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Title: Domestic rabbit raising in Florida
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00102929/00001
 Material Information
Title: Domestic rabbit raising in Florida
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Mueller, Otto B
Publisher: State of Florida, Dept. of Agriculture
Place of Publication: Tallahassee
Copyright Date: 1956
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00102929
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 1907087
lccn - a 56009673

Table of Contents
    Table of Contents
        Page 3
    Frontispiece
        Page 4
    Main
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
Full Text





TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction ................................................................... 5

Fundamental Values ..................................... ...................... 6

Rabbit Skin for Fur .............................. ..... .............................. 6

Rabbits for Laboratory Purposes ......................... ................ ........ 7

Fertilizer ........................ .. ............................... 7

H utches ................................................................................... 8

Handling ...................... ...................... ....................... 8

Florida Is Ideal for Raising Rabbits ........................................ 8

Marketing Rabbit Meat ................................ ..................... 8

Other Uses for Rabbits ................................................ 9

Feeds and Feeding ............................................ 9

Green Feeds ...................... ...................... ....................................... 9

Feeding of Rabbits and Costs ............................................ 9

W watering of Rabbits ...................... .............................. 9

Breeding ................................................ 11

Failure of Doe to Breed .............................. .. ...................... 11

R records ..................... .................. ............................. 11

Standard Breeds and Varieties of Rabbits .................................. 12

W meaning ..................................... .................................................. 13

Selection of Breeds ............................ .. .... .................... 13

D diseases ................................................................................................ 17

(Cover: A Future Farmer of America member and his voca-
tional agriculture teacher look over a Californian and two New
Zealand rabbits prior to exhibiting them at one of the many
county and State Fairs.)















































The White is a New Zealand White Doe. The Colored Rabbit is an American Chinchilla Doe.


7`1







DOMESTIC RABBIT RAISING 5


Domestic Rabbit Raising in Florida
'4,
INTRODUCTION
The domestic rabbit industry, although practically in its
infancy in Florida, is rapidly developing into an enterprise
which is in substantial competition with the other meat pro-
ducing industries in the United States. In hardly any other
industry can a person today own his own business in so short
a time as he can with rabbits. Taking only a minimum of
equipment and much less space than almost any other form of
livestock, the domestic meat rabbit industry is ideal for the
person of limited means.
From the raising of rabbits for show purposes, the rabbit
industry is coming into its rightful place as meat upon our tables
and upon our markets for the consumption of the American
people. With the new devices and inventions which have recently
been made, it is possible for one individual to care for five
hundred working does. With an annual profit of twelve ($12.00)
dollars per doe, it is easy to see why the industry is growing in
leaps and bounds.
The raising of rabbits on a commercial scale should really
be given serious thought. The strides the rabbit industry has
made in Florida alone in the last ten years warrant its rapid
growth into one of the leading industries of the future.
The breeders of rabbits have increased many fold in the
past ten years, but the demand is far greater than the supply.
This same condition exists in most markets over the United States.
Many of the cities have established a central processing plant
to process and market this delicious meat. Eighty-two percent
of a rabbit carcass is edible, and its size makes it a convenient
form of fresh meat, throughout the year.
The successful raising of rabbits depends upon a number
of factors, including healthy breeding stock, proper housing,
feeding and management. In raising rabbits, it pays to provide
every facility for the comfort of the animals, and the promotion
of good health and development. Do not rely upon theory. Study
the progressive and successful rabbit raiser who bases his suc-
cess upon practical experience and study his ways and manner
of raising his animals for profit.
Rabbits will help one start in the livestock field with a small
investment. They make a nice backyard hobby which will pay
its own way and often leads one into a full time business.
One ten-pound doe will give four litters a year, averaging
6 to 8 young in a litter or 100 to 125 pounds of 8-weeks-old rabbits
on foot per year.
No other meat animal will equal a rabbit in producing a







