General information

How to breed rabbits for meat


Rapid weight gain in rabbits is a guarantee of high farm efficiency. That is why at the planning stage it is worth carefully choosing the breed and calculating the diet of animals. The best rabbits for rearing are characterized by rapid weight gain in the period from 1 to 3 months, after which they give a large amount of tasty and tender meat. However, not everything is determined by genetics: the second most important factor is the choice of the optimal diet.

What to feed rabbits for rapid growth and weight gain?

Today, each rabbit breeder can choose from a huge number of natural feeds or ready-made combined mixtures of industrial production. For the health of pets, there are mineral and vitamin supplements that compensate for the lack of certain nutrients in the diet. It should be borne in mind that some breeds of rabbits have a sensitive gastrointestinal tract, which painfully reacts to an abrupt change of diet. Therefore, experiments with the composition and amount of food inexperienced owners should not be conducted at all. It is much easier to use ready-made feeding schemes that exist for all breeds of animals.

Reference. The most essential vitamins for normal growth of rabbits are A, D, C, E and B. With enough of these substances in the diet, the animals will have a normal exchange and show a good increase in muscle mass.

What to feed the rabbits so that they quickly gain weight:

  1. Vegetables and legumes. The basic ration includes carrots, boiled potatoes, kale, beets, and corn cobs. Some eared lovers love tomatoes and cucumbers.
  2. Green grass, vegetable tops, with the exception of the greenery of potatoes and tomatoes. Dandelion leaves, shoots of nettle, coltsfoot, plantain, wheat grass and wormwood are considered the most useful.
  3. Hay. Hay harvesting should be done in June and July, when the grass is the most juicy and useful. It is also important to mow wild grass before flowering. Hay is dried for a short time so that it does not lose flavor and nutrients.
  4. Cereals. The inclusion of wheat, barley and oats in the menu contributes to good weight gain.
  5. Compound feed industrial production. Choose the best in composition and affordable. Young animals are taught to eat the feed gradually. In the diet, it can be up to 50%. To increase the nutritional value of pregnant females, the proportion of feed can be increased to 60%.
  6. Twig feed. Perfectly suitable branches of deciduous trees. You can not give the rabbits gnaw branches of elderberry, bird cherry, apricot, buckthorn.

Important. Not all herbs are good for rabbits. There is a category of plants that are poisonous and lead to disease and death. This includes calla marsh, hemlock, dope, cornflower, poisonous landmarks, sleep-grass. Also, do not give the crawlers spurge, buttercup, foxglove, celandine, marigold and cockle.

The experience of breeding rabbits in private farms shows that high-quality food waste should be used for rapid growth of young stock for feeding:

  • bread,
  • the remains of apples, pears,
  • bran,
  • potato peelings,
  • cake

Boiled potatoes or peeling mixed with animal feed, green tops. This is the most common type of food for home cultivation. Also, rabbit breeders often cook porridge with the addition of milk. In these basic foods, complex nutritional supplements are used to ensure healthy growth, improve appetite, and look like rabbit fur.

Growth stimulants for rabbits

Rabbit growth stimulants are special drugs that not only provide high rates of development, but also raise immunity and increase resistance to diseases. The dosage of additives is based on the age of the animals and their diet. For example, with rabbit rearing, a stimulant is added to food in an increased amount, and during cell rearing and a large proportion of feed in the diet, the dosage of the drug is reduced.

In the veterinary practice and farms used a large number of different drugs that stimulate the weight gain of animals. Rabbit breeders can choose products of domestic or foreign production, based on recommendations and indications for use.

The following stimulants are widespread:

  1. Foz-Bevit. The composition of the stimulant includes vitamins of group B and butafosfan. The drug has a complex effect, manifested in an increased body tone of the animal, improving metabolism and direct weight gain. Substances included in the composition, support the nervous system, contribute to the proper formation of the bone marrow, the formation of red blood cells and good energy metabolism. Foz-Bevit has an immunomodulatory effect, removes toxic substances from the body.
  2. Mikrovitam. Biologically active drug based on various amino acids: valine, leucine, methionine, alanine. The action of Mikrovitam is based on the acceleration of metabolism, which allows to supply “building materials” for proteins in increased volumes. With the addition of the drug in the diet in rabbits there is an increase in immunity and improvement of the exterior.
  3. Nucleopeptide The drug, which is obtained from the extract of the spleen. The chemical composition of the Nucleopeptide phosphoric acid, nucleotides, nucleic acids and other substances important for the activation of the glands. Stimulation of the pancreas allows you to achieve accelerated growth. Also, this natural product promotes recovery in the presence of chronic diseases.
  4. Kalfostonik. Combined preparation of amino acids, minerals, vitamins and tonic components, which ensures the rapid and harmonious development of the animal. The drug can be used as a tonic and tonic for chronic and acute diseases.
  5. Flavomycin. The drug was developed on the basis of Bambermycin, which is a group of feed antibiotics that increase the digestibility of food.
  6. Greenback 70 Capsulated. The action of the drug is directed against harmful microflora and is similar to flavomycin. Greenkab stimulates the active formation of epithelial tissue in the intestines, which increases the digestibility of feed and leads to more rapid weight gain. Also in animals when taking Greenkaba increased reproductive qualities.

