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Author Topic: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?  (Read 7368 times)

Offline HighlandLofts

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Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
« on: August 12, 2017, 08:06:02 PM »
Any one breeding meat rabbits? I picked up a couple of New Zealand does a few months ago and have two litters about three weeks old. It's time to re-breed them. The first time around was with a male Rex Rabbit we got last year as a pet for the grand kids.

This time around I want to breed one with a Flemmish Giant and the other one with a New Zealand. I plan on keeping two does out of the next breeding for breeding stock.
The ones we have now will be ready to butcher the end of September to the beginning of October.

Years ago I use to buy butcher rabbits and cook them in the oven with Shake & Bake for chicken.
This time around I want to try new things, marinaded in Italian Dressing cooked out on a charcoal grill. I do this with chicken a lot, I also do this with boneless pork chops.
I use boneless chicken breast and cube it up, after I marinade it a couple of days in Wishbone Zesty Italian Dressing put it on wood skews and cook it out side on the charcoal I'll put it on Italian Bread and have at it.

I'll try some simmered in spaghetti sauce.

I want to use a chicken & dumpling recipe but use rabbit instead.

Once I get the other two does up to six months old I'll buy a breeding buck to use instead on the Rex Rabbit.

It will be a fun little project, I'll sell a few of the off spring to help cover the cost of the feed. This breeding had thirteen babies, one litter of seven, one of six.

I built a four stall rabbit hutch, two pens on the bottom, two on top. This time around i can take the devider out of the top so the little ones will have more room until it's D-Day.
Once I get four does going I'll build a movable pen that will house the young rabbits until they are butcher age. Something like a chicken tractor, but off the ground with a all wire floor. Real light weight so it will be easy to move around.

Looking for favorite way to cook rabbits if any one wants to chime in.
WAC
NRA
Walk Light, Carry A Big Stick, Never Walk Away. - Teddy Roosevelt
Don't Take Your Guns To Town.   Johnny Cash

Online h20hunter

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Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2017, 08:07:55 PM »
@Widgeondeke

I had some meat bunnies.  Slow cooked them, pulled the meat, made pot pie. Delicious.

Offline KFhunter

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Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2017, 08:08:53 PM »
There's some pretty good threads in here about the subject, here is one I started on a while back


http://hunting-washington.com/smf/index.php/topic,157067.0.html

Offline HighlandLofts

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Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2017, 09:15:27 PM »
That was some interesting read, I have been looking at some stuff on the computer for rabbit breeding information. Az Rabbits was very helpful.
I did every thing they advised and so far everything is fine.
I built the breeding boxes they recommeded, did it their way every step of the way and had two nice litters of rabbits.
The litter with six babies are a little bigger then the seven litter babies. 
No dead babies, all look healthy.
The two does I have are gloss black and dull black with flecking. Next breeding will be with different color bucks so I can choose two nice looking breeding does, maybe three if the one with the little babies raises another small size litter.

Here is the AZ. Rabbit site,        http://azrabbits.com/useful-information/breeding.html

Haven't gone beyond this section yet. But will be here shortly.




If I replace that doe I guess it's crock pot time or pressure cooker time.

I replaced the bedding in the nest boxes today and replaced new saw dust & hay.


I'm sure there are things that I was unaware of that will come to light as this goes on. But in the mean time it will be a fun adventure.

I wonder it you could live trap a male cottontail and have it breed with a domestic rabbit?

H20, Thank you for coming down to help me out with the reloading, I got it down now. I bought a new 4th Gen. Glock 17 from Bud's Guns. picked it up yesterday from Sound Loan & Pawn.
I bought a nice Galco Jack-Ass shoulder holster from a fellow WA-Hunting member last winter for this gun and carried it today.
When I get done on here I will be reloading some 9mm ammo tonight.

I did take an old Pacific single stage press and had it drilled & tapped for the Hornady Lock&Load adapter. So now I have two Lock & Load presses. One for rifle and one for pistol.

The throw is different so I can't interchange the two. One complete set up for pistol and one complete set up for rifle.


I did go back to az rabbit site and got on to butchering.

http://azrabbits.com/useful-information/butchering.html
« Last Edit: August 12, 2017, 10:57:33 PM by HighlandLofts »
WAC
NRA
Walk Light, Carry A Big Stick, Never Walk Away. - Teddy Roosevelt
Don't Take Your Guns To Town.   Johnny Cash

Offline jackelope

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Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2017, 07:48:12 AM »
We have rabbits. We don't raise them for meat but we have rabbits. I know a few others on the forum that have them.

The smaller litters will almost always have bigger babies. If you have a big litter and a small litter, split them up. A doe has 9 babies and another has 5. If they're the same age within a few days, take a couple babies out of the litter of 9 and put them in the litter of 5. Most does will foster ok.

I'd not recommend bringing a wild rabbit into your herd. Like...that should be the last thing you should ever do.

Flemish giants are big boned. Poor meat/weight ratio.

You ought to consider line breeding your animals. Get yourself a nice NZ buck and he can breed all your does. Breed for the best quality animals you can and you'll have great meat producers. You can line breed 2-3 generations and be ok. Get yourself a buck. Breed to 2-3 does. Keep a doe out of each litter and breed back to that buck and breed the buck back to the original does. Then line breed a doe from each of those litters again and so on. You'll have more rabbits to eat than you know what to do with.

If you need help finding a buck let me know. I pretty much know someone who keeps just about every breed.