6 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

pound of meat at 8 weeks considering breeders of equal weight.
Fryer rabbits are weaned at 8 weeks of age and should weigh
4 or 4% pounds live weight.
The rabbit industry has developed into a recognized industry
in many parts of the country and particularly so in many parts
of Florida.
One can achieve success, recreation, relaxation and much
pleasure in raising rabbits. The demand is not altogether for
meat, but for breeders, laboratory research, pelts for garments
and felt hats, the feet for toys and manure for the garden.
FUNDAMENTAL VALUES
Many people have yet to partake of this delicious food and
have to be initiated into the fine flavor and delicate eating quali-
ties of this palatable meat.
Various health authorities give comparisons with several of
our other meats, as follows:
Chicken 55% nutriment
Beef 55% "
Mutton 65% "
Pork .....75%
RABBIT 83%
The United States Department of Agriculture gives the fol-
lowing analysis of certain meats as follows:
Percent Percent Percent Percent Fuel Val.
Water Protein Fat Ash Cal.
RABBIT 67.86 25.50 4.01 2.13 627
Chicken, Broiler 74.80 21.50 2.50 1.10 505
Beef, hindquarter 62.20 19.30 18.30 .90 1130
Veal, hindquarter 70.90 20.70 8.30 1.00 735
It can be readily seen that rabbit meat is a nutritious, tasty
and year-round item of food, which can be eaten by both the
healthy and convalescent without fear of injury to the most
delicate stomach. It can be prepared in several ways, such as
stewed, fried, baked; in salad, pie, soup, omelette, hash, sausage,
canned and pickled; in fact, there are nearly fifty ways it can
be served.
Although the eating of this food is in its infancy in Florida,
the market for rabbit meat is well established.
RABBIT SKIN FOR FUR
Rabbit fur is used more extensively by the trade than any
other kind. It is used in the manufacture of coats, gloves, wraps,
felt hats, toys and trimmings for ladies' garments, etc. Even
the fine shreds into which the skins are cut in separating the fur
are utilized in the making of glue.
Over half of all fur used in America comes from the rabbit







DOMESTIC RABBIT RAISING 7

in either the natural color or dyed and processed in imitation
of higher priced furs. The quality and texture of the fur is the
most important consideration, and the caution exercised in rem-v-
ing the skin, and the care it is given after being taken from the
carcass is important. Only a small percentage of the million-
of rabbit skins used in this country are produced here, so there
is plenty of opportunity to expand the rabbit fur industry. The
white fur seems to be preferred, as it can be readily dyed and
manufactured to look like more valuable furs upon the market.
The standard breeds of rabbits have proven that they will
grow as good a quality of fur in Florida as in other sections of
the United States. The returns from the fur is a valuable part
of the rabbit income.
Regardless of the size and color, all rabbit skins are used
commercially and are of value. As wild animal furs are becoming
less and less plentiful, it is giving way more and more to domestic
production for our fur supply, and the demand for furs is in-
creasing yearly.
Raising rabbits for wool is a comparatively new phase of
the rabbit industry in Florida. The wool is unusually warm
and light when made into garments. It is sometimes used with
other fibers. The Angora rabbit is used for this durable wool.
RABBITS FOR LABORATORY PURPOSES
The demand for rabbits for laboratories and for biological
purposes offers opportunities to breeders living near hospitals
and laboratories. Anyone who desires to raise rabbits for such
purposes should find out from city or county health officials,
laboratories and hospitals in the vicinity, the type, age and size
of the animals desired.
FERTILIZER
Rabbit manure as fertilizer has a good value. Two hundred
grown rabbits will produce approximately one ton of fertilizer
per month. Rabbit manure is eagerly sought after for use in
groves and has a high commercial value. The rabbit raiser who
himself does not have use for the manure should have no diffi-
culty in finding a profitable market.
The comparative analysis given by the United States Depart-
ment of Agriculture is as follows:
Potash Nitrogen Phos. Acid
Percent Percent Percent
RABBIT MANURE, fresh 1.85 2.60 2.50
Cow Manure, fresh .45 .50 .30
Horse Manure, fresh .50 .60 .25
Sheep Manure, fresh .60 1.00 .35
Hen Manure, fresh .85 1.75 1.25
Hog Manure, fresh .30 1.00 .40







