The breeder raises a thousand females in accordance with the strictest biosecurity regulations. Commitment to limit microbial exposure to disease-prone animals.
Prevention is better than cure. Eric Fejan has made her a hobby since starting his breeding in 2007 with Sanders. “I put the building away from roads and passages of cars and trucks.” In the countryside, surrounded by fields belonging to him. The site is dedicated to; a broiler farm is 3 km away: “This reduces the risk of cross-contamination.” The operating equipment is located in the headquarters, two steps away. Fifty meters from the entrance, signs invite outsiders to park. Food delivery truck drivers sanitize wheels before entering the professional area to fill bins.
“The contour is designed so that they never pass in front of the building’s air intake.” The boarding platform is covered for ease of operation, and the floor is concreted for easy cleaning and disinfection immediately after the truck leaves. If the site is surrounded by hedges to integrate with the landscape, no plants or flowers will grow at the foot of the building. “We need to avoid breeding rodents that can nest there and spread salmonella or viruses like VHD that cause bleeding.” In fact, the surroundings are clean (stabilized soil). The breeder also refrains from splashing livestock faeces in areas facing air intakes to avoid the spread of pathogens.
Talc and probiotics
Entry to the rabbit hutch is via a sanitary lock attached to the front of the building. Washing hands and changing clothes are mandatory. The two zones (inner and outer) are separated by a solid barrier that the operator must step over. Renewal of animals is carried out by buying female grandparents at 2-3 days of age. “This system only allows me to bring in 80 rabbits per year compared to 1,000 if I were buying a parent stock.” Thus, the renovation cost is limited and the sanitation facilities are safer. Insemination is carried out every 6 weeks by three operators (purchased semen). Prospective breeders are vaccinated against two variants of the HDV virus and against myxomatosis with a booster every six months. Enter a dewormer. The food contains essential oils to prevent respiratory diseases. The addition of a mixture of talc and probiotics to the nest shavings around the hatchlings is intended to prevent digestive problems.
“Mothers lick each other; probiotics enter the digestive tract and form a barrier flora for pathogens.” During weaning, at 35 days, the food of the young is enriched with clay and fibers. When fattening, it is rationing that helps to avoid problems with digestion. The air entering the building is preheated or cooled seasonally to stabilize the temperature between 18-25°C.
The rabbit cage is divided into two identical rooms. Young rabbits are born and fattened in the same paddock. Mothers are transferred to another room at weaning for a new birth. Rabbits are sent to the slaughterhouse at 73 days of age.
Place to wash and crawl
Then the sanitary emptying of their room is carried out, because the rabbits must integrate into a washed, disinfected and dried room. “The flight will take place on Wednesday evening. On Thursday, the work is completed in draft mode; detergent is applied on Friday. Washing is done by two people; nests are replaced in boxes and disinfected. The water circuit is also cleaned and disinfected (currently tap water). On Sunday, a re-disinfection is carried out. The rabbits will come next Monday.” During the washing of the room, the scraping of holes is activated. This disease prevention work allows us to limit the use of antibiotics and reserve them for possible curative treatment.
The breeding audit is carried out using the Eva application, developed for poultry and adapted for rabbits (on a smartphone). This exhaustive health audit results in recommendations. It can highlight inconsistencies. Often minor, over time they have to be corrected. Major, they lead to emergency measures. Eric Fejean’s breeding has a 95% compliance rate, a level that is considered very satisfactory. The Evilap Group, of which he is the director, encourages breeders to demedicalize through financial incentives. Zero cure, growth is the goal. Sanitary check every year
Briefly about the operation
• 1.3 UTH (one worker working for the third time) + auxiliary labor for insemination and removal,
• 1000 females,
• 800 m2 of duck meat,
• 47 ha,
• 16.8 kg sold to IA (rabbit workshop),
• 2.52 kg live for sale,
• 8.7 weaners per farrow.