« Last Edit: August 13, 2017, 07:57:37 AM by jackelope »
:fire.:

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Offline jackelope

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Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2017, 07:52:13 AM »
PS dull black and flecking doesn't sound like a New Zealand. Got a pic?
:fire.:

" In today's instant gratification society, more and more pressure revolves around success and the measurement of one's prowess as a hunter by inches on a score chart or field photos produced on social media. Don't fall into the trap. Hunting is-and always will be- about the hunt, the adventure, the views, and time spent with close friends and family. " Ryan Hatfield

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Offline HighlandLofts

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Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2017, 11:54:58 AM »
I can take pictures of them, but can't figure out how to post them on here. I can e mail them to you.

I bought these two does from the same litter, they came from up by Sumas.

The hay I bought for them is orchard grass, would alfalfa be better?

do you know any one close to arlington that has a buck I could breed them on this time around? i don't want to buy a breeding buck until I get two more does up to breeding age which would be out of the next cycle of babies.
WAC
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Walk Light, Carry A Big Stick, Never Walk Away. - Teddy Roosevelt
Don't Take Your Guns To Town.   Johnny Cash

Offline jackelope

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Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2017, 01:40:33 PM »
Grass hay is what you want. No alfalfa for rabbits.

I don't know anybody that studs out their rabbit bucks. Too much risk for issues to transfer from one rabbit to another. I wouldn't do it either.

:fire.:

" In today's instant gratification society, more and more pressure revolves around success and the measurement of one's prowess as a hunter by inches on a score chart or field photos produced on social media. Don't fall into the trap. Hunting is-and always will be- about the hunt, the adventure, the views, and time spent with close friends and family. " Ryan Hatfield

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Offline jackelope

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Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2017, 01:43:45 PM »
You could buy a breeding age buck for $20-30 I bet. Keep him for your herd buck. You can't breed them too much.
:fire.:

" In today's instant gratification society, more and more pressure revolves around success and the measurement of one's prowess as a hunter by inches on a score chart or field photos produced on social media. Don't fall into the trap. Hunting is-and always will be- about the hunt, the adventure, the views, and time spent with close friends and family. " Ryan Hatfield

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Offline inchtowntracking

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Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2017, 02:07:16 PM »
We do like a free range thing with ours and they just go to the field for food and each has their own territory they tend to stay in.

It's right at that time for use to look into getting a couple more bucks and butchering the ones we have. They appear to regulate themselves with the breeding. We usually get a big spurt in the spring and fall. They have stopped for the last month and we don't get any bunnies in the winter. 

The rabbits seem to be way happier this way. The bad part is the neighbors cat and the owl that visits every once in awhile.  We have around a hundred rabbits right now once we were able to scare predators away.

Offline Widgeondeke

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Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2017, 11:33:47 AM »
Good info so far. @Jackelope  learned well you have      :chuckle:

my kids have cut back on the bunnies. They currently aren't breeding. Focusing more on 4-H poultry, gardening and creative arts.

As stated:
no on alfalfa, Grass or Timothy is the best hay. I also give my rabbits treats from the garden: radishes, strawberries, root crop greens such as carrots, turnips, beets, parsnip, etc
Yes, Flemish are big boned. Look into California, Florida Whites, NZ, Rex or Chinchilla for meat.
Honestly, any breed can be eaten: even the backstraps of a Jersey Wooley make a nice snack :yike:

Saw dust has fine particulates and can cause respiratory issues. Pine shavings, pellets are good. I used hay in a pinch cause they'd eat there bedding

if we culled at 12 weeks or younger, fried em up. the older ones hit the crock pot or ground for tacos  :drool:  I like me some rabbit tacos




Offline jackelope

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Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2017, 03:42:43 PM »
We were using gem white shavings for litter for a while but recently switched to the dry den pellets. The stuff is magical at keeping the odor and ammonia smell down.


We feed pretty much only pellets and a treat mix/conditioner stuff for show purposes. Occasionally we give them some sweet potato chunk or some carrot tops or radish tops as a treat. Too many vegetables can be too rich or make them fat.
My wife shows jersey woolies and my daughter shows Dutch rabbits. A few of the Dutch have gone to folks' freezers but they'd be the Cornish game hens of the rabbit world.







:fire.:

" In today's instant gratification society, more and more pressure revolves around success and the measurement of one's prowess as a hunter by inches on a score chart or field photos produced on social media. Don't fall into the trap. Hunting is-and always will be- about the hunt, the adventure, the views, and time spent with close friends and family. " Ryan Hatfield

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Online Machias

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Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2017, 03:56:15 PM »
I just put 14 in the freezer last weekend.  Mine are NZ and California does bred to a Harlequin buck...some pretty colored babies for sure!
Fred Moyer


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Offline KFhunter

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Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2017, 03:59:59 PM »
I lost electricity last winter and the heated water bottles all froze up and broke, so everyone went to the freezer rather than buy 8 new water bottles.


I'll start again eventually but I want to rebuild the hutch entirely.  It'll be a big hutch tractor that's cattle proof and designed for feeding hay mostly.   1/2 chickens and 1/2 rabbits in this big mobile hutch I move around with the Kubota.

Offline jackelope

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Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2017, 04:09:55 PM »
Always look at hay as mostly a filler lacking the nutrition they need. Dunno.
:fire.:

" In today's instant gratification society, more and more pressure revolves around success and the measurement of one's prowess as a hunter by inches on a score chart or field photos produced on social media. Don't fall into the trap. Hunting is-and always will be- about the hunt, the adventure, the views, and time spent with close friends and family. " Ryan Hatfield

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