8 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


HUTCHES
Sanitation-The most important item to consider in hutch
construction is sanitation. It must be borne in mind that the
domestic rabbit is a fur-bearing animal and must not be penned
up in a tight hutch in our warm climate if greatest vitality is
to be had. Even in our winters open hutches are practical.
Tight hutches and triple or double tiered hutches are not the
most sanitary. Even with self-cleaning floors, filth traps or
drafts will be found, either of which is detrimental to the rabbits'
health and vitality in our salt air climate. Many beginners have
patterned elaborate hutches after very practical northern or
western types, then lose their rabbits, especially the young ones,
due to drafts or ammonia gas which eventually develops snuffles
or coccidiosis, either of which is contagious and practically in-
curable.
Therefore, in our Florida climate we can only recommend
as the most successful type, the open-air, self-cleaning hutches.
An open-air hutch is one containing only a single deck and
with sides and front all covered with one-inch poultry wire. To
protect the animals from strong driving winds and rain, the backs
of the hutches may be made solid.
The hutch should have 9 to 10 square feet for each rabbit.
A handy size hutch is 6' x 3', and two people can move it without
much trouble. The floor should be covered with %" or % x 1"
hardware cloth. To protect your rabbits from the sun, try to
provide some type of shade.
HANDLING
Never pick up a rabbit by the ears. Grasp the rabbit by the
loose skin over the shoulders with your right hand and put the
left hand under the hips.
Rabbits should be checked for ear canker and sore hocks
occasionally-at least once a week.

FLORIDA IS IDEAL FOR RAISING RABBITS
Florida is adapted to rabbit raising because of the favorable
climate, making the initial investment in land and equipment for
housing rabbits far from excessive because hutches and shelters
need not be built to withstand cold weather as the more northerly
sections of our country require. With such favorable conditions
like those of the west coast, Florida has the opportunity of rival-
ing their production.

MARKETING RABBIT MEAT
The developing of a market for rabbit meat is done along
with the growth of a commercial rabbitry for the demand that
available customers make for rabbit meat is steadily increasing







DOMESTIC RABBIT RAISING


among householders, meat markets, chain stores, clubs, hotels,
hospitals, restaurants and frozen food lockers.
OTHER USES FOR RABBITS
While in Florida at this time there are not many experimental
laboratories, rabbits are being used in large numbers in the East
and increasingly so as new uses are found. Among the new uses
are the manufacture of penicillin, and rabbit blood is being used
for making serum for 23 types of pneumonia. There is always a
sale for the pelts, and in raising of Angora rabbits the wool
sheared five times per year produces 16 to 20 ounces per animal
per year.
FEEDS AND FEEDING
Florida has available all of the best commercial rabbit feeds
produced, made by nationally known feed companies especially
made for fast growth as well as livability and production; also
Florida can raise everything that the rabbit needs for food.
GREEN FEEDS
A limited quantity of palatable weeds, legume crops, and
sweet potato vines can be fed, but excessive feeding of such
greens and root crops, lettuce, cabbage and vegetable trimmings
should be avoided. Of the root crops the carrots and sweet
potatoes are among the best. The feeding of the natural feeds
takes a great deal of time when operating a commercial rabbitry
and many find that the straight feeding of a good commercial
feed about equals the final net return.
FEEDING OF RABBITS AND COSTS
When rabbits are being raised commercially such equipment
as self waterers and feeders are important for the saving of labor
and feeding time. It is important that there is fresh water for
the rabbits at all times and there are several water systems that
when once installed take over the watering care of the rabbitry.
Self-feeders when used are usually homemade of type to suit the
breeders and are easily taken care of, as long as they are daily
checked to assure there is feed as the requirements call for.
The cost of feed is best figured out from experience. Some
figure that it takes about 450 Ibs. of feed to take care of one doe
and four litters of 6 each for one year. With the cost of feeding
a good commercial feed only, at 5%1 per lb., it will cost about
22% to produce a pound of live rabbit meat at 8 weeks of age.
These figures are obtainable when good, healthy, fast growing
stock is used. Stock from pure breeds that have been bred to a
standard will produce the most meat for the lowest cost per pound.
WATERING OF RABBITS
Care should be given to watering the rabbits. Fresh water
each day is important. Many breeders use a self-water system.






















r' 3"


PLAN


Construction Details of a Rabbit Hutch with Wire Floor. (Courtesy Bur. Biolog. Sur., U.S.D.A.)







