The choice of rabbit breed is the main question that confronts beginner rabbit breeders. It is important that future pets are adapted to the conditions of the region where they will be divorced, have good performance and do not cause trouble in the content.
The California rabbit fully complies with the stated requirements, which is why these eared ears occupy one of the leading places among the meat breeds. These charming animals were bred in California as a result of the crossing of the New Zealand white crawl, Soviet chinchilla and Russian ermine. Having absorbed the advantages of their ancestors, these rabbits are great for growing on large specialized farms, and for small farms, besides, the appeasable nature and interesting color of Californians makes them wonderful pets.
Californian breed rabbits are easily recognizable in the photo among other eared, thanks in large part to their characteristic color. Their snow-white fur harmonizes beautifully with the dark brown or black color of the paws, ears and tail. There is also a dark spot on the nose of the animal. In high-breed rabbits, the spots have a clear outline, they are clearly visible on the body. However, do not panic, if newborn rabbits do not have these characteristic spots, as it is permissible for young animals, they will surely appear in a month and a half, when the rabbits grow a little.
Another distinctive feature in the description of Californian rabbits is the bright red color of the eyes, which can be clearly seen in the photo of animals. Body shape is fully consistent with the standards of rabbits meat direction. Californians have a medium sized head, short erect ears and a fleshy neck. The paws are short, but rather thick, the back part is rounded and large, since it is there that the main meat and muscle mass is concentrated. The chest in the rabbits is wide and deep, lacking desox.
Rabbits have red eyes
For many breeders, when choosing a breed, it is important to know the index of downfall. In California rabbits, this figure exceeds 60%, which indicates excellent productivity. The animals themselves look well built and strong. This breed belongs to mid-size crawls. For this category, the mass of an adult rabbit should not exceed 5 kg.
However, Californians rarely gain maximum weight, often the weight of a male is 4-4.6 kg. Many may fairly note that the same white giants and rams are much larger, but one should not rush to the final conclusions about the profitability of breeding giants. The effectiveness of rabbit breeding is not determined by the mass and size of pets, but by the characteristics of their performance, taking into account the feed spent. Precisely because large breeds consume much more feed per unit weight gain, it is much more profitable to keep medium-sized rabbits.
Amateur rabbit hunters usually rarely pursue the purity of the breed and pay attention to any inconsistencies with standards. If in the future you plan to engage in breeding rabbit breeding, then in this case it will be useful to know the unacceptable shortcomings of Californians:
- extra dark spots on the coat,
- hanging ears too long
- rare inelastic fur,
- uncharacteristic eye color
- an extended spot on the nose that reaches the eyes,
- rabbit weight more than 5.5 kg or less than 3.5 kg.
The California rabbit is the second most common, which indicates the effectiveness of breeding this breed. Despite the fact that these friendly animals are prominent representatives of the meat direction, the white fur of Californians can also be used in production. To breed this breed is quite profitable, as the animals quickly gain weight. Thus, the average weight of a newborn rabbit is only 46 grams. Below is a table where you can track how Californian is gaining weight by month.
In the future, the rabbits recover slowly or stop gaining weight altogether. Based on the above data, it can be concluded that it is inappropriate to contain Californian rabbits after 5 months. The weight of the carcass after slaughter is about 60% of the live weight of the animal, where the proportion of meat ranges from 80 to 86%. The fat content in the carcass is completely dependent on the diet of animals and an average of about 2.5%.
Breeding rabbits of the Californian breed at home will not be difficult for a novice. Reviews of rabbit breeders say that it is best to acquire breeding pets on specialized rabbit farms, to be sure of purebredness and lack of kinship. The average price of an animal is 400-700 rubles; for starters, you can buy 4 females and one male, which in a fairly short period of time will multiply to the desired livestock. Sexual maturity in animals begins at the age of 5 months, after which they can be allowed to mate. All mature Californians must be selected for a tribe.
Rules for mating rabbits should know every breeder, and the most important question - the age of the wards. You should not rush too much, because an immature animal is not capable of producing healthy and high-quality offspring.
Experienced breeders advise to wait a month before mating animals, so that the body has time to get stronger. A few days before the alleged mating of animals need to feed more nutritionally. The hunt for a California rabbit usually lasts 4-6 days, it becomes restless during this period, it tears down and tossing around the cage. If you let the male in the mating for the first time, then for successful breeding you should choose a calm and experienced rabbit. Usually, it is the female who is placed in the cage to the groom, and then observed for some time in order to react in time, if the animals start a fight, this method of mating allows the rabbit breed to know for sure whether mating occurred or not.
