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Author Topic: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?  (Read 7786 times)

Offline KFhunter

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Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
« Reply #15 on: August 14, 2017, 04:13:49 PM »
pellets got too spendy and difficult to source "sorry we're out, next Friday we'll have more"  or  "we can't get that brand anymore, would you like this brand?"

cost me a bunch of money and made it less fun


Offline KFhunter

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Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
« Reply #16 on: August 14, 2017, 04:23:26 PM »
and why on earth wouldn't you feed alfalfa hay to a meat breed rabbit  :dunno:  I fed it all the time  :dunno:  they loved it, I'd mix it with grass.  They really loved oat hay, it was cut and baled while the oat heads were in the milk stage and the rabbits went bonkers for that.

While they were on hay I did toss in trace mineral salt licks.

While I was feeding hay I did offer free choice rabbit pellets, but they didn't consume much at all.


I want to rebuild the hutches with primary feed being hay, I'm thinking half moon cages where the hay drops into the valleys. 

kind of like this masterpiece  :chuckle:


« Last Edit: August 14, 2017, 04:31:39 PM by KFhunter »

Offline KFhunter

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Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
« Reply #17 on: August 14, 2017, 04:35:59 PM »
another thing I want is the buck to has his own stand alone hut so I don't need to worry about spray guards or wet does.  then I want a separate breeding area that's neutral ground. 

Does would run round and round the pen and get nails caught in the wire and bleed, obviously this would hurt, and I think negatively effect breeding.   A round pen on the lawn would be better, or outdoor carpet maybe.  Put the buck and doe in a neutral area free of obstacles.

Offline jackelope

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Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
« Reply #18 on: August 14, 2017, 05:46:11 PM »
We mostly table breed to reduce the risk of a pissed off doe taking a chunk out of a buck. Or put them in neutral ground in a smaller cage where they cant run around so much. As far as alfalfa goes, I've always been taught that it's too rich for them and not good for their stomachs. I've not raised meat breeds but I've been around a crap ton of rabbits and super knowledgeable breeders and nobody feeds alfalfa. Same reason we don't feed a ton of vegetables. Obviously do what you think is best for your animals but our rabbits get a handful of hay a day and the proper amount of pellets per their size. They pretty much all eat all their pellets and don't go overweight. My kids' rabbits win best of breed fairly often so I guess we're doing something right. We order in feed monthly through our local feed store. Always have an extra bag on hand. I've got it pretty well dialed in that 4 bags a month leaves me with a leftover bag just in case when the next 4 bags arrive. If there's a shipping delay, we're good.
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Offline HighlandLofts

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Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
« Reply #19 on: August 14, 2017, 05:57:47 PM »
I've got the Rex buck in a hutch all by his self about thirty feet from the does. I think I'll buy a California or a NZ buck to re-breed these two does I have and keep two does out of that litter.

If I like the way these finish off I might keep one doe from this batch.

If any one needs any to start out I'll have extra from these two sets of little ones,Black New Zealand, dark gray Rex cross.
They will be weaned at the end of the month.
If any one wants to try one for the table hit me up with a pm.

My plan is to have four breeding does and two bucks.
Some young ones for the table and some to get rid of to help cover the cost of feed.


Is there any Don'ts on produce they shouldn't have?
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Offline jackelope

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Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
« Reply #20 on: August 14, 2017, 09:51:48 PM »
Maybe it's different when you're raising meat rabbits but I don't think rabbits need any produce. Especially not to save money. You can buy a good quality feed for $18 or so for a 50# bag. Whatever you do, give it sparingly. Rabbits don't have the best stomachs for handling rich food. Ours get some carrot and radish tops, a chunk of sweet potato now and then.  A quality pellet has all they need from a nutritional standpoint. Just my .02 but we've got some darn healthy rabbits that pretty much never go over their weights.
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Offline runamuk

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Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
« Reply #21 on: August 14, 2017, 10:30:04 PM »
Don't feed iceberg lettuce it causes,the caps which cause dehydration which causes lousy gains. Same with celery and other garbage greens.  If you want to feed produce feed spinach, dark greens, dandelions, clover, grazing time on decent grass with plantain and other weeds, and lots of fine stemmed hay and water. Plus a pellet ration I liked a 16-18% protein and added black oil sunflower for good coats in my show stock.  I fed my culls,this,way as,well and they made good jerky and made nice pets.
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Offline Airnip

