MINK OF THE RABBIT FAMILY
Do you know in which order the Havana varieties
were accepted?
Look at the logo for a clue!


Listed below:
Black, Blue, Broken (Chocolate), and Chocolate
Havana 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
great chocolate color if you think the coat looks black--but it is really that great
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)
MINK OF THE RABBIT FAMILY
the order varieties were accepted:

Chocolate
Blue
Black
Broken
If you would like to learn a little about the
difference between luster and sheen, click on
the link and follow the CalState Judges
Conference Presentation by Julie Spier and
Dera Oldofredi., with supporting information
from Amanda Wampner.




By-Amanda Wampner

~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.

"Check if your rabbit is satinized by looking at the
belly area and along the hindlegs. This area is the
easiest place to see satinized fur..."
The most important factors of conditioning
-        Water
-        Genetics
-        Feed
-        Caging
-        Environmental
-        Breeds


PROTEIN in Feed
Protein is made up of amino acids which form building blocks for muscle, blood and fur. Protein is very important in all stages of growth. Factors
such as litter size, weight gain and coat appearance are directly affected by the quality of protein consumed. A higher protein ration, such as 18% or
16%, is recommended when more litters per year are desired or when rabbits are being conditioned for show.

The bacteria in the rabbit’s cecum produce proteins which are of high nutritional value to the rabbit. In fact, about 25 percent of the adult rabbit’s
daily protein intake comes as a result of this process. Although the rabbit makes very efficient use of protein sources it receives, the protein must be
of high quality to start with. This means that it must provide the essential amino acids for the rabbit. Having these essential amino acids in the diet
assures that young, growing rabbits and high-producing does will receive proper nutrient fortification for rapid growth, development and lactation.

A rabbit will eat approximately 3 to 4 percent of its body weight daily. A well-formulated and well-manufactured pellet is the foundation for any
good rabbit nutrition program. The pelleting process enables the manufacturer to combine many ingredients into one package which provides the
most complete nutrition possible. Included is a carefully formulated vitamin and mineral supplement that completes the nutritional package. Rabbits
do not have a need for any other source of food but a complete pellet. Some choose to use supplements and additives. It is all up to the breeder.  
Some breeders choose to feed hay on a regular basis for a little extra additive and to change up the diet a little for the rabbits. Remember that water is
the absolute most important part of any animals diet and is the major factor for conditioning and growth.

Reading a feed tag

This information should be on your feed tag.
-Feed name
-Company name and info for contacting
-net weight
-purpose of the feed
-directions for feeding
-guaranteed analysis
-ingredient listing


An example—
Guaranteed Analysis
Crude Protein..............................................Min. 16.0%
Crude Fat....................................... ............Min. 3.0%
Crude Fiber................. Min. 17.5%.............. Max. 21.0%
Calcium (Ca)............... Min. 0.7% ................Max. 1.2%
Phosphorus (P)........................................... Min. 0.4%
Salt (NaCl).................. Min. 0.6%................ Max. 1.1%
Vitamin A....................................................Min. 2,200 IU per Pound
Ingredients
Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, Dehulled Soybean Meal, Wheat Middlings, Soybean Hulls, Cane Molasses, Vegetable Oil, Lactobacillus acidophilus
Fermentation Product Dehydrated, Lactobacillus casei Fermentation Product Dehydrated, Bifidobacterium thermophilum Fermentation Product
Dehydrated, Enterococcus faecium Fermentation Product Dehydrated, Yucca Schidigera Extract, DL Methionine, Calcium Carbonate, Salt, Zinc
Oxide, Vitamin E Supplement, Zinc Polysaccharide Complex, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Ferrous Sulfate, Manganese Polysaccharide
Complex, Copper Polysaccharide Complex, Sodium Selenite, Iron Polysaccharide Complex, Vitamin A Supplement, Niacin Supplement, Vitamin
B12 Supplement, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement,
Magnesium Polysaccharide Complex, Calcium Iodate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Cobalt Carbonate, Folic Acid, Choline
Chloride.

Thank you to breeder Amanda Wampner for sharing these two articles and providing a grand start for any breeder.
Happy Havana Have Luster!

The rabbits were named after fine cigars due to the rich chocolate
color but they do not hail from Havana.  They showed up in 1898 in a
litter of Dutch (can you believe it?) in the Netherlands!  In 1916 the
chocolate variety was introduced in the United States and accepted
by ARBA.  Blue Havana variety was accepted next in 1965 followed
by the Black variety in 1980. Broken Havana was officially accepted
in 2008.