DOMESTIC RABBIT RAISING


BREEDING
Care, handling and study means much in breeding.
Always take the doe to the buck's hutch and do not leave her
in there over a couple of minutes. If she accepts the buck she
will do it at once, and do not leave them alone. The doe may
hurt the buck. If she will not accept service, try putting her
back every day until she accepts service. The buck will fall back-
ward off the doe when service has been completed.
It is recommended to return the doe to the buck for another
service in 4 to 6 hours. Breeders have found they have fewer
misses, breeding the doe back in 4 to 6 hours.
The doe should be taken to the buck's hutch about 11 days
later. If she is pregnant, she will run away from the buck and
fuss about it.
The gestation period is 31 days; some does may kindle a
day or two sooner or may go 5 days over 31 days.
A nest box should be placed in the doe's hutch about 25 days
after she has been bred. An apple box makes a good nest box.
If a doe pulls fur on the 17th to 20th day, that is called false
pregnancy. Wait 2 days and then rebreed her.
With a little practice one can learn to palpate a doe on the
14th day and tell if she is bred. A good way to learn is to try
palpating a doe about ready to kindle, then keep cutting back
until you can feel the young at 14 days. Do not use your buck
over twice a week.

FAILURE OF A DOE TO BREED
There are several causes why a doe fails to conceive. Poor
condition (most times too fat, or maybe too young.
In the late summer and fall breeders have more trouble with
misses. Due to both bucks and does going through a strike period
which lasts from 10 to 30 days, there is no way of knowing if
the buck or doe is sterile.
Rabbit breeders, like other livestock breeders, have learned
breeding unrelated males and females is not good. Best results
have come from breeding father back to daughter, son to mother,
father to granddaughter, grandson to grandmother, and with
watching your genetics carefully, because this type of breeding
brings out all good characteristics as well as the bad. When the
bad characteristics appear you will have to stop breeding that
line and change bucks.

RECORDS
It is important to keep correct records on all does and bucks.
First, tattoo all rabbits and record number and blood line,
or parents. This will help make up your pedigree. Keep records
of does' production records, number of young per litter, weight
of young at 8 weeks and development of young saved for breeders.





SOME STANDARD BREEDS AND VARIETIES OF RABBITS
Standard Mature Registrato:in Weight
Ir,__! Weight (for entering in shows) Prinmir


American
(Blue & White)...
American Silver Fox
(Black & Blue) .
Angora Woolers .....
Belgian Heavyweight
Beveren, Blue .
Beveren, White
Beveren, Black ....
Beverenrex, Black ...
Beverenrex, Blue
Beverenrex, White
Black Siberian Hare
Blue Vienna ....
Californians .... .......
Castorrex .
Champagne de Argent
Checker Giant .......
Chinchilla. American
Chinchilla Giant....
Chinchilla,
Amer. Heavyweight
Chinchilla,
Amer. Standard
*Chinchillarex, Stand
Dutch, Black, Blue,
Grey, Steel Grey,
Tortoise & A. O. C.
English
(spots any color)
Erminrex
Flemish Giants, Steel
Grey, Light Grey,
Black, White, Blue

Flemish Giant,
Sandy Grey

Flemish Giantrex
(all colors)
Havana, Heavyweight
Havana, Standard
Havanarex, Heavywt.
Havanarex, Standard
Himalayan ..........
Japanese .......
Lilac
Lops (English)-
earage not less than
16 in. from tip to tip
Lops (French)-
earage not less than
14 in. from tip to tip
New Zealand (Red &
White ( seniors only

