Description of the California rabbit breed

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The California rabbit is a favorite of many livestock breeders. This breed first appeared in California. Today the pet has become popular all over the world, including in Russia. Even those who have never dealt with eared rabbits can take care of the breed of California rabbits, because they are very unpretentious and do not require the creation of special conditions for life. The farmer, if desired, can maintain and breed them even in an apartment at home. Rabbit breeding is a successful and profitable business.

California rabbit

California rabbit

Rabbit Californian meat breed is distinguished by high productivity and quick acclimatization to living conditions. But mostly the eared ones are so popular, thanks to the characteristics of the meat, which allowed them to take 2nd place among the meat breeds. Breeding from several different breeds endowed the California rabbits with a successful combination: fur and color, like that of the Himalayan, the size of New Zealand and dietary Chinchilla meat.

In order for Californian rabbits to grow quickly, without diseases and give a good offspring, you need to know some of the nuances of the care process, a description of the breed.


The description of a breed such as the California rabbit says that the color is characterized by a white, thick coat with dark brown ears and a tail. The skin is soft and silky, it looks very beautiful. Rarely, rabbits of the California breed are lilac blue and chocolate.

The constitution of the body corresponds to meat breeds: compact, wide, cylindrical in shape, with a short neck and a small head. The main meat zone is located in the lumbosacral region. The musculature of these rabbits is highly developed, but there is no dewlap. Other visual differences include short legs, red eyes, and a humped nose. Newborn rabbits are born completely white, which is associated with the presence of a tyrosinase coloring segment.

Often California or New Zealand rabbits are bred as decorative rabbits, especially for exhibitions, and there are criteria that the owners of the animals must consider.

Culling is inevitable if rabbits have at least one of the following characteristics:

  • poor-quality fur (dull, sparse, without a healthy shine);
  • extra dark spots;
  • too long (more than 13.5 cm) and hanging ears;
  • a spot on the nose that is outside the normal range;
  • different eye color;
  • non-observance of weight parameters (an individual should weigh at least 3.5 kg and more than 5.5 kg).

If rabbits are raised for meat, then these disadvantages do not affect performance in any way and are purely aesthetic. You can cross this breed for meat with other meat giants. For example, with a White Giant rabbit or with a pet with a gray shade of fur for a beautiful skin color. Such varieties have a lot of meat.

If the California breed of rabbits is used for decorative content, it must be borne in mind that pets love to chew on everything, so you will have to take care of closing access to valuable things. With the organization of favorable conditions, rabbits live on average 7-10 years.

Manufacturing characteristics

Given the meat orientation of the rabbits, they can be compared with the New Zealand breed. When breeding, it is important to know the features of increasing the mass of the animal in order to calculate the possible profit and timely adjust the development of rabbits. Newborn animals are born with a weight of 45-50 g and are rapidly gaining it: already in six months, with the correct selection of the diet, they reach a weight of 4-4.3 kg. For comparison: at the age of 10 months, rabbits weigh 4.7-5 kg.

Californian meat rabbits yield 60% of their live weight in finished products, of which 80-85% is meat, and the rest is bone and fat. The average weight of males varies between 4.5-5 kg, and that of females - 4.7-5.2 kg.

Another plus of these rabbits is their fertility. Breeding California rabbits is not difficult. For one okrol, the female brings 7-8 rabbits, sometimes more. Females tolerate okrol well, feed young animals quickly, since they have a well-developed maternal instinct. Although this figure is average, sometimes a female gives birth to 11-15 individuals at a time.

In just a year, a healthy rabbit breeds offspring of 35-40 individuals. An additional advantage of keeping these rabbits is the quality of the fur. It is believed that the quality of the Californian fur is very good and suitable for use in the fur direction, which significantly expands the opportunities for earning. Silver fur looks quite rich on products.

Conditions of detention

Keeping California rabbits at home is minimized. For quick breeding, rabbits are kept in a cage. Some breeders keep New Zealand and California breeds together when there is no fighting. At the same time, the California breed allows you to use cells 1.5 times less than, for example, you need for representatives of the Gray Giants. To create full-fledged conditions, a dwelling with parameters 120 x 60 x 60 cm is suitable. Good adaptive abilities of animals help them to endure the cold. When placing the rabbits, you need to pay attention to their age: it is best that it is approximately the same for everyone, which will simplify basic care.

It is not necessary to buy special cages to keep animals; you can make them yourself with a small cost of resources. To do this, you need wooden beams with dimensions of 5 x 5 cm for the frame. A floor net is fixed in the feeding area. Special attention should be paid to the organization of the mother liquor and the feed bunker: they should be as comfortable as possible for constant access. The floor under the mother liquor is covered with wood so that it is solid and securely fixed. When designing the roof, the location of the rabbitry must be considered. If it will be outdoors, it is better to make it out of waterproof materials and on a slope so that precipitation does not immediately accumulate.

Raising rabbits in cages and pits

When choosing a place to install a cage, it must be borne in mind that this breed does not like dampness, drafts and direct sunlight should be avoided. Breeding females are best kept indoors with good ventilation.

