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Summarize the uses of rabbits, ferrets, and pocket pets. Discuss the major uses of rabbits, ferrets, and pocket pets. PowerPoint Presentation
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Summarize the uses of rabbits, ferrets, and pocket pets. Discuss the major uses of rabbits, ferrets, and pocket pets. p.224 The Many Uses of Pocket Pets Easter Bunny…What are some other uses for bunnies? Rabbits are often used as a symbol of fertility .

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Summarize the uses of rabbits, ferrets, and pocket pets.

Discuss the major uses of rabbits, ferrets, and pocket




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.


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.


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


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



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.


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.



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.


Gerbils are especially useful in the lab for studying epilepsy due to a high incidence of naturally-occurring seizures.  

Gerbils are also used in human stroke studies.


They are gentle, active during the day, have no special food or housing requirements, drink little water, virtually odorless, and would seldom bite.



1. White albino rats have been of major importance in medical, biological and

psychological research.


Since 1966, rats have not been considered "animals" under the Animal Welfare Act (AWA), the only U.S. federal law that provides even minimal protection for animals in laboratories

  • \

b. They are intelligent and have the ability to learn so have been used in behavioral studies.



1. In Ancient Rome, they were used as medicine against all kinds of diseases and were good for flesh wounds, snake bites, warts, & bladder problems.


3. Pet mice are relatively free of disease, and when handled frequently, show little tendency to bite or escape.


Guinea pigs

1. Bred originally for meat production and still used by the native people of Ecuador,

Peru, and Bolivia as a food source.


The Incas are said to have sacrificed 1,000 white guinea pigs and 100 llamas in Cuzco's main square each July, to protect their crops from droughts and floods.


2. Used in laboratories for research on pathology, nutrition, genetics, toxicology, and serum development.

  • an upper respiratory tract illness characterized by sore throat, low-grade fever, and an adherent membrane (a pseudomembrane) on the tonsils, pharynx, and/or nasal cavity

The guinea pig is commonly used in biomedical research

for purposes such as a source of red blood cells & polyclonal antibodies


Are used as animal models for the study of disease conditions- respiratory anaphylaxis,

delayed-type hypersensitivity reactions, genital herpes

and scurvy.



1. Used as a source of fur for thousands of years.


a. Brought to California from South America to breed for their fur.

Mathias F. Chapman brought his eleven animals to the United States 1923


b. Many furs are sold as a group.

c. Requires 120 to 150 pelts to make a full-length coat.


FERRETS became known to the Arabs as "Furo." These little beasts were prized by the elite for their exceptional hunting ability, as were hawks.


It was relatively common for ferrets to be released into the underbrush to flush out game birds which the falcons would bring down.


Live-in rat-catchers and rabbit-hunting companions.



1. Used in the 1800’s for rodent control. The ferrets would run into holds and run the rodents out and leave a scent behind that would trigger fear.


In the 1940-1950s in the USA and Canada, they were bred and raised for their fur which was used in making fake mink coats, a business now happily ended.


2. Used to help wire airplanes in hard to reach places. Unfortunately they

liked to stop & take naps so it