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Other Activities => Equestrian & Livestock => Topic started by: HighlandLofts on August 12, 2017, 08:06:02 PM

Title: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: HighlandLofts 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.
Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: h20hunter on August 12, 2017, 08:07:55 PM
@Widgeondeke

I had some meat bunnies.  Slow cooked them, pulled the meat, made pot pie. Delicious.
Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: KFhunter 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
Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: HighlandLofts 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
Title: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: jackelope 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.

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170813/1af1c96cd34a0a3423a133af604c34de.jpg)
Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: jackelope on August 13, 2017, 07:52:13 AM
PS dull black and flecking doesn't sound like a New Zealand. Got a pic?
Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: HighlandLofts 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.
Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: jackelope 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.

Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: jackelope 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.
Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: inchtowntracking 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.
Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: Widgeondeke 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



Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: jackelope 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.
(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170814/367e67213b6fb1ec7f69f102d59c49b1.jpg)

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.

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170814/0dcd38e647350aedb1baf8c0652edf8a.jpg)

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170814/a02c0bdf4c1768656f7d4a15b09eb73d.jpg)



Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: Machias 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!
Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: KFhunter 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.
Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: jackelope on August 14, 2017, 04:09:55 PM
Always look at hay as mostly a filler lacking the nutrition they need. Dunno.
Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: KFhunter 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

Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: KFhunter 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:


Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: KFhunter 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.
Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: jackelope 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.
Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: HighlandLofts 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?
Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: jackelope 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.
Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: runamuk 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.
Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: Airnip 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.




Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: HighlandLofts 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.
Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: jackelope 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. 
Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: jackelope 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.
Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: HighlandLofts 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.
Title: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: jackelope 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.
(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170909/211d0b0c2156079a34a2474076ec9c4c.jpg)
Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: HighlandLofts 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.
Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: jackelope 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.

Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: jackelope on September 09, 2017, 02:03:42 PM
Another cool breed is a standard chinchilla. I have a friend who raises both of these breeds.

Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: HighlandLofts on September 09, 2017, 08:43:21 PM
Tomorrow I'll be picking up a broken red NZ doe that they are going to put on a white NZ buck, from that liter I might keep a buck for future use and one doe.

I think I'll rebreed the two does I have on the Rex male I have for meat rabbits, these little ones are getting good size.
Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: jackelope on September 10, 2017, 12:20:17 PM
Sweet. Post up some pics of your new critter.
Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: jennabug on October 28, 2017, 08:59:51 PM
I've been considering meat rabbits for some time now, and had gotten into contact with someone to get a butchered rabbit to try the meat before committing to it. But I went to a rabbit show today with some friends and couldn't resist this beautiful bulky black New Zealand doe. She should be ready to breed in about a month. I'm going to use a friend's broken NZ buck as stud.  :IBCOOL:
Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: Widgeondeke on October 28, 2017, 09:18:45 PM
Rabbit tacos are GREAT!  :drool:
Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: Machias on October 30, 2017, 11:41:28 AM
I have three litters due over the next couple of weeks.
Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: jackelope on October 31, 2017, 09:06:11 AM
I have three litters due over the next couple of weeks.

Nice, Fred. What breed?
Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: jackelope on October 31, 2017, 09:06:56 AM
I've been considering meat rabbits for some time now, and had gotten into contact with someone to get a butchered rabbit to try the meat before committing to it. But I went to a rabbit show today with some friends and couldn't resist this beautiful bulky black New Zealand doe. She should be ready to breed in about a month. I'm going to use a friend's broken NZ buck as stud.  :IBCOOL:


Good stuff. You must have gone to the Pasco show. Have fun. She looks like a nice one.
Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: eastsidemallard74 on October 31, 2017, 11:20:18 AM
We have about 40 of them, and eat a lot of rabbit. Italians...... We marinade it in a pickled vinegar pepper we grow, or put it in our sauce to eat pasta with. Love it, the kids love it.
Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: Machias on October 31, 2017, 09:07:29 PM
I have three litters due over the next couple of weeks.

Nice, Fred. What breed?


Harlequins
Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: jennabug on November 01, 2017, 07:15:24 AM
Excellent! Glad to hear so many others do this.

