© The Rabbit Research Program at TAMUK

© The Rabbit Research Program at TAMUK

Altex rabbits are a large-sized rabbit breed (adults weigh 10-20 pounds or 4.5-9 kilos, with the does being heavier) that was first developed as a sire rabbit in 1986 at Alabama A&M University and later at Texas A&M University-Kingsville. It was bred from Flemish Giant, Champagne d’ Argent, and Californian rabbits. The Altex was genetically selected for heavy 70 day market weights for over 20 generations. Color markings are that of a Californian but Altex generally weigh more.

The Altex is not meant to be the sole rabbit breed in a meat rabbit producer’s rabbitry. The Altex lack many of the best qualities of Californian and New Zealand White rabbits. For example, they are harder to mate and they often have smaller litters (6-7 kits versus the 8-12 of Californians).

The Altex’s main strength shows when they are crossbred, producing rabbits that have faster weight gain. This creates a more efficient performance and ultimate greater profits from the herd. Altex/New Zealand White crossbred fryers typically reach market weight a week earlier than purebred New Zealand White fryers. Another recommended cross is the mating from an Altex buck to a Californian/New Zealand White crossbred doe.

Breeders for Altex rabbits can be hard to find, but if you are lucky enough within driving distance of one, it could dramatically boost your production levels.