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Author Topic: The rabbit thread  (Read 10155 times)

Offline Special T

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Re: The rabbit thread
« Reply #25 on: August 28, 2014, 04:29:59 PM »
Looking for luv in all the wrong places!
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Offline Widgeondeke

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Re: The rabbit thread
« Reply #26 on: August 28, 2014, 11:14:11 PM »
Thats typical.
Thats why I listed #3. Some does just dont cooperate  :dunno:

Offline montana44mag

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Re: The rabbit thread
« Reply #27 on: August 28, 2014, 11:59:12 PM »
I raised rabbits for 2 years and had many successful litters, here is what I used to do alot to get does to breed.

If the doe has her tail tucked with her face in the corner it probably wont work, I found it helps alot to "wine and dine" them first.

Put a puppy pen out on grass or partition off a small grassy run,  throw in some dandelions or veggie scraps as well. After a few minutes of sniffing it out she should start to hop around and do 180 degree spin jumps called "binkies", (look it up) next, the goal is to get the male in the run/cage while she is distracted.
 Now be ready to separate them if necessary, as rabbits can have nasty fights, just pick them up like a big kitten if you need to separate.
 Usually, if she was doing the binky jumps she will present and allow 1 or 2 breedings, after that she will not let him breed but will often tolerate hanging out for awhile, sometimes even cuddling post-coitus.
As said before, NEVER PUT HIM IN HER CAGE, except in the situation I described above, in NEW, neutral territory with lush grass or edible plants and room to jump around a bit, but small enough to catch them, 6'x8' would be about perfect.

Also I found rabbits are much happier and productive in larger cages then are typically used, and can do very well in a "tractor' setup.
I would give them bedding material at 27-28 days and would usually get a litter on day 31.
Make sure to handle your does and spoil them, so when they get broody and cranky they will still tolerate you and wont stomp any kits.
GOOD LUCK!

Offline Machias

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Re: The rabbit thread
« Reply #28 on: November 04, 2014, 12:22:48 PM »
Did your does ever take?
« Last Edit: November 16, 2014, 05:39:42 PM by Machias »
Fred Moyer


History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid.

Offline KFhunter

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Re: The rabbit thread
« Reply #29 on: November 11, 2014, 07:26:31 PM »
My does have taken twice now  :tup:

Problem is they're birthing on the wire, not sure what's going on with that yet.  Thinking about changing out the nest boxes for something a little more bird house like.  Sure would like to get to the bottom of that issue.
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Offline Machias

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Re: The rabbit thread
« Reply #30 on: November 16, 2014, 05:39:25 PM »
Young does?  If I had a doe do it more than once I would change her out.
Fred Moyer


History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid.

Offline Widgeondeke

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Re: The rabbit thread
« Reply #31 on: November 18, 2014, 08:52:43 AM »
Young does?  If I had a doe do it more than once I would change her out.
          :yeah:

Only had 1 litter born on the wire in the last 4 years. That doe was culled out.
We breed for both quality and temperment since our rabbits double for 4-H


KEEP THE BEST, GET RID OF THE REST  :tup:

Offline Fishstiq

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Re: The rabbit thread
« Reply #32 on: December 06, 2014, 09:02:10 AM »

The best mom I had laid her first litter on the wire, she figured it out the 2nd time though and was great after that.  New mom jitters I guess...

If she did it twice....  Yeah, crock pot time.
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Offline KFhunter

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Re: The rabbit thread
« Reply #33 on: December 15, 2014, 03:57:51 PM »
3rd times a charm.

none on the wire and all snug and warm in the nest box.  I pulled a good wad of hair last night though and helped her out some, she gave birth and so I got a bunch of warm kits in the box this morning.  She pulled more hair and did a good job.    :tup:
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Offline Machias

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Re: The rabbit thread
« Reply #34 on: December 15, 2014, 07:30:27 PM »
 :tup:
Fred Moyer


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Offline Special T

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Re: The rabbit thread
« Reply #35 on: December 16, 2014, 09:26:51 AM »
 :yike:

The Truth is like Poetry, and most people hate Poetry

Offline KFhunter

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Re: The rabbit thread
« Reply #36 on: December 16, 2014, 09:50:09 AM »
:yike:

I thought it deserved it's own thread so I deleted it here and moved it to off topics
http://hunting-washington.com/smf/index.php/topic,167053.0.html

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Offline jasnt

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Re: The rabbit thread
« Reply #37 on: December 22, 2014, 11:08:27 AM »
3rd times a charm.

none on the wire and all snug and warm in the nest box.  I pulled a good wad of hair last night though and helped her out some, she gave birth and so I got a bunch of warm kits in the box this morning.  She pulled more hair and did a good job.    :tup:
we've had some of our first and second time moms birth on the wire,I think its just in experience.  One tip for keeping them cool is a concrete block. 8x16x1" patio paver. Helps them cool off and helps keep their claws short. They will lay on it when it gets hot
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Offline KFhunter

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Re: The rabbit thread
« Reply #38 on: March 30, 2015, 07:47:17 PM »
The rabbitry is going in high gear now  :tup:


one doe that wouldn't breed made rabbit dumplings, awesome  :EAT: I'm temped to let all the rabbits grow full size just for these dumplings they were that good.  Chicken dumplings can't hold a candle to rabbit dumplings.

I let the fryers grow up a wee bit too much, I need to butcher sooner they got too big and too chewy for a fryer.


I'm saving all the front legs and freezing them together for a huge rabbit wing (think buffalo wings) feast this summer.
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Offline jasnt

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Re: The rabbit thread
« Reply #39 on: March 30, 2015, 11:32:25 PM »
The rabbitry is going in high gear now  :tup:


one doe that wouldn't breed made rabbit dumplings, awesome  :EAT: I'm temped to let all the rabbits grow full size just for these dumplings they were that good.  Chicken dumplings can't hold a candle to rabbit dumplings.