The female gives birth quickly and easily, one litter usually consists of 7-10 rabbits, and about 40 rabbits can be obtained from one rabbit per year. The maternal instinct in females of the Californian rabbits is well developed. They are vysokoolochnyh, because they are able to independently feed the whole brood. On average, the life span of Californian rabbits is about 10 years, and the breeding animals used in breeding - 5 years.
By the rate of weight gain, the body of rabbits Californians are often compared with broilers. Diet greatly affects the productivity and health of eared pets. To get the maximum efficiency from breeding this unique breed, you need to carefully approach the menu of animals. This is especially true for young animals. Most rabbit breeds need to be fattened immediately a month and a half before the intended slaughter, but with Californians, things are a little different.
"American" rabbits need to be fed high-quality immediately after the end of the suction period, only then can you make the most of all the advantages of this breed. For a rapid increase in the mass of rabbits, it is recommended to include protein feeds in the menu. This may be dairy products, meat and fish meal, protein supplements. Do not forget that rabbits need constant access to fresh drinking water. In the cold season, the liquid should be slightly heated.
Californians ration should be based on hay, roots, branch and green fodder, mixed fodder. The summer menu is based on field and meadow herbs. After weaning, mothers need feeding five times a day, this figure is gradually adjusted to two times with age. The soundness of the animal's coat, good general condition, normal behavior, and normal stools indicate the correctness of the selected menu.
Conditions of detention
California rabbits are unpretentious in content, and therefore do not require any special conditions. Often they are kept in spacious cages, the height of which should not be less than the height of the animal if it stands on its hind legs. The size of the cage per pet is about 0.3 square meters. m. When placing animals, try to settle near rabbits of the same age, it will be easier to provide care and organize feeding. In the cage is placed the drinking bowl, the feeder and the house, where the animal can hide from prying eyes, and in the period of pregnancy of the rabbit mother queen.
The pet cage tray is lined with sawdust bedding or cat litter that perfectly absorbs moisture and does not allow odor to pass through. Place the cages with rabbits in a place without drafts and the possibility of direct sunlight. Many breeders prefer to breed Californians in the pits. In this case, the contents of the wards as close as possible to the natural living conditions, besides to care for animals in the pits is quite simple.
Arrangement of the rabbit pit does not require any special skills and knowledge, so the farmer himself can build the place of residence of the rabbits, using the video instruction. It is required to dig a hole about 2x2x1 m from the rabbit breeder and strengthen the walls with slate. The floor is usually made boardwalk or mesh. The “dwelling” should be fenced off and a roof should be made that will protect animals from the sun and rain. The rest of the work will be done by the pets themselves: they will dig holes, they will breed and grow rabbits.
The characteristic of Californian rabbits does not provide for any specific care. Like other breeds of rabbits, the “Americans” need regular inspection of the ears and eyes, monitoring the quality of the hair, and cutting the claws. All of these activities are aimed not so much at maintaining a neat appearance as at timely identifying possible problems and diagnosing the disease.
Leather and white wool are the main indicators of the animal's health. Tousledness, loss of gloss, flatness and the presence of baldness on the coat - a reason to get worried. Careful examination of the skin should be carried out once a week, the reasons for contacting the veterinarian may be scabs or pustules, rashes and redness.
Eyes, if necessary, wipe with a cotton swab, which can be moistened with boiled water or strong tea. For the care and cleaning of the ears, it is recommended to use special lotions that are purchased in vet pharmacies. To prevent the occurrence of dangerous infectious diseases, rabbits must be vaccinated. Vaccinations can be done both in the veterinary clinic and at home.
Advantages of Californian rabbits
This breed is the most precocious among the productive rabbits.
- Californian rabbits are ready for breeding from five months. This is the earliest period in comparison with other popular breeds. Good females have good milkiness.
- The California rabbit has the highest feed conversion, even in comparison with rabbits of other breeds, therefore meat fattening is the most beneficial for industrial fattening.
- Californian rabbits are the most genetically stable. That is, all the animals of the same herd are usually homogeneous with each other, this is convenient when testing rabbits for fattening and breeding.
Californians rabbits, lack of breed
One of the main drawbacks of the breed is its sensitivity to feed quality, feeding regimen. The possibilities of each rabbit breeder are different, so California, for home breeding, should be compared with traditional breeding rabbits.
- Rabbits Californians are not able to show a record weight gain of fattening rabbits in conditions of primitive content does not have advantages over other breeds. Rabbits of this breed are not very suitable for keeping in the pits because of weak bones, they are not very adapted to dig burrows.
- Rabbit brood Californian females with a home content is relatively low compared to the number of suckling rabbits in females of meat and shale breeds, for example, black-brown domestic breed and some others.
