Table of Contents

Group Title: Florida. Dept. of Agriculture. Bulletin new series no. 6
Title: Domestic rabbit raising in Florida
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00102928/00001
 Material Information
Title: Domestic rabbit raising in Florida
Physical Description: 23 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Mueller, Otto B
Almond, J. F
Publisher: State of Florida, Dept. of Agriculture
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Fla.
Publication Date: 1958
Subject: Rabbits -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
General Note: 1928 ed. of bulletin no. 6 is by J.F. Almond.
General Note: Florida Department of Agriculture bulletin 6 (new series)
Statement of Responsibility: by Otto B. Mueller.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00102928
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 - 44536539

Table of Contents
    Table of Contents
        Page 3
        Page 4
        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
        Page 23
        Page 24
Full Text


Introduction 5

Fundamental Values 6

Rabbit Skin for Fur 6

Rabbits for Laboratory Purposes .. 8

Fertilizer 8

Hutches 9

Handling .--.10

Florida Is Ideal for Raising Rabbits 10

Marketing Rabbit Meat 10

Other Uses for Rabbits 10

Feeds and Feeding 11

Green Feeds 11

Feeding of Rabbits and Costs 13

Watering of Rabbits 13

Breeding- ... .. 13

Standard Breeds and Varieties of Rabbits 14

Failure of Doe to Breed ..-----.. 15

Records .-... ------ 15

W meaning ... . .. ..... 15

Selection of Breeds 15

Diseases ...- .....21

Cover: Rabbit raising in Florida is carried on a commercial scale for meat,
fur and show. Shown here are three white Angora does and some of the
ribbons they have won at various shows.


Here the author judges two New Zealand Red rabbits at one of the many
County Fairs and Rabbit Shows in Florida.


Domestic Rabbit Raising in Florida

The domeiistic rabbit illdustry, althoghll practically ill its in-
fhuen in Florida. is rapidly\ detve lopin into an enterprise which
is in substantial competition \vith tlhe othicr meat producing i n-
dustries in the Ll ited States. In hardly any other inlldstrv can a
person today own\ his own buisiiess ill s short a time as he can
with rabbits. Taking onlli a iniiiiium of equipment alnd much
less space tlill almost itm\ other form of livestock, tlhe domestic
m11eat rabbit ilndlstrN is ideal fol tle plersoll of limited mt(eals.
From the raisillng oI rabbits for shllw purposes, thel rabbit
industry is comil ilto its rightful place as meat ul)pon our tables
and uipo-i our markets for the consumption of the American people.
\ith the new\ devices and invenltions which have recently been
made, it is possible for one individual to care for five hundred
working does. \ith l annual profit of twelve (812.00) dollars
per doe, it is easx to see why the ilndustry is 'rx-owinl in leaps
and bounds.
The raisiingf l rabbits 1o ai commeIrcial scale should r(eall\ le
gi\vel serious tholl'-lt. The strides the rabbit industry has Imade
in Florida alone in tlhe last ten \cars \\arrant its ranid (tr.o\\th into
lle of the leadlill industries of tlie future'.
lThle breeders of rabbits have increased manyl fold in tie past
ten years, but the demand is far greater thaniL the supply. This
same condition '\ists il most markets (over the United States.
Mlany of the cities have established at central processing plant to
process ant) market this delicious meat. Eiglhty-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 umon theory. Study the pro-
gressive and successful rabbit raiser \\who bases his success upon
practical experience allt study his ways and manner of raising
his animals for profit.
Rabbits will help one start in the livestock field w ith a small
investment. They make a nice backyard hobbv which will pay
its own \wa and oftenc leads one into a full time business.
One ten-poindl doe will give four litters a year. averaging 6
to S young in a litter or 100 to 125 pounds of 8-weeks-old rabbits
onl foot per year.
No other meat animal will equal a rabbit in producing a pound
of meat at S weeks considering breeders of equal weight. Fryer


rabbits are weaned at 8 weeks of age and should weigh .1 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 pleas-
ure 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.
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 follow-
ing analysis of certain meats as follows:
Percent Percent Prnt Prcent Prccet 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 7:35
It can be readily seen that rabbit meat is a nutritious, tasty
and vear-round item of food, which can le eaten by both the
healthy and convalescent without fear of injury to the most deli-
cate 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 fur is used more extensively bv the trade than any other
kind. It is used in the manufacture of coats, gloves, wraps, 1:elt
hats, toys and trimmings for ladies' garments, etc. Even the tne
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
in either the natural color or dyed and processed in imitation of
higher priced furs. The quality and texture of the fir is the most