Polish ...... .............
Sable, American.......
Sablerex ...
Silver
(Grey, Fawn,
Brown)
Silver Black Giant.
Silver Marten .......
(Black and Blue)...
Tans (Black & Blue)


Buck


9

9
6 or over
9
9-10
9
8-10
7-10
6 or over
9
9
9-10
8-10 %,
6 or over
8-9
11

12-15

9

6-7%
5--6%


10

10
6 or over
10
10-11
10
8-10
7-10
7 or over
10
10
10-11
8-10%
6 or over
9-10
12

13-16

10

6 %-8
6-7


4% 4%1

6-8 6-8
6 7


13 or over 115 or over


14 or over i16 or over 12 or over


11 or over
7 or over
6
7 or over
6
3%
8
5 or over


11 or over
7 or over
6
7 or over
6
3%
8
6 or over


10 or over
7 or ovcr
Undsr 7
7 or over
4%-7
2-5
Not under 7
5 or over


10 or over 11 or over ;Not under 9


10 or over

9-10

3-3%
8
8


11 or over :Not under 9

10-11 9-11

3-3% Not over 4
9 Not under 7
9 Not under 7


8-10

8-11
5 or over
8 or over
7 or over
7 or over
6 or over
6 or over
6 or over
6 or over
Not over 9
8-11
8-9
6 or over
7%2-10
9 or over
I Over 12
1 Under 15

9-10

6-7%
S........

3 to 5%

Not over 8
5-7%

12 or over


t lility


9-11

9-12
5 or over
8% or over
8 or over
8 or over
6 or over
i( or over
7 or over
7 or over
Not over 10
9-12
8-10
6 or over
8-11
10 or over
1 Over 13
I Under 16

10-11

6-8


3 to 5'

Not over 3
5%-8

113 or over


13 or over Meat, show, fur,
hatters pelts
10 or over Meat and fur
7 or over Pur and show
Under 7 Fur and show
7 or over Fur and show
4 %-7 Fur and show
2-5 1 Rhow and fur
Not under 7 Show
5 or over Fur and show


Not under 10 Show


Not under 10 Show

10-12 Meat, show, fur,
hatters pelts
I Not over 4 Show and fur
Not under 8 Fur and show
Not under 8 Fur and show


6 6 4-7 4-7 Show and fur
12 or over 14 or over Not under 10 Not under 11 Show and fur

7 9 Not under 6 Not under 7 Show and fur
4-5 4-5 3-5% I 3-5 / Show


1t value
Doe Iltuk D)e i


* Hevywei ht and Giant Chinchillarexes same as for normal-hair Chinchillas.


Meat, fur, show

Fur
Wool and show
Meat
Fur
Fur
Fur
Fur
Fur
Fur
Fur
Fur
Meat, show, fur
Fur and show
Fur and show
Meat and show

Fur and meat

Fur and meat

Fur and show
Fur and show

Show

Show
Fur and show

Meat, show, fur,
hatters pelts


'~""'







DOMESTIC RABBIT RAISING


Keep record of bucks, as to their production records, and so on.
Select breeders only from parents with best production rec-
ords. Production record should cover growth, type, fur and gen-
eral development.
WEANING
Litters of rabbits should be weaned at 8 weeks of age, and
they should average four to four and one-half pounds at this
time. This will give you a two to two and one-half pound dressed
fryer, which is the demanded weight.
SELECTION OF BREEDS
Of the ten or twelve types of rabbit breeds best suited for













4* "
4%. ..1.L '
"T





Californian Rabbit
commercial use in Florida, some of the most popular are: New
Zealand White, New Zealand Red, Californian, Champagne de
Argent and Chinchilla.
NEW ZEALAND WHITE AND RED: The New Zealand rabbit
is strictly a commercial rabbit. Its body should be of medium
length, not long or short and cobby. It should have well rounded
hips, well filled out loins and shoulders in proportion to hips,
short neck, well shaped head and short ears, or not too long.
The New Zealand White is all white and the New Zealand
Red is a rich reddish buff over the entire body. Ideal weight of
bucks is ten pounds, and the does, eleven pounds.
CALIFORNIAN: The Californian is one of the newer breeds,
and was developed for a commercial rabbit. It has a shorter fur
than the New Zealand Champagne de Argent and Chinchilla. The
entire body is white except the ears, nose, feet and tail, which