- Californians are not considered a breed of giants, so when home-fed for slaughter, rabbits of the Californian breed ripen with low weights. Sometimes purebred rabbits, by the end of fattening at home, are not too inferior in weight to California record holders. Is it worth overpaying for the breed, if in fact the output of cheap breed meat is equal to the similar indicators of expensive Californian breed.
- Californians are best at industrial content and feeding; at home, the advantages are not obvious.
The history of the breed
From the name it is obvious that the breed is of Californian origin. Indeed, the creator of the breed - California farmer breeder George West. On the creation of the breed they spent a lot of strength and energy. The final formation of the breed took place in 1928, when it was recorded in the breeding books of rabbit breeds in the USA. The breed is based on rabbits, chinchilla, ermine, rabbit, New Zealand white rabbits. Just do not confuse a rabbit chinchilla with a Soviet chinchilla, a breed of owls. The chinchilla was formed much later, in 1963.
The result of fattening and the quality of the Californian breed skins met the requirements of those years. Initially, the Californian rabbit is a meat-shredding breed, but gradually the importance of fur rabbit breeding has lost its former significance. Now Californians are rabbits for meat-fed, sometimes broiler-type. The global trend of broiler rabbit breeding is the use of hybrids, rather than individual breeds. When the USSR was, our country occupied leading positions in terms of herds of rabbits and Californians, in particular. Unfortunately, with the collapse of the country, out of 300 breeding breeds of rabbits and 40 breeding rabbit breeding plants in 2006, 7-8 breeding breeders remained. In 2018, the fate of one or three reproducers is known. In 2006, Californians were bred in three reproducers. Rabbit complex "Roshinsky" (Tyumen region). Currently, vigorous activity is hardly noticeable. ANO "New Life" (Leningrad region). Gene stock economy CJSC "OP VVC" Livestock "(Moscow).
Californian rabbit characteristic appearance
The California rabbit has a distinctive appearance. These rabbits are mostly white, with a black spot on the face, and black erect ears. Interestingly, young animals are born without black markings on the face and ears, gradually with age, the appearance becomes standard. Breed standards:
- body is torpedo-shaped, elongated, dense, compact,
- the head is of medium size, the neck is not pronounced with a spot on the muzzle,
- ruby-colored eyes
- ears upright upright with a dark spot,
- the outer legs have a powerful structure, however, in fact the skeleton is weak,
- short tail dark (black, brown)
- body length adult Californian 54-55 cm,
- body circumference behind the front paws 36-37 cm,
- coat thick, thick
- slaughter of meat, one of the highest among meat breeds up to 60%
- leaver and slaughterhouse waste 40%.
The California rabbit looks like a breed of white rabbits, as well as white rabbits with dark marks on the body and head. Californians are often confused with the German butterfly (Strokach).
Californian Rabbit Breed Weight Table by Month
The average weight of a viable California baby rabbit at birth is 50 grams. Californian breed rabbits are characterized by a quick start for fattening. However, in the end, the weight of fattening rabbits does not show the advantages of the Californian breed, for example, over the white giant and other breeds - related to flandram. The table of average weight of California rabbits on a monthly basis is rather arbitrary, it depends not only on the breed, but also on the diet, the mode of keeping, and the correct appraisal of fattening rabbits.
California rabbit, weight by months
- One month 0.9-1.1 kg
- Two months 1.5-1.8 kg
- Three months 1.8-2.6 kg
- Four months 2.7-3.5 kg
- Five months 3.5-3.7
- Six months 4.5-6 kg.
The reference weight of rabbits by month (table), in practice, always differs from the indicated values. The gains depend on many factors and what has happened in some, is never achieved in others. Weight indicators at different ages are just a guideline that you need to consider when choosing a breed.
Why Californians do not grow fattening
At the beginning of the article it was said that Californians do not like violation of feeding regimes. There are many reasons for poor growth. Perhaps, the reasons we have indicated, have an effect on the bad weight gain of your rabbits.
- Fattening young stock in the basis of the diet includes combined feed and hay, see here.
- Very important is the temperature in the room. The optimal temperature for Californians is 16 to 25 degrees Celsius.
- An important indicator of quality fattening is the water temperature of 18-20 degrees Celsius. Water is given in a volume of not less than 300 ml per head, or ad lib. Without water to get good weight gain is impossible.
- Калифорнийцы не очень хорошо реагируют на добавление в рацион овощей. Безусловно, кроли охотно поедают сочные корма, но вес не прибавляют. If vegetables are abundant, then reduce water.
- Pay attention to the eating of feces (cecotrophy) rabbits. Liquefied cecotrophs are poorly eaten by rabbits, hence low weight gain.
Low weight gain may be due to hidden infections (coccidiosis). Just remember that coccidia are normal microorganisms of the intestine and liver, they have clinical significance in reducing immunity. To a lesser extent, passalurosis and trichostrongylosis exerts a decrease in weight gain of Californians. Adding feed additives in the diet of rabbits weight gain is almost impossible to increase.
