCoccidiosis is a protozoa that causes diarrhea.
13Pasteurellosis Respiratory Disease (Snuffles) Larger groups of Rabbits Poor Ventilation and high ammonia levels caused by urine.
14Parasites & Sore Hocks Two main types of Parasites Sore Hocks Mites: cause ear and skin mangeProtozoa: CoccidiosisSore HocksThe main disadvantage to wire cagesWear of the fur on the hocks and can create open sores on the hocks
15Reproduction Traits of concern: Number of kits born Number of kits weanedLitter Weights at weaningLitters per year (usually 5-8)
16Management Schedule for 6 or 8 litter per Doe per Year Litters per Doe per YearAge to Wean LitterTime to Rebreed Doe*Litter Interval**6828 days14 days59 days45 days* Age of Litter** Number of days between litters if no infertile matings
17Marketing Things to consider with meat rabbits: Slaughtering FacilitiesPackaging & LabelingPotential Buyers
18Marketing 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.
19ReferencesDATCP- 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-138Agriculture Alternatives- Rabbit Production. Penn State Cooperative Extension Publication 1994.