14 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

are a dark gray or black. The body is of medium length, well
rounded hips, heavy loin and shoulders in proportion to hips,
short neck, well shaped head and short ears. The ideal weight
for bucks is nine pounds and nine and one-half for does.
CHAMPAGNE de ARGENT: This breed is a commercial
rabbit, which is born black and at about three or four months
of age, it takes on the adult color, which is a silver or skimmed
milk color, with a dark slate blue undercoat. The body is of
medium length, well rounded hips, good loins and shoulders in
proportion to hips, short neck, well developed head and short ears.
Ideal weight for bucks, ten pounds and ten and one-half pounds
for does.
THE AMERICAN CHINCHILLA is a commercial breed. The
fur should resemble the Chinchilla fur. The under color is blue
with several white bands and the guard hair should be tipped
with black, which makes a beautiful wavy effect. The body is of
medium length, well rounded hips, good loins and shoulders in
proportion to hips, short neck, well shaped head, and ears not
too long in proportion to body. Ideal weight for a buck is nine
pounds and does ten pounds.

THE ANGORA-WOOLER
The Aristocrat of All Animals
Not having space in this bulletin to give all information on
this breed of rabbit, the writer will include sources where detailed
information may be obtained.
Now, let's review briefly a few of the salient facts about the
ANGORA breed and its comparison with other breeds in funda-
mental, concrete and tangible terms, understandable even to the
non-rabbit breeder.
Entirely apart from the sheer loveliness of these creatures,
which are often sold as pets for that reason, we can consider the
ANGORA purely in terms of comparative cost of production, rela-
tive ease of breeding and maintenance, and similarity of returns
on the material investment.
The ANGORA is at home in virtually any climate and re-
quires no attention for successful and healthy breeding and
rearing, which is not required of all breeds. Thus the term
"aristocrat" applies only to the results obtained, not to any special
method of getting the results. Furthermore, the ANGORA re-
quires 25% less housing space for equally successful breeding
than do the heavier rabbit breeds. Added to the foregoing econo-
mies of effort and cost of production, consider the following:
The ANGORA consumes less than two-thirds-an average of just
601; -of the feed required to maintain heavier breeds in a similar
condition of perfect health.
What are the results obtained from the production? The










seven salable products of any rabbit breed are pelts, wool, meat,
breeding stock, show stock, pets and fertilizer. The first three
of these seven salable items, viz., pelts, wool and meat, represent,
of course, the chief source of income for practically all rabbit
breeders. Let's consider some of the more obvious qualities of
the ANGORA. One look at this specimen would be enough to
clinch its choice as a pet among all breeds. There is no particular
choice of breeds from the standpoint of salability of breeding and
show stock. All good breeds will be bred for years to come;
therefore, good breeding and show stock will be marketable over


the same period. Now, let's consider the three primary sources
of income for rabbit breeders-pelts, wool, and meat.
The ANGORA produces a table meat second to none in de-
lectability; for proof, you have only to ask any rabbit-loving
epicure. But, better yet, try it for yourself.
But the pride of the ANGORA breeder is his production of
wool. Many of the finest garments obtainable are produced from
the snow-white, velvety-soft wool of the ANGORA.
The wool of the ANGORA is not merely unsurpassed by other
wools-either natural or synthetic-but it is unequalled by any
of them barring none known to science! In lightness and dura-
bility it is unsurpassed. But, in other qualities, it is not even


DOMESTIC RABBIT RAISING


15






























9


~.


3 -.


r- '*.
->'i .,


I'


/


New Zealand White Buck.