Breeding Californian rabbits
California rabbits - early animals, to breed this breed can be started from five months, when reaching a weight of 4-5 kg. The duration of the breeding use of Californian rabbits is 3-4 years, with a general life expectancy of up to 10-12 years. To start breeding Californians, you need one breeding male older than a year (elite class) and two or three rabbits of grade 1-2, from 4-5 months old and no older than a year.
Rabbits are best purchased from different parents, so more options for obtaining descendants, the likelihood of inbreeding is reduced
Rabbits, which classiness on the rating scale below, from 2-3 classes for the first breeding is undesirable. Naturally, the buyer cannot determine the class of rabbits for purebred breeding, the buyer cannot determine for himself, therefore it is important to find an honest seller, better in one of the licensed breeding reproducers. From one rabbit of the Californian breed at 4-5 okrolah you can get up to 70 kg of dietary meat in its pure form. Comparison of the effectiveness of rabbits with the content of rabbits with the content and breeding of other animals.
Choose the right Californian rabbit
This is a very important point, which is important when choosing rabbits for breeding. You will not be able to determine the pedigree characteristics, so at least learn to distinguish healthy animals from sick ones, more precisely, hidden diseases. Begin inspection of external data evaluation.
- Appearance should not cause any questions, the skin is clean, legs, head, ears correspond to your idea of a healthy rabbit.
- The head is proportional, the eyes are clean, the ears are standing on the face of the young, there is a black spot, also on the ears, uniform dark staining. Inside the ears are clean, dirt in the ears is a sign of a tick.
- The nose is clean with no discharge.
- The neck is straight, without curvature, the skin in the neck without scratches.
- Torso without curvature, touching the spine does not cause a painful reaction, palpation of the vertebrae does not cause a sensation of curvature.
- The skin. When taking the skin in an armful, it instantly straightens, elastic to the touch.
- Paws on palpation easily, without pain, bend at the joints, the set limbs right, characteristic of rabbits.
The cells are made of wood or galvanized mesh. Cell sizes for Californians.
Individual cage for an adult breeding rabbit outside the period (mm):
Cage for the female with brood, excluding the mother liquor (mm)
A standard house uterine house is installed inside the cage. In the house the rabbit prepares for a roundabout, crawls, and covers the brood in the first weeks after the rounding.
Group cells for Californians (age from 35-45 to 90-150 days).
Each cage is designed for 5-8 feeding rabbits. The floor area is 0.5 square meters per animal. The most common design in the three tiers of Zolotukhin, where the floor of the cage is made of flat slate, near the rear wall is a slatted floor to remove excrement. Winter cells for Californians recommend installing in one tier inside a warm room.
The best arrangement of cells in the summer is a shedding, so you can create tech rabbit care. In winter, cells are best placed in heated or insulated sheds. Less convenient maintenance on Mikhailov’s mini-farms; see the acceleration rabbit breeding here. At one time, Mikhailov cells were created for breeding rabbits at the dacha plots. Forty years after receiving the author's certificate by the National Academician Mikhailov. Any occupation has the right to life, and in the meantime, the whole world has long since switched to a hybrid broiler rabbit breeding.
Californian content in the pits
The California rabbit, like any breeding rabbits, is not suitable for keeping in pits. Content in pits, parquet floors and other similar schemes has the advantage of obtaining organic meat. The disadvantages of the pit content for Californians in the rapid loss of breeding advantages of the breed, due to the inability to conduct valuation and breeding selection, the risk of infectious diseases. California rabbits dig holes badly.
Features care for rabbits Californian breed
Special features of care for the rabbits of the Californian breed does not exist. Immediately after birth, unviable rabbits are selected, trying to do this as carefully as possible. With undue anxiety, the rabbit can crush the rabbit. If the rabbits calmly lie in the nest, which means the rabbit grabs the breast milk of the mother. After two or three weeks watching the health of babies. Pay attention:
- Eye condition (clean, clear gaze),
- Ears (clean ears, no itching around the ears),
- Paws (correct setting, congenital sprains),
- Abdomen (bloating, soft abdominal wall) - a sign of the disease,
- Tail and genitals (determined by the state of the chair, sex of rabbits),
- The state of the skin and the shine of the fur (shiny skin) is enough milk.
In parallel, inspect mom. They try not to disturb her. Groping and inspecting the rabbit, if only the rabbit is stunted. The leading cause of stunting is the lack of dairy nutrition. Feeling determine pain sensitivity, inspection pay attention to the presence of microcracks. In the case of mastitis, a 5% iodine solution or one of the iodine preparations is applied to the skin of the mammary gland, see here. Additional treatment is agreed with the veterinarian.
