Rabbits, just like pigs, are monogastric or non uminant animals. They are medium-sized opping mammals with long legs, long ears and hort tails.


Rabbits are mainly reared for their meat. Rabbit meat is normally regarded as a white meat.


Terminology Used in Rabbit


Buck – An adult male rabbit


Doe – An adult female rabbit.


Kitten/warren – A young or baby rabbit.


Hutch – The house of rabbit.


Kiddling – The act of parturition in rabbit.


Pelt – The skin of rabbit.


Litter – All the young ones (rabbits) produced at the same time by one doe.


Sucking – Feeding of young ones on the mother’s breast milk


Dam – The mother of a set of young rabbits.


Sire – The father of a set of young rabbits.


General Characteristics of Rabbits


The general characteristics of rabbit include: 1. They have small medium-sized body.


2.They are easy to house.


3.Rabbits are very prolific animals or can produce many litters.


4.Rabbits have a short gestation period of 30 to 31 days.


5.They grow fast and reach maturity weight in about five to six months.


6.They are efficient converters of wide range of vegetable matter into meat.


7.The fur-covered skins can be processed as pelts for sale.


8.Rabbits are easy to handle or manage.


9.They have a weaning period of six to eight weeks.


10.They make good quality meat, more delicious and nutritious than that of chicken.


11.They are susceptible to stress.


12.The rate of cannibalism is very high.


13.They have high rate of disease resistance


Breeds of Rabbits


Common breeds of rabbits include:


(i) California white


(ii) Flemish giants


(iii) California red


(iv) Chinchilla


(v) New Zealand white


(vi) Champagne d’Argent


(vii) The Crosses


(viii) Angora


(ix) Lop


The California White: It is a lighter breed and the adults may attain a mature weight of 3.5kg 4.5kg. It is characterised by black markings on the ears, feet, tail and nose. It has a high growth rate and good flesh to bone ratio.


The Flemish Giant : This breed can weigh over 5kg and it is the largest of all the breeds. It is dark steel-grey in colour and produces a dense and hard pelt. It is a good meat producer.


The Chinchilla: It is a grey-bodied animal

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