If you have only ever looked at rabbits as pets, then it is likely that you will never have seen an Altex rabbit before. This is because this is a breed of rabbit that was developed just for the rabbit meat industry.
In fact, it is one of the most popular meat rabbit breeds around. If you have eaten a rabbit, then there is a strong chance that it was an Altex rabbit. Let’s take a little look at this breed, shall we?
The Origins of the Altex Rabbit
While most rabbit breeds are developed by actual breeders, the Altex Rabbit wasn’t. The intention of this rabbit was always to create something that could be used by the commercial meat industry.
This means that the Altex bunny was developed in a slightly different way. This rabbit was bred in a lab in the United States.
Universities in Alabama and Texas (hence the name Altex). Several breeds went into the creation of the Altex Rabbit:
- Californian Giant
- New Zealand White
- Flemish Giant
- Champagne d’Argent
Basically, the lab that developed this breed wanted to do their best to ensure that they created the ultimate meat rabbit.
This means that a ton of breeds known for their meat production and their ease of looking after were used in the creation of the Altex breed.
The Look of the Altex Rabbit
The Altex Rabbit is a hefty breed. It can weigh up to a whopping 13lbs!
It will always have a white coat. This means that it will have rabbit albinoism, which means that the eyes of the rabbit are going to be of red color. The large ears will always be black.
As a Show Rabbit
This isn’t something that we would normally talk about if there was absolutely no chance of the rabbit being entered into shows. However, we do have to talk about rabbit shows when they related to the Altext Rabbit. Why? Let us explain.
This is not actually an official breed of rabbit. It is not recognized by the American Rabbit Association. Actually, it has been recognized by no major rabbit breeding organization.
It is never going to be recognized by any of these breeding organizations. This means that it will never be allowed to appear at officially sanctioned rabbit shows. This means that the Altex bunny is one of only a few breeds that cannot be used as a show rabbit.
We cannot stress this enough. This really is a meat rabbit only.
The Use of the Altex Rabbit
This rabbit breed has mainly been developed for meat production. This means that almost every single Altex Rabbit is destined for the dinner table. Most commercial rabbit farms will only deal with the Altex rabbit.
It is also a great option if you are looking to homestead and want a brilliant rabbit to raise on your farm.
Outside of this, the Altex will be used for fur production. While it does have a short coat, it still produces quality fur. Of course, this is going to be more of a side benefit to the rabbit. Since you are slaughtering it, you have easy access to the fur. If this wasn’t a meat rabbit, we can’t imagine that their fur would be that desirable.
A small number of Altex Rabbits will also be bred as pets. Although, we will talk more about this in a short while.
Breeding the Altex Rabbit
A single Altex Rabbit doe will have two litters of bunnies each year. These can have up to 8 bunnies in the litter. How you breed the Altex Rabbit will be dependent on what you are raising it for.
If you are looking to produce a meat rabbit, then you will want to cross the Altex bunny with another breed of rabbit. It is highly recommended that this would the New Zealand White because the rabbits will be ready for slaughter much quicker.
The pure Altex is never really slaughtered for meat production. It will always be the cross-bred bunnies that it produces.
Of course, if you want to create a breeding stock, then you can just breed the Altex rabbits together. This can be a little bit tougher to do, but it isn’t impossible. However, try to keep that breeding stock to the minimum. The bulk of the rabbits you produce should be crossbred.
Once again, because this is a rabbit breed that was developed for commercial purposes, it is a very easy rabbit to breed. There are no fertility issues with the rabbit. That trait was bred out a long time ago.
Can you Raise the Altex Rabbit as a Pet?
Now, you may think that because it is a meat breed that it is going to grow quickly and thus die earlier. This isn’t really the case with rabbits. The Altex rabbit is perfectly fine as a pet.
Although, you will want to ensure that it is a pure Altex bunny. So, none of those crossbreeds will actually be slaughtered for meat and fur.
Because the Altex Rabbit was developed to be raised commercially, it is a calm rabbit that doesn’t take that much in the way of looking after. In fact, the friendly nature of this breed means that it is often highly recommended to those that are new to the world of rabbits.
The Altex rabbit can make a brilliant family pet.
It is important to remember that because the Altex does have albinoism, they will need to have a semi-dark area that they can relax. Their eyes will also not do all that well in the face of bright, shiny lights.
Sure, this breed isn’t technically regarded as its own rabbit breed. However, it is still a very important rabbit to know about, particularly if you are homesteading.
If you want a quality meat rabbit, then you are going to get nothing better than the Altex rabbit. There is a reason why nearly every commercial meat farm features this breed.