The scheme of therapeutic measures recommended for California rabbits
Purebred rabbits are more tender, susceptible to diseases. The main diseases of rabbits, see here. The main diseases of productive California rabbits are infectious and internal non-infectious. The most dangerous infectious diseases are myxomatosis and viral hemorrhagic disease of rabbits. When the disease began on the farm, to do something, either already late, all activities are organized by the district veterinary service. There is a system of preventive measures. Ready-made scheme, even the most beautiful should not be the law for each case. The fact is that some diseases do not occur in your area, and some pose a serious threat. For each farm, a scheme of treatment and preventive measures is being developed. Approximate scheme in the photo.
A photo. Approximate scheme of treatment-and-prophylactic measures in rabbit breeding
California Rabbit Cell Disinfection
In addition to vaccination and mandatory preventive measures against ticks, worms and protozoal diseases, disinfection is of preventive importance.
Disinfection is always preceded by mechanical cleaning, washing with water with detergents (soap, powder) available for surface treatment.
Disinfection can be carried out by different methods:
- Physical methods. Burning with a blowtorch, processing with a bactericidal lamp, sometimes simply drying the cells in the sun is an effective way to destroy viruses, bacteria, fungi, protozoa, worms, tick eggs.
- Chemical. Use for dehydration chemical compounds. Alkalis, aldehydes, acids, chlorine, phenol, alcohol, and hydroponite are used as disinfectants.
- Combined methods. The combination of physical and chemical methods.
- Biological disinfection methods. The use of enzymes to process certain types of bacteria. The method is used extremely rarely.
Disinfectant Preparative Forms
- Water soluble powders, granules, tablets.
Timely and regular disinfection in combination with mechanical cleaning of the cage, drinkers, feeders provides reliable protection of the pampered Californian rabbits from infectious, invasive diseases.
Appearance and description of the breed.
Californian rabbit medium in size, the average weight of an adult rabbit is 4.5 kg. The standard Californian is pure white. Ears, nose, paws, tail from dark brown to black. In rabbits with a good pedigree, the color of the spots is clear and even. The constitution is strong, the backbone is thin and light, but very durable. The head is not large with thin short ears not exceeding 10.5 cm. The body is short, shot down, proportionally developed. The neck is short, well developed lumbar sacral, rounded ass. Eye color from light pink to red. The paws are short, thick, well-pubescent, lacking dewlap.
Vaccinations for rabbits
The first vaccination is done in 28 days from Myxomatosis, in 45 days of UHD (Viral Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease). Re-vaccination of Californian rabbits should be done after 3 months, then every six months.
Buy vaccines only in a pharmacy. Be sure to read the instructions for use and storage of medication. Vaccinations that were stored in violation of the temperature regime may be useless or even dangerous. The cost of 1 vaccine is about 15-20 rubles.
It is advisable for the rabbit breeder to carry out breeding work, try not to allow closely related mating. Constantly inject new blood - change manufacturers. Buy Californian rabbits on the tribe you can on our farm.
What to feed Californian rabbits?
Feed the rabbits need plenty. The diet should be high in protein (protein). In addition to granulated high-grade mixed fodder and hay, it is allowed to introduce fish and meat and bone meal, bread crumbs into the animal ration, and herbal feeds in the summer period. And all this should be of good quality - not rotten and not frost-bitten without mold and rancidity, Californian rabbits react painfully to the change of feed. Feeding females in the diet add succulent feed - beets, carrots, cabbage. For good digestion, you can use probiotic (cellobacterin). Permanent access to water, the water must be clean and fresh. In winter, the water should be warm.
Maintenance and care.
California rabbits are quite unpretentious to the content in our climatic conditions. Well tolerate cold and heat. The best option for keeping this breed is cellular, breeding working females are best kept indoors. The room should be bright, constant daylight, moderate air temperature, it is desirable to have a hood, set about 70 cm from the floor. A big plus with the content, no big cages are needed, the Californian rabbits themselves are not large, they are quite content with small cages, the slatted floor is not a problem. When outdoors, it is desirable to choose a closed place, protected from direct sunlight and drafts. They do not like dampness.
We conclude - for the rabbit breeders, the Californian breed of rabbits is the best option for breeding on the farm or business development.
Californian rabbit (male)
Californian rabbit (female)
Origin of Californian rabbit breed
The story of the appearance of Californian rabbits is quite simple and straightforward. In the early 20s of the last century, the American breeder George West began to breed a new breed of domestic rabbits. The basis was a rabbit of the chinchilla breed and the Himalayan breed (we also call it the “Russian ermine rabbit”). Then, the descendants of J. West crossed with the New Zealand white breed.
