haute couture rabbit

[email protected]

This rabbit works in the big leagues, or rather in high fashion houses. Orilag is bred for its exceptional fur. Pure down with soft, light and durable natural tanned leather in Spain, near Barcelona. It is also a brand protected worldwide by an exclusive manufacturing license.

This precious species grows here in the Charente-Maritime…

[email protected]

This rabbit works in the big leagues, or rather in high fashion houses. Orilag is bred for its exceptional fur. Pure down with soft, light and durable natural tanned leather in Spain, near Barcelona. It is also a brand protected worldwide by an exclusive manufacturing license.

This precious species grows here in Charente-Maritime on about fifteen farms. In Sourgeres, the Poitou-Charentes Orilag Breeders’ Cooperative (1) moved into the premises of INRA, the National Institute of Agronomic Research. Also, he will soon move to a new, more suitable premises.

Attractive and risky market

Passionate breeders care for orylags using the know-how acquired through the patience of INRA researchers. They constructed the orilag in 1970 from lost wild stock. “To be a breeder, you have to be open-minded and be able to ask yourself questions while being at the forefront of quality,” explains Olivier Thibault, Rex du Poitou Specialist at the Charente-Maritime Chamber of Agriculture. posted to the cooperative.

Jean Coco is one of that handful of breeders who are crazy about orylag. Today he is the vice-president of Poitou-Charentes Orilag Breeders’ Cooperative, he founded his breeding in Cherak twelve years ago. “I wanted to diversify the family business,” he says. Few breeders embark on this adventure without some extra activity. This is also not recommended. The luxury market, while attractive, is also risky. “We were hit by a luxury crisis, like cognac, for that matter, in 2009.”

If the world swoons over the softness and incomparable density of orylag wool, then its production remains limited compared to that of mink.

“Everyone thinks it’s great, but we always have to go to fashion houses and other luxury buyers. We are in some way the masters of our destiny, because in the cooperative we control everything from A to Z.

Getting started requires two years of effort from the breeder. Olivier Thibaut specifies that it is then necessary for the co-op to be co-opted and accept specifications with draconian criteria. “You have to understand all the ins and outs of this production,” he adds. Refine your project and face a significant initial investment. »

All products are sold by the cooperative. She takes care of picking up the rabbits (between 19 and 20 weeks old) and taking them to the only authorized slaughterhouse in Dampierre-sur-Boutonne. There, the rabbit will be doubly valued, both for its skin and for the meat that we find today on the table of great cooks (see opposite).

Jean Coco takes care of two maternity hospitals of 120 females each in his Sherak breeding farm. Closed building with strict hygiene. “The rabbit is an animal extremely sensitive to disease and very cowardly,” explains the breeder.

Careful breeding

Females are inseminated once every three weeks. It is INRA that supplies the male sperm. The first 120 inseminated females give birth after 4 weeks. 6 to 7 babies, slightly less than a normal rabbit which can grow up to 12 babies. “Rabbits are born deaf, naked and blind. They cover their first down at 8 days. They stay with their mother for more than five weeks. “Orilag is a very adoptive mother, when there are too many babies, you can entrust them to another, she will take very good care of them. »

The phenomena of dominance appear from 7 weeks. The rabbits are then placed in separate cages to avoid fights. They are still all looking at each other.

At 7 weeks or more, the “night” phases begin, those that allow the hair to regain all its softness and grow properly.

These stress-prone animals receive the utmost attention from breeders, worthy of the attention paid to luxury products. Proof that they even have a right to their little daily music.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.