A


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'


x._

*' &


~b






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DOMESTIC RABBIT RAISING


approached. Whereas practically all other wools. including the
most popular that of the sheep are intensely irritating, the wool
of the ANGORA is completely soft and non-irritating and takes
any dye equally well. It is eight times warmer than its nearest
woolen competitor: the significance of this fact being that a coat
or other garment weighing only approximately two pounds is still
warmer than a coat made of other wools having considerably
more weight.
There is always a market for every available pound of this
superb wool. Prices on wool vary according to market conditions.
ANGORAS will pay a reasonable profit on wool alone, providing
one has good quality stock, and same is handled correctly. It is
not necessary to kill your animal in order to market its product.
The animal is sheared or plucked at various periods from ten to
twelve weeks, depending upon conditions. Many people who
would otherwise take up this breed are prevented from doing so
by the false idea that they must have unlimited time to spare
for the ordeal of grooming.
The sources of information mentioned at the beginning are
as follows: Join your local, state, or national associations, known
as RABBIT BREEDERS ASSOCIATIONS. Any or all of them
will be pleased to assist you. The national organization can be
reached by writing:
The American Rabbit Breeders Association. Inc..
4:323 Murry Ave..
Pittsburgh 17. Penna.

DISEASES
Causes-Symptoms and Treatments
Breeders are not bothered too much with diseases: true. we
still have much to learn. The State University at Gainesville has
started experimental programs on rabbits. We hope in a year or
so the researchers may tell us a lot of things that we don't know
now.
The following are causes and treatments worked out by vari-
ous breeders. IContact your veterinarian for advice and treat-
ment on these and other diseases.
ABISCESSES: Caused by neglected bites, wounds, bruises,
usually due to keeping young rabbits together too long a period of
time: overcrowding and failure to separate the sexes.
Treatment: Clip the fur from around the pus cyst. The pus
cyst is held firmly with the first finger and thumb of the left hand
and the operator lances the swelling with a sharp instrument,
making a large enough opening to clean out pus pocket. Clean
out pus, using an antiseptic swab. Then apply peroxide of hydro-
gen. followed by bathing with a solution of a tablespoon of tinc-
ture of iodine in a pint of water. If wounds are dettected before







18 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

cyst forms, use half strength peroxide of hydrogen and iodine
solution as a prevention.
BLOAT: Autopsy reveals none of the intestinal lesions pro-
duced by coccidiosis. There is an excessive amount of gelatinous
mucus present in the intestines. It is believed by many it may
be due to certain vitamin deficiencies, less use of teeth and less
flow of digestive juices, due to nearly all ground feed in ration
now fed.
Symptoms: Animals will not eat, appear drowsy, drink large
amounts of water, stay humped up, grind teeth as if in pain, with
eyes squinted. Rabbits are either constipated or have severe
diarrhea, often passing considerable amounts of jelly-like mucus.
Treatment. It is advisable to begin immediately a gradual
change in the ration, even though the feed in use is desirable
and adequate from the nutritional standpoint. A portion of the
new ration should be mixed with the old ration and increased
daily for a period of five to six days. DON'T effect a complete
change of diet too quickly.
CANKER: EAR: Two species of mites are the cause of
simple ear canker in domestic rabbits.
Symptoms: Affected rabbits scratch at their ears with the
hind feet as if to dig out the sores; it shows great pain when the
ears are touched. Brownish crusts and scabs are visible inside
the ear. Ear canker is very easy to eradicate in its early stages.
There is no real excuse for having an advanced case.
Treatment: Apply one-fourth parts kerosene and three-
fourths parts of cooking oil to all inflamed or encrusted parts
of the inside ear. Be sure to allow none of the mixture to sat-
urate the fur of the outside ear, if possible, as it may cause the
fur to shed. A five percent carbolic acid in cooking oil, or cam-
phorated oil, may be used.
COLDS: The common cold in rabbits can be caused by one
or a combination of several of the following: Drafts, exposure
at shows; during travel; diet deficiencies, or lack of proper vita-
mins in the ration; poor ventilation in the rabbitry.
Symptoms: Sneezing, watery discharge from nose, becom-
ing thicker and yellowish as the cold progresses. Fur on fore-
legs becomes soiled from wiping nose.
Treatment: Check rabbitry for any of the above mentioned
causes. Keep the animal warm and comfortable, with dry bed-
ding of straw. A cold is accompanied by fever, so the first step
should be to check the fever. This can be done by putting tincture
of aconite in drinking water (10 drops to a gallon of water and
continue for about three days. Next, remove mucus in the nasal
