The breeder, bred in such a simple way of a rabbit, named after the state of California, in the south of which he lived and was engaged in selection. The breed turned out quite successful: good meat quality and good characteristics of the fur. In this case, the rabbits were quite unpretentious to the conditions of detention and very quickly gained lethal weight.
Despite the successful outcome of the experiment, for the first fifteen years the breed did not enjoy particular popularity. It was only at the end of the 1930s that American farmers finally paid attention to it, and Californian rabbits quickly began to gain popularity in the western world.
The breed came to our country only in the 70s, and not directly from the USA, but already from Europe, where by that time the Californians were very popular. At first, Soviet rabbit breeders were quite skeptical of American rabbits hailing from southern California, believing that in our climate the breed would be unproductive and difficult to care for. But in fact, it turned out that the Californian rabbits feel great in the middle lane. Apparently, the genes of the original rocks.
Today, rabbits from California are moderately very popular all over the world, including in Russia. They are especially popular with small and medium-sized farmers, as well as among rabbit breeders. The reason for the popularity lies in the good productivity of these animals with undemanding to the conditions of detention and feed.
Description of Californian rabbits
The most important thing that distinguishes this breed from all the others is its specific color. Almost the entire body of these animals is covered with thick white fur, and only the muzzle, ears, paws and tail are painted black. Dark spots are well defined, clearly visible and symmetrical. It should also be noted that the Californian rabbit in the photo and in life is always easily recognizable by its red eyes.
The shape and size of the body of animals fully comply with the generally accepted standard for meat breeds. On the relatively small head of the "Californians" short (no more than 11 cm) ears, which almost always stand up. The neck is short and "without warning" goes into a large, well-fed torso. According to experts, this breed is distinguished by well-developed muscles of the lumbosacral region, which provide the bulk of meat in the carcass.
In general, rabbits have a fairly regular constitution with a slight bias towards a strong constitution, although the bones of the skeleton are relatively light and thin. Massiveness is achieved through well-developed muscles. In other words, the animal gains weight with meat, not bones.
Due to the fact that the color of Californian rabbits and rabbits of the butterfly breed is quite similar, they are often confused. But to distinguish them from each other is very simple: the “butterfly” has dark, not red eyes and white legs, whereas the “Californians” have no dark spots around the eyes, on the back and sides.
Oddly enough, Californian rabbits are often born completely white or even smoky. But this color should not be alarming, since the missing spots will definitely appear a little later. Usually blond babies appear in the summer, whereas in the winter they immediately are born with a full complement of spots.
The average weight of an adult rabbit is about 4.5 kg. In this case, rabbits from maternal livestock can gain up to 5.2 kg.
Californian rabbit productivity
Under conditions of high-quality fattening, the weight of the Californian rabbit easily reaches 4.7-5 kg. And the animal quickly gains its weight: at the age of two months it can reach 1.8-2 kg, in four months it can reach 3-3.2 kg, the semi-annual rabbit weighs already 3.7-4.2 kg. A mass of more than 4 kg is already quite enough for slaughtering, although if you wish, you can wait another month for the rabbit to reach its average 4.5 kg.
Keeping animals from a slaughter flock makes no sense any longer, since after 7 months the rabbit slows down its growth rate significantly. If we focus mainly on the optimal conversion of feed into live weight, then the optimal age for slaughter is 5 months. It is at this age that further growth occurs more slowly, and therefore the specific feed intake per incrementing mass increases.
Slaughter yield of the Californian rabbit is at an average level - 60%. Of this volume, about 80-85% is meat. As for the fur, it is quite decent quality. In addition, the white color of the skin makes it very versatile and in demand in fur production.
The fecundity of females is not very great - only about 7-8 rabbits in the litter. But at the same time, a high survival rate of offspring is guaranteed, since the bunny can easily feed her pups.
Although, in general, the Californian rabbit breed characteristic is not impressive with some super-large indicators, “Californians” bypass most of the competitors in one of the most important parameters - the profitability of cultivation. Due to their high precocity, the specific feed consumption per kilogram of live weight gain in these rabbits is one of the best. And let the weight of the carcass obtained during the slaughter is not too large, its cost price will be lower than that of the same Flandres, which grow for a long time and during this time they manage to eat much more feed per kilogram of meat obtained from them.
Содержание калифорнийских кроликов
В самом начале обзора мы не зря упомянули о том, что разведение калифорнийских кроликов не доставит больших хлопот даже начинающим фермерам. Ну а для профессионалов эта порода — настоящий подарок, поскольку им не требуются никакие специальные условия ухода и кормления. "Californians" easily adapt to almost any climatic conditions, including the harsh Russian North and the arid Volga region.
