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Rabbitprogram Essentials


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Rabbitprogram Essentials

  1. 1. Rabbit Essentials Texas 4-H and Youth Development
  2. 2. Topics to Discuss <ul><li>The following topics will be discussed: </li></ul><ul><li>General Information </li></ul><ul><li>Selection </li></ul><ul><li>Validation </li></ul><ul><li>Facilities and Equipment </li></ul><ul><li>Feeding </li></ul><ul><li>Health </li></ul>Texas 4-H and Youth Development
  3. 3. General Information <ul><li>Rabbits typically shown as meat pens and fryers </li></ul><ul><li>Consult rules to see if meat pens can be purchased from breeder or must be raised by individual. </li></ul><ul><li>If ordering rabbits purchase four in case one gets sick or dies. </li></ul><ul><li>Contact breeder at least four to five months before the show. </li></ul>Texas 4-H and Youth Development
  4. 4. Selection <ul><li>Commercial breeds work better for meat pens. </li></ul><ul><li>Medium in length with depth equaling width, showing roundness of body and firmness of flesh. </li></ul><ul><li>Most common used: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Champagne d’ Argent </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Satin </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Palomino </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>New Zealand (most popular) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Californian (most popular) </li></ul></ul>Texas 4-H and Youth Development
  5. 5. Selection cont. <ul><li>Pens must be same breed, but do not need to be same sex </li></ul><ul><li>Must be mirror images of each other in appearance and weight </li></ul><ul><li>Weight is one of the most important things to consider </li></ul><ul><li>Must be balanced. </li></ul><ul><li>Most shows have 5lb. per rabbit weight limit </li></ul><ul><li>Most shows have age limits for meat pen (60 – 90 days) </li></ul>Texas 4-H and Youth Development
  6. 6. Validation <ul><li>No state validation for rabbit projects </li></ul><ul><li>See county rules for validation dates </li></ul><ul><li>If showing meat pens at Houston there is a validation date and exhibitors must own parents of pen. </li></ul>Texas 4-H and Youth Development
  7. 7. Facilities and Equipment <ul><li>Hutches must be protected from the elements. </li></ul><ul><li>Each rabbit requires its own hutch </li></ul><ul><li>Meat pens require two to four cages </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Allows you to more closely monitor feeding </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Meat pen sized rabbits needs a 24 in. X 24 in. wire mesh cage. </li></ul><ul><li>Commercial breeders need 24 in. X 30 in. wire mesh cage. </li></ul><ul><li>Does and bucks need 24 in. X 24 in. wire mesh cages </li></ul>Texas 4-H and Youth Development
  8. 8. Facilities and Equipment <ul><li>Sides should be made out of 2 in. X 1 in. wire mesh and the bottoms should be made of ½ X 1 in. wire mesh. </li></ul><ul><li>All hutches should be under roof </li></ul><ul><li>Side walls will be needed in most rabbitries </li></ul><ul><li>Not as important to keep rabbits warm as it is to keep them dry and out of wind </li></ul><ul><li>Must keep them well ventilated and clean </li></ul>Texas 4-H and Youth Development
  9. 9. Facilities and Equipment <ul><li>Use j-feeders to feed rabbits </li></ul><ul><li>For watering can use heavy crock bowls, water bottles, or an automatic watering system. </li></ul>Texas 4-H and Youth Development
  10. 10. Feeding <ul><li>Many feeds to choose from </li></ul><ul><li>Recommended to use a 16% protein feed. </li></ul><ul><li>Works well for all stages of development. </li></ul><ul><li>When feeding meat pens start out by feeding as much as they can eat and adjust their feed as they get close to the show. </li></ul><ul><li>Chart weight gain </li></ul><ul><li>Can use steamed rolled oats or steamed rolled barley as filler when adjusting feed </li></ul><ul><li>Also do a good job of hardening muscle on rabbits. </li></ul><ul><li>Most important thing to remember when feeding rabbits is have fresh water </li></ul>Texas 4-H and Youth Development
  11. 11. Health <ul><li>Most important thing to keep rabbits healthy is provide clean environment with plenty of food and water. </li></ul><ul><li>No vaccinations needed </li></ul><ul><li>Consult local veterinarian if health problem does come up. </li></ul>Texas 4-H and Youth Development
  12. 12. Conclusions <ul><li>All aspects of the selection process should be understood. </li></ul><ul><li>Proper facilities should be available. </li></ul><ul><li>Proper diets and nutritional information about feeding rabbits should be identified. </li></ul><ul><li>Vaccinations are not necessary when raising rabbits. </li></ul><ul><li>Identify what breeds are used in raising rabbits. </li></ul>Texas 4-H and Youth Development