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A Chinchilla Buck-Standard Variety


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20 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

passages. A mixture of one-third sanitas oil and two-thirds olive
oil is good. Apply with eye dropper, holding animal's head well
back and place two or three drops in each nostril. One part
eucalyptus oil to two parts olive oil can be administered the same
way with good results.
EYES-SORE: A difference will be noticed between slight
eye trouble in rabbits, particularly youngsters, and serious infec-
tions. Sore and inflamed eyes may be caused by ammonia gases
in damp, foul hutches, injuries, exposure to draft, dampness or
scratches.
Symptoms: Red, inflamed, running eyes. Sometimes eye-
lids stick together and the discharge often contains pus if condi-
lion is neglected.
Treatment: Wash eyes daily with solution of warm boric
acid (two teaspoonsful boric acid to one pint water). Half
strength mercurochrome may be used in animals' eyes, using
swab of sterilized material, with either boric acid solution or
half strength mercurochrome. Application of vaseline will help
keep eyelids from sticking together.
HOCKS: SORE: Some claim it is brought on by impurity
and overheating of the blood, chiefly by improper feeding. Others
say it is faulty construction of hutches, close confinement, un-
sanitary hutches, etc. Regardless of its cause, if neglected,
abscesses and open sores occur. Pus-forming bacteria enter,
causing blood poison and paralysis or death follows.
Symptoms: The rabbit will rock on its feet as though it
cannot get them placed in a comfortable position. Upon exam-
ination, if sore hocks are present, inflamed bare spots, fur pads
gone, either sores or abscesses will be noticed. On hind feet the
infection may be on the bottom or side of foot; sometimes it
appears on the under side of the front feet. If infection is of
long standing, the animal will be in a run-down condition.
Treatment: Clean the soles of the feet with warm water
and soap suds: clip fur just around the sore; next, wash with
a good asepticizing solution. If abscesses have formed, lan-re
and clean out pus. Wash thoroughly with peroxide of hydrogen.
Next, apply a good healing ointment-either carbolated vaseline,
zinc oxide ointment, or lodex is good. Place bed of straw in
hutch, or if possible put rabbit on the ground. Keep rabbit's
eliminating organs active by use of a teaspoonful of epsom salts
in drinking water. If urine appears thick also, add twenty grains
of acetate of potassium to drinking water. The amounts of epsom
salts and acetate of potassium should be used in each two ounces
of water placed before the rabbit. It is also essential to feed spar-
ingly a well balanced ration easily digested and quickly nutritious.












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New Zealand White Youngster.


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


SCOURS: Sudden change in weather, incorrect feeding,
musty hay or feed. General weakness of animal. If an autopsy
is performed on animal believed to have died from an attack of
scours (diarrhea), it will show stomach filled with undigested
feed and the intestines nearly empty, with the exception of a
thin, offensive smelling, greenish liquid. Care should be taken
especially during summer months to prevent scours.
Symptoms: Loose, watery, foul-smelling evacuations, which
soil the fur, also leaving the rabbit in a very weak condition.
The odor from the evacuations from an animal with scours is
noticeable immediately upon entering the rabbitry.
Treatment: Put animal in a clean, dry hutch, with a deep
straw bedding. Feed boiled rice in milk. A few drops of gum
catechu in drinking water, enough to color water a cherry color,
and continue from ten days to two weeks. The use of liquid
sulfa in drinking water during summer months will often pre-
vent scours.
SLOBBERS: Most authorities claim this excessive drooling
from the mouth, wetting fur of lower jaw and chest to be a form
of indigestion. Young rabbits seem to be attacked more so than
adult rabbits. It is caused in young stock by putting them on
hard feed and too much green feed at too early an age. These
same symptoms could indicate the presence of coccidiosis.
Symptoms: Excessive flow of saliva from the mouth of
animal, wetting fur of under jaw and chest.




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