Breed very well transfers both cellular, and walking contents. At the same time, the type of floor covering is of no particular importance, since the hard wool on the paws allows Californians to feel comfortable on the hard and soft floor.
Since these animals are of medium size, they do not need large rooms. Standard Californian rabbit cells are fine. However, it is not necessary to save much either: there should be at least 0.3 m² of floor space per animal (0.4 m² for a female with baby rabbits).
Not only cellular, but also patchy method of content shows itself very well. California breed in such conditions feels just fine, because the pit is the closest to the natural conditions of the method of content.
The advantage of the patching method of breeding is that the farmer is required to the minimum participation - only to provide animals with feed and select candidates for slaughter. Rabbits, on the other hand, independently equip themselves with individual burrows, will multiply and feed the young.
With a balanced diet, there are also no special problems. Even a novice will quickly figure out what to feed Californian rabbits. For a quick weight gain, animals need food rich in protein. Therefore, in addition to hay and wild grasses, root crops, mixed fodder and herbaceous plants (nettle, soybean) must be present in the diet. Of course, animals should not have problems with access to water, which is preferably heated in winter.
Advantages and disadvantages of Californian rabbits
If for a time to abstract away from the opinion that rabbits are generally quite fastidious and inclined to death agricultural animals, the “Californians” look quite decent against the background of their fellows. This breed has no pronounced defects, but there are several serious advantages at once. Such a balance of pros and cons was noticed long ago by rabbit breeders around the world, which predetermined the great popularity of the breed.
So, breeding rabbits of the Californian breed have the following advantages:
- High precocity. The young growth is growing rapidly and in half a year is ready for slaughter. If it is important for you to have time to prepare more rabbit meat for the summer season, as long as there is plenty of free grass around, the Californians will fit perfectly.
- Low feed consumption. Since these rabbits grow rapidly, they manage to eat noticeably less feed than representatives of other meat breeds. This gives us a significantly lower cost of finished products, which is especially important in the winter, when animals are fed on artificial feed.
- Undemanding conditions of detention. Compared to other breeds, the Californian rabbit is very easy to adapt to any conditions, does not need to be overly attentive and careful care. Enough to provide the minimum necessary - balanced food, warm cells, a minimum of veterinary attention.
- Universal white fur. Since it is easier to work with white rabbit fur, the demand from the processing industry is greater for it. In this, the Californian white rabbit is more profitable than the same Flandres.
Although the merits of "Californians" do not seem as impressive as in some other breeds of rabbits, but they do not have obvious strong disadvantages inherent to competitors. There are only a couple, relatively speaking, weak points:
- Small offspring. For one lamb rabbit rarely leads more than 8 pups. However, this is just the optimal amount, since with large offspring (10–12 rabbits) the farmer has to independently distribute the babies between different females to ensure normal feeding and prevent death from malnutrition.
- Low maximum weight. The weight and size of the Californian rabbit is really small, but this disadvantage is compensated by the low cost of production. For the same money that will have to be spent on growing one 8-kilogram flandr, you can successfully grow three 4-kilogram “Californians”.
Breeding prospects for Californian rabbits
Summarizing all the above, we can safely say that this breed is the most versatile and convenient for breeding among all the specialized meat breeds of the domestic rabbit. The lack of restraint to the conditions of detention and the ability to normally gain weight on the most common feed without the need for complicated veterinary care made the “Californians” perhaps the most popular among all meat breeds in the world.
According to reviews, Californian rabbits are best suited for beginner rabbit breeders and just small farmers. For this category of people, ease of care and maintenance of animals is of great importance, and in this regard, American rabbits show themselves better than most. They do not even need special cells, any more or less suitable shed is enough. And if you wish, you can get by with even ordinary holes, in which rabbits will live almost on their own.
For industrial livestock breeding complexes, this breed is also quite suitable, since it demonstrates good rates of early maturity at relatively low costs for obtaining finished products. Since business is in the first place is the question of profitability, and not the simplicity or complexity of caring for a breed of farm animals, “Californians” and here are obvious favorites.
California Bunny: Origin
Californians were bred in the United States, thanks to the long-term breeding work done by American experts. Thanks to the crossing of the New Zealand white, Russian ermine and large chinchilla, a completely new breed appeared. Rabbits very quickly gained recognition due to the beautiful appearance and good productive qualities. Animals perfectly tolerate the climate of Russia, and also feel well in conditions of captivity. In this country, Californians were in 1971.
California rabbit: photo, appearance and description
The main breed advantages of livestock breeders were such qualities as precocity. By the 150th day of life, it is already possible for the male rabbits to sit down for fertilization. The achievement of young carcass mass occurs in a very short period.