Of course, this is not a complete list of high-quality and effective growth stimulants that are used in rabbit breeding. Optimally, if the drug and dosage will be recommended by a veterinarian. Also, each rabbit farmer with experience develops his own supplement schemes for stimulating and vitamin complexes, applies proven combinations of products in the diet.

Average rabbit weight

On average, such an animal can weigh 4–5 kg. If we are talking about champions, their weight can reach 8 or more kg. Slaughter weight differs from live weight by about 30%. That is, if an animal before slaughter weighed 5 kg, then you will get a carcass weighing 3.5 kg, if 8 kg is about 5.5–6 kg of meat. For commercial purposes, mostly large breeds of giants are bred, which can quickly gain enormous weight, even if their diet consists of inexpensive feed.

Rabbits weight by breed

Each individual breed develops at a different pace. Weight gain is uneven and depends on many factors, including nutrition and conditions of detention. Average values ​​for the most popular breeds are given in the table.


Rabbits of this breed have a white body, black ears and paws, a tail and a speck on the nose. Black markings may have a different dark color - dark brown. All decals have clear outlines. The fur is thick and dense.

Eye color - red. The head of large Californians, ears - upright, nose - humpback. They have a short neck and a muscular, downed body. Their paws are also short, but there is no basement at all.

The bones of these rabbits are light, but strong. The chest is also well developed. The animals gain an average of 4-5 kg. Females are very prolific and lead to 10 rabbits.

New Zealanders

New Zealanders are of two types: white and red. White individuals have silky hairs and are completely white. They have a medium-sized head, short, symmetrical ears and the same neck. Their bodies are compact and muscular, their legs straight and strong.

These are rabbits with a hunchbacked nose and a wide profile. Eye color - red. The average weight of an adult individual is from 4 to 4.5 kg.

The red individuals got their name because of the red-brown color of thick shiny wool. They also have a short neck, a small head and a body in the shape of a cylinder.

White and German giants

The White Giant is a breed with snow-white coat and red eyes. Its representatives lack any marks on thick wool. The body is strong, slightly elongated, the back is straight, the chest is muscular, and the paws are straight and long. Perhaps the development of the fenders.

In males, the head is more rounded than females. The latter for an average of 8 babies result in around, the maximum is 14. Adults weigh 5–7.5 kg. German giants or, as they are called, rizeny - heavyweights. They have a massive, muscular, elongated body, thick legs, a broad chest, a large head and long ears. Short hair is thick and dense. The color can be different: gray, yellowish, agouti, blue or even black.

Representatives of the breed behave very clumsily, but have tremendous power. In adulthood, they can weigh 6-10 kg.

Gray giant

Gray giants in color are very similar to hares. Distinctive features - a light belly and the presence of white "socks". Coat of medium density and medium length. The body is elongated, chest with dewlap, the back is wide, legs are straight and long.

The large head also has an elongated shape, ears with rounded tips. The weight of an adult individual, depending on the conditions of detention and the quality of care, can vary from 4 to 7 kg.

Belgian Flandre

Flandre is a bit like a little puppy. He is very clumsy with a long body, wide bosom, straight back and thick legs. Head and ears are also big.

The coat is thick and dense. The color may be grayish-hare, yellowish-gray, dark gray. The undercoat has a bluish tint. The inside of the legs, the belly and the area under the tail may have a white color. An adult weighs about 6–8 kg. Females are usually larger than males.

Rabbits butterfly and ram

Butterflies - rabbits with a strong bone system. They have a knocked down, muscular body and the same strong legs, broad chest and long back. Head shape - rounded.

The representatives of this breed are predominantly white in color, while the sides, nose, ears, tail, and paws are covered with black specks. On the face there is also a spot, resembling a butterfly. An adult weighs 4–5 kg. The ram is distinguished by its hanging ears. In addition, it has protruding frontal bones on the muzzle and puffy cheeks. The body of the individuals of this breed is slightly elongated, the chest is deep, the back is wide, the legs are strong and muscular.

The sheep have thick and fluffy fur color agouti. The color may be different: black, white, grayish, variegated, etc. In adulthood, rabbits weigh 4.5 kg.

Blue Royal Giant

The blue royal giant outwardly looks small and very harmonious. The head looks light, the ears are straight, the body is compact, the legs are muscular, and the chest is wide with a pronounced basement. The color of the eyes is dark blue.

The coat is distinguished by its density and glossy shine. Color - gray. Adult rabbits weigh an average of 4–5 kg.

How to feed rabbits for quick weight gain

Rabbits are herbivores, but with such a diet it is impossible to achieve a good result. In order for the animal to quickly gain weight, it is fed with animal feed, grain, vegetables, oilcake, bran, herbs, shoots of trees, soybeans, peas and other things, adding chalk and bone meal.

They feed young animals up to 4 times a day, adults need 2 times. Feed is given at the same time daily. Clean water should be constantly in the water bowl. Serving size is:

  • concentrated feed - 40–60 g,
  • greens - up to 0.5 kg
  • juicy food - up to 0.2 kg
  • hay - 150 g