The Rabbit has a sturdy frame that is packed with fine-grained white meat
in the places where it counts. (Courtesy Small Stock Magazine.)
important consideration, and the caution exercised in removing
the skin, and the care it is given after being taken from the carcass
is important. Only a small percentage of the millions 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


Regardless of the size and color, all rabbit skins are used com-
mercially 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 increasing
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.
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, labora-
tories and hospitals in the vicinity, the type, age and size of the
animals desired.
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

An Outdoor Rabbitry


himself does not have use for the manure should have no diffii-
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
Sanitation-The most important item to consider in hutch con-
struction is sanitation. It must be borne in mind that the domes-
tic 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

I, 4

Type of Rabbit Hutches Suited for Warm Climate


after very practical northern or western types, then lose their rab-
bits, especially the young ones, due to drafts or ammonia gas
which eventually develops snuffles or coccidiosis, either of which
is contagious and practically incurable.
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; x 1"
hardware cloth. To protect your rabbits from the sun, try to pro-
vide some type of shade.
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 occa-
sionally-at least once a week.
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 ble 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.
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
among householders, meat markets, chain stores, clubs, hotels,
hospitals, restaurants and frozen food lockers.
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 pet year.


Illustrating the proper way to handle a large rabbit.
(Courtesy Small Stock Magazine)

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.
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

n"l; 14' 8" 4-7 ; 1Cleat ("x "3I
'ch .ide To Ih e13"
Fram4 of I-X2' 3

Leg 2-" Lg


F3 x 4
"'x 4 c _
mh RemableLoose board
i5P.M. st s upportd by7
c netting ~Floor frame S' ; 2 staples at
She:t each end
Loose floor

I' x I" Cleat

Construction Dctails of a Rabbit Hutch with Wire Floor. ICourtesy Bur. Biolog. Sur., U.S.D.A.)

DI )\M ,'I 1( H \ilI H1 M \ISl\(;

aiInonli the best. Th'lhc feeling, il the initural feeds takes a 'reat
deal o)f time when opcrattuilr at comluimercial raubbitriv tal inal\ Findl
l t t ht tthdi strai t ltk lii l d a it g l o ni erciail tl ed aboullt liqals
ti final] lin t 1ret ill.
\\lit1en rabbits t arli It ill. raised co(tit l il rcialll\ s cliIh I t'( ipl ntll
ias sell \watItert s al feede a r I illmportlalit for tlic sa\ il ii( f ltaior
andiitl t cliln i timei. It is iiilport lant tlat there is t frsh \\iiater lor
the rabbits at all tilm es iand there air s iVIeral \\iiatie s\ste'lii tliat
\\httin once installed tak i m cr tli \\atriliit car' t f the ralihiitr\.
Self-f(dtlcrs \\whenl uiscl alrtl usually Iiomin'lllladc ot t\)p to llift the
breeders alld are easily\ takenl care o. Ias loni as the\ lare dlail\
eliceked to assllre there is eeit as the rquire'eiinuits call for.
TIew cost (lt ftedtl is I'cst figurttl out froimlll '\lperiince. SNmlc
fliiurlre tlitt it takes altiit 15(1 l1bs. of tedl to take ctare' t tof i: e tl,
ili(d )lurl litters ot ei (' i h)iii on \I ar. W\ it theX c st ot iteedin'-
ita o!tl teellUld'l' l [tW t '(l ()Il\.. it ,5!2'. I)er Il).. it \\ill c'st about
2 i to rI)(Itlll e a poit ni o livMe rabbit lmeaLt t a S weeks s o(i i'e.
These fiill(res are obtainable when roodl. health\. Fast irowiFa
stock is iusl. Stock frmi pure breeds tlilat htave b leen bld to ait
stailln ard \\ ill prodinie' the nImost elia'Lt lor tilte low est cost pe.r pou) i l.
(ilare should we (\ il t(o iateriti i tlhe rabbits. IIresh w\\ater
eaclh tdi\ is illmpolrtiant. \lan\ IaI mevle rs iuse a tsl-water s\stemi.

