Full Arch?

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by Jennifer L., Apr 12, 2005.

  1. Jennifer L.

    Jennifer L. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Pat described several rabbit breeds as being high arch rabbits in the thread on what kind of rabbit someone was given. If I understand what high arch looks like, it's kind of a classic "wild rabbit" look. Am I right? Why are these rabbits not so good for meat? I'm hoping to get some Rhinelanders towards the end of this month, and on the web I've seen them described as meat rabbits. Are they meat rabbits the way a Barred Rock is a meat chicken? Ok, but not wonderful?

    Thanks.

    Jennifer
     
  2. Xandras_Zoo

    Xandras_Zoo Well-Known Member

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    It's what a hare looks like. Very arched back, long front legs, arched stomach. These rabbits tend not to be as meaty.
     

  3. rabbitgal

    rabbitgal Ex-homesteader

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    Full arch breeds are bred to be slim and refined (read "pretty") and are bony on comparison to commercial type breeds like New Zealands, Satins, Rex, Palominos, etc. If they were chickens, they'd probably be Leghorns. :)
    If you really like Rhinelanders, there's no reason not to raise them, but be warned they are going to be skinny and not nearly as efficient as a breed specifically bred for meat. You'll be putting a lot more feed into them to get a pound of meat. A professional meat rabbit grower can't afford to raise a breed like that.
     
  4. Pat Lamar

    Pat Lamar Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Not only that, but I honestly don't know of any processors who would accept them, either! A "professional" meat rabbit grower would be foolish, indeed, to try to raise what the processor doesn't want... unless the grower has a different market for them, like selling show stock.

    Now, there was a time when Checkered Giants (full arch), Flemish Giants (semi-arch), and the Heavy-Weight Belgian Hare (more of a semi-arch) were accepted as meat breeds, but that was waaaay back early in the first half of the last century! Since then, more emphasis has been put onto "quality" meat and the science of meat marketing has become more perfected to meet those standards. Back then, growers were able to sell directly to the retail stores, too, and there was no consumer protection with store-bought meats. So, as you can see, the meat industry has progressed considerably through the years.

    Pat Lamar
    President
    Professional Rabbit Meat Association
    http://www.prma.org/
    Chairperson, 2005 ARBA Commercial Department Committee
     
  5. Jennifer L.

    Jennifer L. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    OK, I got that. Darn it, they *are* pretty! :)

    So if you cross breed these kinds of rabbits with a rabbit that's more of today's meat type, how many generations would it take to make an acceptable meat rabbit?

    I am just starting in with rabbits. I had a doe given to me last year that is half Angora of some type, and half English Spot, but she looks and feels pretty chunky along the loin to me. I've been casually trying to find a buck to start in with but haven't found anything until these Rhinelanders turned up. If it looks like something I want to really get into I'd go out and get the meat type breeds for the market, but I want to dip my toe in the rabbit water first.

    Thanks!

    Jennifer
     
  6. rabbitgal

    rabbitgal Ex-homesteader

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    If it's the color you like, standard Rex (a breed with the same general meat body type as New Zealands and super soft plush-like or "velveteen" fur) come in a variety called tri-color. Sorta looks like a Rhinelander in coloration. There's a photo of one right on the opening page of the ARBA website in the top right hand corner. www.arba.net
     
  7. Jennifer L.

    Jennifer L. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thanks, Rabbitgal, I did see that rabbit and they do look something alike. I will be going to a rabbit show at the end of the month and will look into them more. I enjoy playing with genetics, and want something more than basic white if I can get it. There is one person in my county that I know sells meat rabbits, and his processor takes coloured rabbits as well, I think, so it's something that might work for me. Thanks for taking the time!

    Jennifer
     
  8. Pat Lamar

    Pat Lamar Well-Known Member Supporter

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    A word of caution, here.... if you DO decide to go with the tri-colored Rex breed, you might want to check with that processor, first! Very few processors will accept Rex rabbits, regardless if they are white or colored. Most processors will pay less for colored rabbits, too.

    Pat Lamar
    President
    Professional Rabbit Meat Association
    http://www.prma.org/
    Chairperson, 2005 ARBA Commercial Department Committee