MINK OF THE RABBIT FAMILY
Havanas are known as the "Mink of the Rabbit Family" because of their wonderful,
lustrous coats. Once you have seen a deep, dark chocolate Havana coat, there
is no comparison. Think of a chocolate Havana in relation to chocolate. The
Remember, Havanas are known for their rich color - in all varieties. In judging,
Havana give a lot of points to color (25) and fur (20) so these are important
characteristics to look for when choosing an animal. Remember, the darker and
richer the color, the better.
Speaking of fur, it is an important consideration when you are choosing which
rabbits to take to the show. Almost half of the show points are based on color
and fur, so it is hard to be competitive when the rabbits are not wearing their best
fur coats. Have you heard the judges' use the term "double-coated"? This refers
to the rabbit breaking in a new layer of fur coming in. This happens just before the
molting stage and those wonderful molt lines. Think of tan lines when you have
been out in the sun. (material courtesy of jewelsrabbitry.com)
~Starting with quality stock- one of the most important things is to start out
with great foundation stock. It’s worth the money to start out right. Work on building
your own “blood lines”. Try to work with quality does and 1 or 2 really nice herd bucks.
Line breeding will give you more consistency. Once you get your herd built up, learn your lines.
~Breeding –It’s important to keep your does producing. Rabbits are meant to breed year round and good quality does will do excellent in most circumstances. Keep does that milk litters well. Keep rabbits with correct body type and fur structure. Work to improve minor faults through breeding in your herd.
~Culling- Cull early for basic dq’s and faults, this gives the does more milk to feed the rest of the litter. Cull again for really bad body faults around 6 weeks. If you have to think whether to keep a rabbit or not, it’s not worth keeping.
~Care- By far the most important thing is care of the rabbits. They always need to have fresh water. Daily feeding of the proper amount of feed for the breed. Ventilation is a key factor to a healthy herd. During summer, have barn fans to keep the air moving. Open doors all the way to allow outside air in. Make sure to keep your barn cleaned weekly.
Deworming- A major factor for conditioning is deworming. Spring and fall is a good time to do it. The safest thing to use is deworming paste. You just put a pea size amount in the rabbits mouth.