( arIr ll li llin iald stl il \ itail. s liulicli ill 1n'eed inlit.
Al\ha\s take the doe to t libucks uliItch ianid d(lo noIt leat\e her
ill there (o\(er ai couple ol minutes. If slite accepts thll buck slh
\\ill d(o it ailt ()lonce. ia l i lo not l eit them alone. Thlic dl ,e inai\
hurt thle buck. It slie \\ill inotcet cept sr\ ice. tr\ puttiniij her back
(eer\ dla\ until slie accepts service. T"'lie bick \\ill fll backward\\ l
o()F tile doe w\hen service li;as h)eei comiplet'tl.
It is recmilinmelied to return the doe to the butick lor another
service ihn 4 to( 6 hoIirs. Breeders have f()u th' have l'\\ r
misses. hreedinli thle dlo hack ill 4 to 6 hours.
Thlie ch should le taken in thle uck's hutch about I ldays
IIter. 11 she is plre lnalit, slihe \\ill rill awail fromll thc buck and
filss about it.
Thlie 'istaltion period is 31 t\s: somile (doeI's Iit\ kiil le it
(la\ Ior t\\wo sooner )or maiVy go 5 dlt\avs over 31 dait\s.
A inest 1bi\ should be placed ill te ldoe's hutch aboutt 25 days
after slie has been bhlr. \n apple box makes ia iood nest I o(\.
11 at d e p lls h ir on tlie ITtlth to 2(0th ll ta\. that is called false
p)ric(litii(.\. W a\\ it 2 ait\ s and then reheh d iter.

Standard Mature
Brrrd Weight
Buck Doe

(Blue & White)
American Silver Fo\
(Black & Blue)
Angora Woolers
Belgian Heavyweight
Beveren, Blue
Beveren, White
Beveren, Black .
Beverenex, Black
Beverenex, Blue
Beverenex, White
Black Siberian Hare
Blue Vienna
Californians ... ..
Castorrex .
Champagne de Argent
Checker Giant
Chinchilla, American
Chinchilla Giant
Chinchilla, Ameri-
can Heavyweight
Chinchilla, Ameri-
can Standard
*Chinchillarex, Stand.
Dutch, Black, Blue,
Grey, Steel Grey,
Tortoise & A.O.C...
(spots any color)
Flemish Giants, Steel
Grey, Light Grey,
Black, White, Blue

Flemish Giant,
Sandy Grey

Flemish Giantrex
(all colors) .... .
I lavana, I heavyweight
I avana, Standard
I lavanarex, Heavywt.
Havanarex, Standard.
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

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

6 or over
6 or over
3 or over



6-7 /2

4 /2


13 or over

14 or over

11 or over
7 or over
7 or over
5 or over

10 or over

10 or over


3-3 /2

12 or over


Registration Weight Primary Utility
(for entering in shows) Value
Buck I Doe

I ()

ti or over
10-I I
7 or over
6 or over




4 a/

9 or over 10 or oveer
lOver 12 Over 13
I Urder 15 I Under 16

9-10 10-11

6 i'/2 6-8

3 io 51/2 3 to 5 /2

Not over 8 Not over 8
5-7 /2 5 -8


5 or over
81/2 or over
8 or over
8 or over
6 or over
6 or over
7 or over
7 or over
Not over 10
6 or over

15 or over 12 or over 13 or ovr N eat, show, fu
hatters pelt,

16 or over 12 or over 13 or ovcr Meat, show, ft
hatters pelt:

I1 or over 10 or over 10 or over eat and fur
7 or over 7 or over 7 or over Fur and show
6 Under 7 Under 7 Fur and show
7 or over 7 or over 7 or over Fur and show
6 4 /2-7 4 '/-7 Fur and show
3 /2 2-5 2-5 Show and fur
8 Not under 7 Not under 7 Show
6 or over 5 or over 5 or r over Fur and show

11 or over Not under 9 Not under 10 Show

11 or over Not under 9 Not under 10 Show

10-11 9-11 10-12 Meat, show, ft
hatters pelta
3-31/2 Not over 4 Not over 4 Show and fur
9 Not under 7 Not under 8 Fur and show
9 Not under 7 Not under 8 Fur and show

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

9 Not under 6 Not under 7 Show and fur
4-5 3-5 /2 3-5 V2 Show




6 Heavyweight and Giant Chinchillarvxes same as for normal-hair Chinchillas.


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
6 or over

Meat, fur. show

1i ur

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

Fur and meat

Fur and meat

Fur and show
Fur and show


For and show


\ith 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 vou can feel the voung at 14 days. Do not use your buck
over twice a week.

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 watch-
ing 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.