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Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
« Reply #22 on: August 15, 2017, 01:24:27 AM »
Learning to recognize peak receptivity in does will provide more harmonious sexual relations between rabbits. Put your thumb and forefinger on her hips, she should arch : head down tail up. (lordosis) Turn her over, her vulva should be moist and appear engorged. (turgescence) When she is put into the bucks cage in high cycle the doe is as eager as he is to copulate. If she is low cycle they will fight. Uncaged a well fed healthy doe will give birth then go find a buck to get started on the next batch. At twenty-one days kits are eating food and she is losing milk. Working does should start at about eighteen weeks and be on a regular scheduled breeding program throughout their lives. They should be either pregnant or nursing or both. If not growing kits they will grow internal fat which makes them have trouble kindling.

Wild American rabbits are a lagomorph specie closer to hares than domesticated European rabbits. Related sort of the way chickens and ducks both are poultry but don't make mules. Hares are born fully formed, while rabbits are born naked and blind.

Second the advice to pick a breed. Raising farm mixed rabbits might give some hybrid vigor to the first generation of a terminal cross. Who knows what type and conformation farther along. Breeds are the result of selection for uniformity.

Type correct pedigreed breeding stock sold at three times the value of a dinner rabbit. Same input to produce them.

There is a thick book "One thousand ways to cook a rabbit". Mostly about cooking with ingredients to make sauces instead of using premixed from a bottle, or box. Basically any way you can cook a chicken substitute rabbit. Save front legs to make false wings.                                                                                                                                                                                                           Once a week put leaves of alfalfa on the tops of my all wire battery cages. Rabbits would stand up and pull it down. Wasting a lot of leaf. Figured this to be entertainment being that production does had complete diet requirement pellets free choice. Bucks got a large tuna can full a day. Also gave each one a sixteen inch long piece of one by six that they would eat. Gnawing them up in about six months or so. Automatic water through tongue fittings threaded into eighth inch plastic fittings.





Offline HighlandLofts

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Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
« Reply #23 on: September 01, 2017, 09:40:04 PM »
The little ones are getting big, tomorrow I seperated them from MaMa and re-breed the two does this weekend, Any suggestions on what type of bucks to use.I want to keep two does from this next breeding.
One from each doe.
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Offline jackelope

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Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
« Reply #24 on: September 02, 2017, 08:40:58 AM »
2 NZ does, right? I know a lady who breeds meat rabbits who crosses New Zealand's with Champagne D'argents. She calls them her meat bricks. I'd personally buy the best quality New Zealand buck you can afford to. With 4 does you only need 1 buck. Not sure where you are but there's a big show in Bremerton 9/16 and another in Monroe early October. I hear lots of people say they don't want show rabbits for meat but the best quality rabbits will produce the best meat for you. You don't want crappy genetics producing crappy rabbits. And they're not that expensive either. Even the really good ones. I have a friend who breeds NZ's. I can ask if they have a nice buck they'd sell. He's down around enumclaw. 
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Offline jackelope

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Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
« Reply #25 on: September 02, 2017, 08:42:24 AM »
Also you could keep a buck out of your litter if they're nice and use him to breed. You can breed back to momma and then on down 2-3 generations. Line breeding.
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Offline HighlandLofts

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Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
« Reply #26 on: September 08, 2017, 08:36:18 PM »
I'd like to get a NZ buck, maybe another breed. Some thing to get some color other then straight black or brown.

Some where up around Everett or north would work out the best.
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Offline jackelope

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Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
« Reply #27 on: September 08, 2017, 09:47:38 PM »
There are no brown New Zealand's. Black, white, red, blue and then broken varieties of each of those.
I'll have my kid at the show in Monroe in October. If you want to talk to some NZ breeders there let me know. I like the blues.
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" 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 #28 on: September 09, 2017, 01:01:35 PM »
The rsds are what I thought were brown, I see on craigs list late last night there is some one in the Stanwood/Camano area that has breeding NZ bucks. I'll be calling there in a little white and go see what they have, $20 to $60 each.
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Offline jackelope

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Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
« Reply #29 on: September 09, 2017, 02:02:01 PM »
Make sure they're decent quality animals. Make sure they're full in the hindquarter and not pinched. Full and wide in the shoulders. Good body structure is important just like it is with a beef cow or a hog. You don't want to keep breeding bad traits, even if you're only breeding for meat.
This rabbit is a little pinched in the hindquarter.. you can see she comes to a point. The other one is full in the HQ. That's what you want.

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" 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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