Summarize the uses of rabbits, ferrets, and pocket pets. Discuss the major uses of rabbits, ferrets, and pocket pets. p.224
RABBIT characteristics such as a short breeding cycle, silky fur, and a docile temperament—made them prime candidates for meat and fur production
Rabbit Meat a. High in protein b. Low in cholesterol, fat, sodium c. Very palatable
Rabbits can turn 20% of the proteins they eat into edible meat. Compared to other species – 23% for broiler chickens, 16 -18 % for pigs and 8 to 12 % for beef.
Research and laboratory use a. Used to produce disease fighting antibodies, to study reproduction, and to research several human diseases.
Albino New Zealand White is the most common breed utilized in biomedical research.
b. Have been used in tests for cosmetics because they do not have tear ducts and cannot shed tears to dilute chemicals put into their eyes.
Rabbits cannot vomit so they are used for a product test called the LD 50 test, or Lethal Dose 50.
In this test, products like bleach, window cleaner or shampoo are administered orally to rabbits. The test is complete when 50% of the animals are dead.
rabbits’ fur is shaved and caustic chemicals are poured directly onto their bare skin
3. Fur/Wool - divided into four types: Normal Angora Rex Satin
a. Normal- regular rabbit b. Rex- short
The hair of the Angora rabbit is allowed to grow 3 or more inches long before it is clipped, sheared, or plucked.
These hair removal processes causes no harm to the rabbits and are carried out 4 times each year.
The total annual yield for a single Angora rabbit ranges from 7 to 14 ounces, which may be spun into enough yarn to construct one small garment
d. Satin is a mutation fur that is smaller in diameter and has a transparent outer shell
4. Compared to sheep’s wool rabbits wool is finer, lighter, warmer, and softer. It does not cause irritation to skin or is as scratchy.
6. Pets - With diversity in size they can fit into different home situations a. Trainable to use litter box
b. Require little special care c. Clean gentle and lovable pets
44 million households where over 4 million rabbits live as family members
Who was given the credit for domesticating the rabbit? French monks of the Middle Ages
Hamsters 1. Used in medical research in 1931 in Palestine.
In 1938, hamsters were first brought to America as research animals. They found out that the skin from a hamster's cheek pouch could be accepted from any animal when transplanted.
Hamsters are the 3rd most commonly used research animal. 90% of these are Syrian hamsters.
Advantage to using hamsters in research • Short reproductive cycle and life span • Relative freedom from spontaneous disease
Susceptibility to experimentally induced disease • Acceptance of transplanted tissue and tumors because of its weak histocompatibility antigens.
They are important animal models for research in immunology because they lack white blood cells, resulting immunologic tolerance and allows transplantation of tumors.
They have been used to study a number of infectious diseases of humans and animals, diabetes mellitus, dental caries, muscular dystrophy and cardiac disease.
Gerbils 1. Japanese scientists were the first to breed in captivity because they were easy to work with.
The gerbil's native habitat is the desert region of Mongolia and northern China. Wild gerbils captured in the mid-1800s were sent to Japan.