One of the first decisions to make before going into rabbitery is the breed to farm. Many Farmers have spent alot of time and money experimenting with different breeds of Rabbit to discover the one with the highest meat yield in the shortest time possible.
The best breed of Rabbit to farm in Nigeria in my opinion is the Newzealand breed- and not the Hyla breed. There is a falsehood associated with the Hyla breed of rabbit and I will be explaining why.
The origin of the Hyla Rabbit
In an attempt to bring forth a new breed of rabbits with a better meat-to-bone ratio and a better feed conversion, a company named Eurolap (which is no longer in existence) bred Newzealand white rabbits and Californian rabbits through genetic selection for years until they were able to get a- Grand parents stock (GPS).
The male of this (GPS) has characteristics like that of the Californian rabbit- (A white Rabbit, Red eyes, and black ears)- (GPA & GPB) while the female (GPS) on the other hand, has characteristics like that of the Newzealand white rabbit- (completely white, and pink eyes)- (GPC & GPD)
Now, mating the male and female (GPS) – (GPA “the male”, & GPD “the female”), produces offsprings called “Hyla Max”. Now here is where it should concern you; only the male from this litter “Parent Stock” (PS) was sold to Farmers by Eurolap.
On the other hand, the female line is gotten by mating the male (GPB) & famale (GPD) to produce offsprings called “Hyla NG”. Only the females from this litter were sold to Farmers by Eurolap. The (NG) does not mean Nigeria in any way.
Note that; Eurolap only sold selected Parent Stock (PS) Hyla Max and Hyla NG- and not the grand parent stock (GPS). These two are then mated to produce offsprings known as (Final Product). The kits/offsprings from these Parent Stock look like The Californian Rabbit or The Newzealand White Rabbit. These rabbits- (The Final Products) are not to be mated further; They are to be slaughtered for their meat. They weigh about 3 – 3.5kg in 2 – 2½ months and a maximum weight of 5 – 5.5kg in 4½ months at maturity. They are known for having black markings on their ears.
The reason why farming the Hyla Rabbit is not advisable is because; the company Eurolap that produced them are not functional anymore. They went out of business in 2017 and since then, have not sold the “Hyla PS” to anyone. The only similar company that is still Into this business is a Russian company; however, they name their “Final Product” something else.
If you have bought the Hyla rabbit from Nigeria, you certainly did not buy the Hyla (PS). This is because since 2017 that Eurolap stopped selling the Parent Stock, the only Hyla rabbits available in Nigeria will have to be further generations from the (Final Product). Take note: Offsprings from the (Final Product) don’t tip the scale at anything near 3½kg in their lifetime.
Also, the problem of “inbreeding” compounds the disadvantaged position of the Hyla breed of Rabbit. They don’t have the markings on their ears as the Hyla (PS); making them easy to identify.
There are claims that the Newzealand Rabbit has the potential of tipping the scale at 5 – 5.5kg in 4 – 4.5 months, when bred with the right diet