California rabbits can also be kept in special pits: these conditions are more natural and suitable for industrial rearing. To equip a rabbit pit, first you need to dig it with an approximate size of 2 × 2 × 1 m.

After that, the walls are strengthened (best of all using slate) and the floor is laid from mesh or boards. The pit itself should be covered with a roof and with a fence installed around it.The advantage of using the above method is that the breeder has less work to do, because the rabbits independently dig their own holes, mate, and raise offspring. It remains to provide systematic feeding and water, as well as selection. For this, a male is caught from the hole, whose generation has already reached puberty.

Rabbit care

Basic care of rabbits for months must necessarily include a set of measures to avoid the development of diseases. For this, a veterinarian is involved. It is better that he be permanent, which allows him to regularly examine animals and, at the slightest changes in the habitual conduct, diagnose diseases at an early stage. The specialist has a table or diary where he writes down what complaints or readings were this year for each individual.

You will have to independently inspect the woolen cover, ears, eyes every day. If redness and irritation are detected, you should immediately seek help from a doctor. Do not forget about vaccinations with special drugs that can be purchased at veterinary pharmacies. The first of them is done at the age of 28 days from myxomatosis, at 45 - from viral hemorrhagic disease. Re-vaccination is done after 3 months, then every six months.


To ensure good growth and to avoid disease, you need to carefully approach the selection of the diet, as Californian rabbits need a balanced diet. It is necessary to take into account the frequency of feeding, California rabbits are very demanding in this regard - after jigging from the rabbit, they need to be fed 5 times a day, followed by a decrease in frequency to 3 times. It is very important for rabbits to provide constant access to water, while it should always be clean and fresh, and in the winter season - warm. For commercial cultivation, accelerated growth is essential, which can be stimulated by protein-rich feeds.

Usually, the use of concentrates and juicy feed is combined, so the diet should consist of corn, bran, peas, barley, oats, carrots, cabbage, pumpkin. You can also use meat or fish meal, various dairy products. In summer, it is advisable to additionally introduce vegetable feed: clover, burdock, dandelion, plantain are well suited. Feeding time should also be taken into account, since there are seasonal differences: in winter, feeding begins at 8 am, and even earlier in summer at 6 am.


Females of California rabbits are distinguished by a well-developed maternal instinct, therefore, they look after their offspring especially carefully, which simplifies breeding. Representatives of the breed reach sexual maturity as early as 5 months of age and from this time they begin to mate. The peculiarities of reproduction of this species at home are that in one year you can get a change of two generations and about 35-40 new individuals from one female.

The rabbit's gestation period, under favorable conditions, lasts about 28-35 days. In the last week, the female shows aggression; it is best to plant her in a separate cage during this period. The first round can be long and painful for the female herself, the second and third will go faster. The farmer at the first birth should carefully monitor the female, she may need the help of a veterinarian.

For their nests, the rabbits pull the hair out of the abdomen and carry it to a suitable place. After babies are born, they provide a calm environment for the first week to minimize stress. If the females at about the same time brought offspring in disproportionate quantities (for example, one - 4, and the second - 6), then the babies can be moved for a uniform feeding load: the rabbits come out of them. In industrial cultivation, one of the main conditions for the rapid growth of rabbits is high-quality feeding of newborns, especially in winter.

The period of milk feeding of this type of animals lasts up to 3 months. After this time, the transition to a diet with high-calorie foods begins. Good weight gain is provided by special feed, bone meal, and grain.

Drinking should be available at all times and to the maximum extent. Nutritional restrictions apply only to individuals that are planned to be used in the future for subsequent coverings. Obese rabbits are not suitable for reproduction. To select the best individuals among the brood, they use a little secret: rabbits with a smoky bloom are considered special, and not only with pigment spots. It is these rabbits that are best used for further reproduction.

Buying a California rabbit

When buying, one should try to avoid intermediaries, since this makes it impossible to really determine the condition and predict the further development of animals. The first thing that will tell you about the quality of the purchase is the conditions of detention. The way the breeding was carried out before this leaves a mark on the future offspring. If the owner keeps the rabbits' place of residence clean, the risk of acquiring sickly individuals is minimized. The behavior of the rabbit should be observed: healthy animals are always active and curious.

It is necessary to carry out a visual inspection: in no case should there be discharge and redness. If any are found, it is advisable to choose a different rabbit. It is necessary to carefully review the basic characteristics of California rabbits in order to know how and with whom it is better to breed, in order to independently identify discrepancies and buy representatives of the declared breed.

Before buying a breed, you should study in detail the features, description, read reviews, see photos or videos about rabbits. You can go to the forums of livestock breeders and find out everything about the variety of California rabbits from professionals: the standard, how and where it is better to breed and keep an animal, in what conditions to cross.

How much do California rabbits cost? The price and value of the breed of white California rabbits, taking into account weight and age, by month in different regions and countries will be different. In ads with hands there are offers from 500 rubles. for one individual. In this case, buying from a stranger is dangerous, there is a great risk of getting caught by scammers. The price for individuals of Californians at breeding plants starts from 4000 thousand rubles. per individual, plus about 2000 thousand rubles. for delivery if the plant is located in another region.

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