- VERTICAL RABBIT FARM (meat production) -

General description.

Breeding rabbits is one of the most dynamic sectors of world agricultural economy today. The productive plants established and operated outside the living quarters (on greenfield) of cities and meet the national standards for the protection of animals kept for farming purposes. The production is done with intensive battery system with specialized animal material and rearing is 75-90 days. Improved breeding rabbits White New Zealand are raised which are purebred rabbits, free of incest and they are perfectly adapted to climatic conditions. This species reaches the fastest growth of 1.6 kg fresh meat in 75 days and 2 kg fresh meat in 90 days.

Farming systems.

A system of intensive rabbit farming includes the following sections:
Female rabbits enter reproductive age at 4.5 months when the minimum body weight is 3.6 kg. The corresponding age for males is 5 months. The proportion of females to males that must be maintained in a rearing is 10:1. The rabbits are placed in battery cages with ideal conditions of temperature and ventilation and they are monitored daily by the veterinary team.
Rabbit gestation lasts 30 to 31 days. The rabbits are placed in a special cage with stratification of the nest by one layer of sawdust and one layer of straw.
A female rabbit weighing 5.5 kg offers on average 4 deliveries a year and a total of 30 rabbits that once they are weaned weigh around 60 kg. This means the reproductive performance of a rabbit is 1,100% of its body weight.
Breastfeeding at rabbits lasts 4-5 weeks. Baby rabbits are nursing once a day, usually in the morning, for about five minutes. By third week and onwards they start to consume solid food (always dry food of good quality).
The rabbits are transferred and placed in fattening cages. Here, there are cage systems where their breeding is done. Battery cages consist of sections with 2 or 3 floors and 120 cm length and they have the following capacity:
* Cages of 2 floors with a capacity of 56 animals.
* Cages of 3 floors with a capacity of 84 animals.
The minimum clearance height between floors is 45 cm. These cages can be combined in series with a maximum length of about 10 meters. They are equipped with feeders, drinkers and a manure transport system with a belt beneath each floor. The collection of manure gets in a tank and then transported by a roller conveyor outside the building. Rabbits reach commercial size of 1,800 gr at about 90 days from birth.

Meat processing.

This section includes fully automated slaughter and meat processing facilities and produces products with the highest standards of the international food industry. The products produced are as follows:
* Fresh rabbit.
* Frozen rabbit.
* Smoked rabbit.
* Stuffed rabbit roll.
* Rabbit fillet.
* Rabbit souvlaki.
Rabbits are standardized and packaged in cardboard boxes together with white oblong trays. Each rabbit is packed in proper individual package which has a label with full details. As for their transfer to internal and external market bigger boxes are used with an average weight of 11 kg each, as well as Euro-pallets which have a capacity of 240-300 pieces. 

Premises and vertical farms.

Made of lightweight and high strength materials, with emphasis on usability, vertical rabbit farm structures are developed in floors giving the ability to public have a closer view of rabbit farming activities. They are designed so that the production sections to be in a compact architectural space placed in floors, and to avoid their dispersal in larger areas such as it happens today.