What's up with Flemish Giant Rabbits?

Nao57

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So I wanted to ask about this breed.

The reason isn't so much that I want them or don't want them, but I found it curious that out of the bigger breeds used for meat, I would never see anyone talk about them. Instead they'd only talk about NZ, Californians, and sometimes Silver Fox. I wondered why nobody ever mentioned this breed?

Thanks for the fun discussion.
 

Bunnylady

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With giant breeds like the Flemish, you get a bigger frame, so more waste and less meat from the carcass. The more moderate sized commercial breeds have a highest dress-out ratios. That said, I know of at least one commercial breed (the Altex) that was developed using Flemish in the original crosses, and which can wind up easily 15 -18 pounds at maturity.
 

Nao57

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With giant breeds like the Flemish, you get a bigger frame, so more waste and less meat from the carcass. The more moderate sized commercial breeds have a highest dress-out ratios. That said, I know of at least one commercial breed (the Altex) that was developed using Flemish in the original crosses, and which can wind up easily 15 -18 pounds at maturity.
That's very interesting that the poundage could get that high.

Thank you for telling me about this.

Is the weight gain also slower for them?
 

Bunnylady

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The issue isn't weight gain so much, it's what the weight is composed of. The goal is to breed rabbits that get to slaughter weight as quickly as possible (10 weeks), with more meat/less bone. At first, the creators of the Altex only sold bucks to commercial breeders that bred them to their Cali and NZ does and sent all of the offspring to slaughterhouses (what is known as a terminal cross). The idea was to take advantage of "hybrid vigor" in that initial cross. The Altex was designed as a strictly meat animal that could stand the Southern heat (the Altex gets its name from Alabama and Texas, the locations of the two universities where it was developed). These days, you can find "pure" Altex for sale in some places, but they may have a bit more of the Cali blood than was originally intended, and maybe a bit of NZW, too. Altex are big rabbits, but the don't have the "rawboned" look of a pure Flemish, and the dress-out ratios are supposed to be better.
 

Nao57

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The issue isn't weight gain so much, it's what the weight is composed of. The goal is to breed rabbits that get to slaughter weight as quickly as possible (10 weeks), with more meat/less bone. At first, the creators of the Altex only sold bucks to commercial breeders that bred them to their Cali and NZ does and sent all of the offspring to slaughterhouses (what is known as a terminal cross). The idea was to take advantage of "hybrid vigor" in that initial cross. The Altex was designed as a strictly meat animal that could stand the Southern heat (the Altex gets its name from Alabama and Texas, the locations of the two universities where it was developed). These days, you can find "pure" Altex for sale in some places, but they may have a bit more of the Cali blood than was originally intended, and maybe a bit of NZW, too. Altex are big rabbits, but the don't have the "rawboned" look of a pure Flemish, and the dress-out ratios are supposed to be better.
Thank you for sharing your knowledge. This is interesting.
 

messybun

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Because they start grow frame before they grow meat. And their charming personality can be too endearing lol.
 

Nao57

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Because they start grow frame before they grow meat. And their charming personality can be too endearing lol.
lol. Yeah the whole charming and loveable aspect makes it very hard. In our house we have to have the designated butcher not be the person taking care of them. It just doesn't work.
 
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