I let the fryers grow up a wee bit too much, I need to butcher sooner they got too big and too chewy for a fryer.


I'm saving all the front legs and freezing them together for a huge rabbit wing (think buffalo wings) feast this summer.
ive had prairie dog wings that were amazing. I'd bet those rabbit wings are too!!
🐾

"... we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you... we are in charge of our Attitudes."
Charles R. Swindoll

Offline Stickerbush

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Re: The rabbit thread
« Reply #40 on: June 06, 2016, 08:50:54 AM »
Just found this thread, any updates? I'm thinking this would be a cool thing to try
Coastal Perspective.

Offline KFhunter

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Re: The rabbit thread
« Reply #41 on: June 06, 2016, 10:21:57 AM »
Still putting rabbit in the freezer  :tup:

most of my does have been replaced except one, now I've got 4 young cali/nzw cross does and one nzw purebred left over from my original 3.  I'll cull the young does after they show me if they can raise a litter or not. 

I was holding on to doe's too long not anymore.  On the first litter I expect losses but if they show signs of nesting I'll give them another try (pull hair, move hay to make nest etc)
2nd litter I expect some losses but not the whole litter
3rd litter I expect a few dead but most of the litter survive
4 and up I'll tolerate 1 maybe 2 dead but I want at least 10 alive and thriving


Also found I need to keep them bred more, any long pauses in litters it's almost like they forget what's up.  A successful doe if left un-bred too long might loose litters again when you start back up.  You have better success if you keep them pumping out kits, it's a commitment!  I like to time the breeding so I'm butchering every 9 weeks roughly  (1 month gestation, 5 weeks growth)  I'd rather butcher a bunch all at once, make it a production.


Biggest difference with meat rabbits vs show rabbits is very high culling rates for meat breeds.  Meat rabbit you're breading for food and dead kits don't make food,  secondly you breed for carcass quality. It's difficult to achieve both high (successful) birth rates and carcass quality. 

Show rabbits you breed for conformation almost exclusively and will tolerate low birth rates if the doe puts out fantastic looking kits.
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Offline jackelope

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Re: The rabbit thread
« Reply #42 on: June 06, 2016, 11:31:30 AM »
Still putting rabbit in the freezer  :tup:

most of my does have been replaced except one, now I've got 4 young cali/nzw cross does and one nzw purebred left over from my original 3.  I'll cull the young does after they show me if they can raise a litter or not. 

I was holding on to doe's too long not anymore.  On the first litter I expect losses but if they show signs of nesting I'll give them another try (pull hair, move hay to make nest etc)
2nd litter I expect some losses but not the whole litter
3rd litter I expect a few dead but most of the litter survive
4 and up I'll tolerate 1 maybe 2 dead but I want at least 10 alive and thriving


Also found I need to keep them bred more, any long pauses in litters it's almost like they forget what's up.  A successful doe if left un-bred too long might loose litters again when you start back up.  You have better success if you keep them pumping out kits, it's a commitment!  I like to time the breeding so I'm butchering every 9 weeks roughly  (1 month gestation, 5 weeks growth)  I'd rather butcher a bunch all at once, make it a production.


Biggest difference with meat rabbits vs show rabbits is very high culling rates for meat breeds.  Meat rabbit you're breading for food and dead kits don't make food,  secondly you breed for carcass quality. It's difficult to achieve both high (successful) birth rates and carcass quality. 

Show rabbits you breed for conformation almost exclusively and will tolerate low birth rates if the doe puts out fantastic looking kits.
A lot of the meat breeders I've talked to will tell you that a good meat animal is a good show animal. Good show animals = Good carcass and flesh quality, body structure, etc.
:dunno:
I've also heard from a guy who was crossing NZ's with something else and quit doing that because the pure NZ's were nicer meat animals than the crosses. He's eliminated all his crosses and runs only pure NZ white's now.
As far as culling goes, show animals get culled too, as babies mostly. Or they become free pets for someone else. No sense in feeding animals that won't show. I'd venture to say more show animals get culled than meat animals do(except when it's time to process I guess).

 
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Offline KFhunter

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Re: The rabbit thread
« Reply #43 on: June 06, 2016, 12:27:56 PM »
Those guys/gals are probably a little further along than I am and have been culling for many generations.

All mine came from the same breeder who focused on showing them above all else as she was in the show circuit, I learned a lot on what makes a great meat rabbit carcass but have been plagued with lost litters. 

I'm doing my part, I use an alarm calendar to make sure the nest boxes are prepped and in the hutches on time.   I think drop in nest boxes would have saved a large number of kits.  I want to rebuild my hutch.


 






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Offline jackelope

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Re: The rabbit thread
« Reply #44 on: June 06, 2016, 12:45:10 PM »
Those guys/gals are probably a little further along than I am and have been culling for many generations.

All mine came from the same breeder who focused on showing them above all else as she was in the show circuit, I learned a lot on what makes a great meat rabbit carcass but have been plagued with lost litters. 

I'm doing my part, I use an alarm calendar to make sure the nest boxes are prepped and in the hutches on time.   I think drop in nest boxes would have saved a large number of kits.  I want to rebuild my hutch.


 








If you're not using the drop in nest boxes, I bet you that's your problem. I bought a couple of them made out of plywood. I understood they insulate better than the metal ones so I went with them. They look easy enough to make. I can post some pics later on if you want.
I've only bred one litter so far and it was a 8 month old dutch. She kindled 7, 3 were on the wire and didn't live. 4 in the box and they all lived. We only kept 1 that we thought was show quality but she's got a DQ. My kid shows them all with 4H and ARBA.
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