Posted in Meat Rabbit Breeds | 9 comments

Supercharge Your Herd with Altex Rabbits

© 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.

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  • david tulkin

    and keep in mind that only bucks are sold, so if you find anyone selling does they are not real altex rabbits.

  • http://www.raisingrabbitsebook.com Tiffany

    Great point. Thanks for adding that!

  • anomyous

    Why are only bucks sold? And Tiffiny I was looking for information on flemish giants. Do you know of any good info?

  • Ryan Doherty

    I breed Altex and there are Does sold. I purchased mine from a breeder that got their original breeding stock from one or the doctors that designed the breed. I would be very cautious when purchasing ANY breeding rabbit, make sure they have Excellent records and can tell you exactly what you are purchasing. Altex and Californians look a lot alike, most Altex have more grey markings and are not as dark as Californians. My crossbreed Altex/NZW grow out 7-10 days faster or 1-1.5 lbs heavier at the 10 wk mark. Altex does are not good mothers as a rule of thumb and they are harder to get bred.

  • http://www.oneacrefarmrabbits.com One Acre Farm

    @David: Actually, that is not entirely true. While *some* breeders may want to only sell bucks, there are others that will sell both. You just have to find the right one. In fact, there is a breeder in Texas right now that is selling out due to a move and has bucks and does available.

  • Lewis Fliney

    where can I purchase a Altex buck?

  • brenda

    Where is the nearest altex breeder to MD area?

  • http://www.raisingrabbitsebook.com Tiffany

    Altex breeders can be a bit scarce. But you can have a look at http://www.rabbitbreedersdirectory.com

  • Jesse Baierl

    The design of the Altex was as a terminal cross, but in order to have future generations you do need to breed them straight on occasion. Without doing so they would become extinct in no time. With that being said both bucks and does are produced and can be available. They are not known for good mothering instincts so most does are culled. This may be why it looks like only bucks are for sale.