by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
TAS Country : September 9th 2010
Friday, September 10, 2010 Tasmanian Country 7 News bunny boom OPTIMISTIC: Penguin rabbit farmer Doug Horridge is getting organised. POPULAR: Rabbits destined for restaurants and butchers. The most important thing with them is to keep their diet consistent. Any sudden changes will cause problems.' also at farmers' markets. The rabbits are between 10-12 weeks of age at the time of processing. They generally dress out at about 58 per cent and have a carcase weight of between 1.1kg-1.2kg. Mr Horridge said on average does could produce about 50 kits or baby rabbits a year. The couple keep careful re- cords for each doe, detailing her mating times and kit numbers. Kits are also weighed at birth and again at weaning, to deter- mine the best performing does. Mr Horridge said does gener- ally only feed their kits once a day as their milk was extremely nutritious with high protein levels. He said the does' mothering abilities were also important to ensure a good number of kits survived. Bucks are bought in from special rabbit production com- pany Growtec on the mainland. Mr Horridge said they bred their own replacement does, however, which were a mix of New Zealand White and Califor- nian rabbit breeds. Generally a ratio of 10 does to one buck is needed for good levels of production. In large mainland rabbit op- erations artificial insemination is now being used to eliminate the need to keep large numbers of bucks. The does are mated about 11 days after they have their kits. Once their kits are weaned the does have about a week off before the next lot of kits are born. Mr Horridge said they kept a careful eye on the does' con- dition, and any who had lost weight after rearing a large number of kits were not mated, but given a short break before being bred again. The rabbits are removed from the does for weaning at about four weeks old when they are put onto a diet of specially formulated rabbit grower pel- lets which are brought in from a feed company in South Aust- ralia. The rabbits are also given lucerne hay regularly for some extra fibre and variety. ''The most important thing with them is to keep their diet consistent,'' Mr Horridge said. ''Any sudden changes will cause problems.'' The rabbits are housed in a hothouse tunnel-type structure which prevents them from be- coming too cold during winter. Mr Horridge said in summer, the sides of the hot house could be rolled up to allow for extra ventilation to prevent the rab- bits becoming overheated and stressed. Animal health problems with the rabbits are rare, but Mr Horridge said they had to be vaccinated for the calicivirus. For field day details, call Mr Horridge on 6437 5236 or log on to www.fria.com.au *For Terms & Conditions refer to www.onesteelcyclone.com.au Registered trademark of OneSteel Wire Pty Limited ABN 59 000 010 873. Ingall St, Mayfield NSW 2304. CYC0009/TC. To take advantage of this great offer, get your claim form at www.onesteelcyclone.com.au and return with your proof of purchase to: Cyclone Gate Promotion Offer, PO Box 586, Crows Nest, NSW 1585. BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND. GET CA$H BACK. Cyclone, the name you know for quality Australian gates, is offering you $10 cash back* on every gate you purchase from September 1st to October 31st 2010. That means if you buy 10 gates you get $100 cash back!
September 2nd 2010
September 16th 2010