Valuable Californians and for meat products, which is dietary, as well as for the fur belonging to the upper class. Compared to the other breed groups, these rabbits have the highest meat yield, which is distinguished by excellent taste and tenderness. Due to such characteristics, Californian breed belongs to the broiler direction.
Animals are characterized by a white color with beautiful dark-chocolate (almost black) spots. They are located on the ears, paws, tail and face. Californians have a strong, stocky article and an average weight of 4.4 kg. Some representatives are able to gain weight up to 6 kg. Breed is considered medium-large. The animals are distinguished by a thin bones, a wide chest, a strong back, a body of medium size, the fur is lush, shiny, with a high density.
Muscles, both males and females, develop well regardless of the parts of the body, the short neck is almost indistinguishable, and because of this the head seems slightly raised. Fur cover has a high density and surpasses other breeds in its density. It may feel rough without a fluffy effect. The subcutaneous part of the skin is slightly thick and dense, the white coat growing on it is shiny. On the neck of rabbits sometimes you can see spots of white color.
Californians' ears are straight and short, pinkish-red eyes, healthy animals look clear. The nature of the rabbits sociable, calm and friendly. Despite the excess muscle mass in males, there is high activity in almost all of the life stage.
The little rabbits are famous for their high fertility. Up to 10 rabbits can be born at a time - if there are any deviations from the figure, they are insignificant. This indicator is very rare for other breeds.
California rabbit: productive qualities
Californians gain weight to 4.8 kg, and more often it all happens at the age of seven months. From now on, keeping rabbits on is unprofitable. Most breeders prefer an earlier slaughter at the age of five months, during this period the active growth phase of the animal ends.
The output of meat products is about 60% of body weight. Of these, 83% are meat, 2.4% fat, and other bone.
For a more visual characterization, a comparison can be made with the other breeds. There is a huge number of rocks with larger sizes, but this is not an indicator of the disadvantage of keeping Californians in their own yard.
Much depends on the money spent, which goes to get one kilogram of meat. Due to the short content of Californian rabbits are extremely profitable in terms of costs.
Meat products in five-month-old animals have completely different qualities than in more adult animals, in a positive direction. The index of knocking down is the numerical expression of productivity. For the breed described, it varies from 60 to 94%, and this is the maximum value for meat in rabbit breeding.
I especially want to mention the well-developed maternal instinct in females. Having brought about 10 rabbits for one okrol, they will feed all of them themselves. If the farm uses the technology of compacted okrol, then in 365 days one female can bring more than 33 rabbits.
What you need to know about care and maintenance?
For a comfortable maintenance of Californian rabbits you need to use roomy cages. The minimum size, which is 120 by 60 cm, it is desirable to provide a nesting house. The structure of the paws allows you to keep Californians and on the mesh floor.
Caring for rabbits is quite simple. Provides systematic cleaning in the cells and uninterrupted delivery of feed. Californians do not need special temperature conditions, which means that they are easy to grow in areas with hot climates (southern regions) and with frosts (northern regions).
Since the transfer of young animals to the diet of adult animals, rabbits of meat orientation must be provided with the correct feed. Preference is given to food with a high content of proteins and proteins. In the summer months they feed fresh grass, not forgetting about giving extra meat and bone meal. With the onset of spring, with a transitional diet, be sure to give vitamins.
Pros and cons of breed
The Californian breed is considered the best among meat-shaving representatives on the planet. She is one of the top three breeds among the current rabbits belonging to the meat direction. The correct content of Californians provides a good income, which is much higher than the profits obtained when breeding giant-rabbits. The main advantages of the breed include:
- early maturity (mating can be done at five months of age),
- greater fertility (in 365 days from one female you can get about 40 rabbits),
- minimum time for fattening to achieve a slaughter mass.
Californians have advantages and disadvantages, they in turn can be divided into permissible and unacceptable. Acceptable deficiencies:
- body of disproportionate form,
- stretched neck with head
- ears sticking out in different directions,
- weakness and thinness of limbs,
- small defects in the quality of fur, departing from the standard (wool length, elasticity and silkiness),
- the presence of undesirable pigmentation of coat in the neck, on the muzzle, near the anus or nipples,
- yellowish color of fur,
- eyes and claws differ in color from standard.
Under the unacceptable disadvantages understand:
- low weight (below 3.5 kg),
- excess fat (the rabbit should not weigh more than 5.5 kg),
- nasal pigmentation of large size (passes at the upper border of the eyes),
- the characteristic pigmentation is broken (dark fur grows on white spots, and vice versa, light wool on dark color),
- the fur is dull in color with a lack of silkiness,
- eyes and claws have a color unusual for the breed standard.
These deviations lead to the culling of animals, and serve as the basis for transferring the rabbit to a slaughter, not to a breeding herd.