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 x our 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.
Keep record of bucks, as to their production records, and so on.
Select breeders only from parents with best production records.
Production record should cover growth, type, fur and general

Litters of rabbits should le weaned at S 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.

Of the ten or twelve types of rabbit breeds best suited for
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 Rabbits (Courtesy Faircloth's Rabbitry)

bit 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

Trio of New Zealand Red Juniors (Courtesy Faircloth's Rabbitry)


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
are a dark gray or black. The body is of medium length, well

Californian Rabbit

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 rab-
bit, 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.


Champagne De Argent (Courtesy Small Stock Magazine)

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 requires
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 requires 25% less housing
space for equally successful breeding than do the heavier rabbit
breeds. Added to the foregoing economies of effort and cost of
production, consider the following: The ANGORA consumes less


than two-thirds-an average of just 6Oc-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, breed-
ing 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 breed-
ing 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 epi-
cure. But, better vet, 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

Chinchilla Giant (Courtesy Small Stock Magazine)


wools-either natural or synthetic-but it is unequalled by any of
them barring none known to science! In lightness and durability
it is unsurpassed. But, in other qualities, it is not even approached.
Whereas practically all other wools, including the most popular
(that of the sheep) are intensely irritating, the wool of the AN-
GORA 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.

Two Junior White Angora Does

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
will be pleased to assist you. The national organization can be
reached by writing:


The American abl)bit Breeders Ass)ciation. Inc..
4323 \lurr\ Ave.,
Pittsblurghl 17, Penna.
Causes Symptoms and Treatments
Breeders are not bothered too much with diseases: true, we
still have nmuch to learn. The State University at Gainesville has
started experimental programs on rabbits. We hope in a year or
so the researchers max tell us a lot of things that we don't know
The following are causes and treatments worked out b\ vari-
ous breeders. (Contact your veterinarian for advice and treatment
on these and other diseases.)
ABSCESSES: 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 selling with a sharp instrument,
making a large enough opening to clean out pus pocket. Clean
out pus, using an antiseptic sxwal. Then apply peroxide of hydro-
gen, followed by bathing with a solution of a tablespoon of tincture
of iodine in a ipint of water. If woundss are detected before cvst
forms, use half strength peroxide of hydrogen and iodine solution
as a prevention.
BLOAT: Autopsy reveals none of the intestinal lesions pro-
duced bv coccidiosis. There is an excessive amount of gelatinous
mucus present in the intestines. It is believed b manny it may 1)e
ldue to certain vitamin deficiencies, less use of teeth and less flow
of digestive juices, dlue to nearly all ground feed in ration now'
Symptoms: Animals will not eat, appear drowsy, drink large
amounts of water, stay h umped up, grind teeth as if in pain, with
eyes squinted. Rabbits are either constipated or have severe diar-
lrhea, 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 or 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 in-
side ear. Be sure to allow none of the mixture to saturate 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 camphorated 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 vitamins
in the ration; poor ventilation in the rabbitrv.
Symptoms: Sneezing, watery discharge from nose, becoming
thicker and yellowish as the cold progresses. Fur on forelegs be-
comes soiled from wiping nose.
Treatment: Check rabbitrv for any of the above mentioned
causes. Keep the animal warm and comfortable, with dry bedding
of straw. A cold is accompanied by fever, so the first step should
be to check the fever. This can he done by putting tincture of
aconite in drinking water (10 drops to a gallon of water) and
continue for about three davs. Next, remove mucus in the nasal
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 euca-
lyptus oil to two parts olive oil can be administered the same wav
with good results.
EYES SORE: A difference will be noticed between slight
eve 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
Symptoms: Red, inflamed, running eyes. Sometimes e)elids
stick together and the discharge often contains pus if condition
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' eves, using swab of steri-
lized 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, unsanitary
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 can-
not get them placed in a comfortable position. Upon examination,
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, lance 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 sparingly a well bal-
anced ration easily digested and quickly nutritious.
SCOURS: Sudden change in weather, incorrect feeding, musty
hay or feed. General weakness of animal. If an autopsy is per-
formed 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 notice-
able 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 con-
tinue from ten days to two weeks. The use of liquid sulfa in drink-
ing water during summer months will often prevent scours.
SLOBBERS: Most authorities claim this excessive drooling
from the mouth, wetting fur or 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.

Date '

? r ,(a


University of Florida Home Page
© 2004 - 2010 University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries.
All rights reserved.

Acceptable Use, Copyright, and Disclaimer Statement
Last updated October 10, 2010 - - mvs