I am really excited about this new project, though I haven't figured out cages/space for growing out litters yet. I suppose I have at least a couple of months. Yes, I went to the Pasco show.
Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: jackelope on November 01, 2017, 07:18:52 AM
Excellent! Glad to hear so many others do this.

I am really excited about this new project, though I haven't figured out cages/space for growing out litters yet. I suppose I have at least a couple of months. Yes, I went to the Pasco show.

You're going to wean a likely large litter at 8 weeks old so you've got 31-ish days gestation plus 2 months once you breed to figure it out LOL. Cages you're probably going to want to be at least 30x30 for the doe and litter. All wire is about a thousand times better than wood. Rabbit pee is not the greatest stuff in the world to mix with wood and is not easy to clean.

I have three litters due over the next couple of weeks.

Nice, Fred. What breed?


Harlequins

Very cool...a rare breed.
Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: Machias on November 03, 2017, 09:25:51 AM
I had 2 rabbits last night, crock pot with an Alfredo sauce.  Mmmmmm so good!!!
Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: jennabug on November 03, 2017, 07:27:27 PM
I had 2 rabbits last night, crock pot with an Alfredo sauce.  Mmmmmm so good!!!

Yum!
Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: HighlandLofts on November 18, 2017, 11:59:06 PM
I will be making new cages here shortly, the one I built isn't to user friendly.but it worked. I old a few butcher rabbits and put the rest in the freezer until get back. I'm out of state for another three weeks visiting family and getting in some deer hunting.
I'll be making up a weaning pen something like a chicken tractor that can be moved around.
Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: jennabug on November 20, 2017, 07:33:28 AM
The last week+ was full of rabbit related activities for me. I helped someone with a butcher day and learned how easy it is to dress out rabbits. I got my doe bred, which she was very receptive to. And I cooked rabbit for the first time... browned in the pan and finished in the oven.  :drool: Delicious, can't wait to get more! I brought some in to work to share samples.
I got a few more cages this weekend for the future rabbitry. I'm still determining where to keep them, but my doe is in our spare basement storage room for now. I'm excited for the future of this, getting closer to being able to provide most of our own meat between hunting and suburban farming.
Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: Machias on November 20, 2017, 10:36:22 AM
Well my 3 young does, all first time Moms, went like this:

Doe #1 built her nest outside of the nest box and had 3 babies.  Since they wouldn't have survived anyways, I moved the whole nest and babies inside the box and put the box where she built the nest.  They made it 6 days, thought they were doing great and then Mom didn't pull enough hair and they all died from exposure. 

Doe #2 did not produce a litter, never made a nest and generally acted like she had never been bred. 

Doe #3 built a nice nest in the box and has pulled good hair.  I have not checked to see how many babies she had, but they are moving good every time I feed, so hopefully in about 5 days I'll be able to see how many she had.

I'll re-breed at the end of Feb.
Title: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: jackelope on November 20, 2017, 10:42:24 AM
I got my buddy set up with a trio of Californians last week. The buck is a junior but the 2 does came bred to a different buck. Once they're ready to be bred again, the buck will be old enough. These guys should produce some delicious food.

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20171120/02608ac490b99e0600efba4b37c3e4c1.jpg)
Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: jackelope on November 20, 2017, 10:44:56 AM
Well my 3 young does, all first time Moms, went like this:

Doe #1 built her nest outside of the nest box and had 3 babies.  Since they wouldn't have survived anyways, I moved the whole nest and babies inside the box and put the box where she built the nest.  They made it 6 days, thought they were doing great and then Mom didn't pull enough hair and they all died from exposure. 

Doe #2 did not produce a litter, never made a nest and generally acted like she had never been bred. 

Doe #3 built a nice nest in the box and has pulled good hair.  I have not checked to see how many babies she had, but they are moving good every time I feed, so hopefully in about 5 days I'll be able to see how many she had.

I'll re-breed at the end of Feb.

You're fine getting in there on day 1 to check on them and count if you want. Won't bother anyone at all.
Good move moving the nest.
Sometimes they don't take. Not a bad idea to breed them again right away, especially with the one with the dead babies. Watch for mastitis with that one. She could get milk bound with no babies to drink it.

Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: Machias on November 20, 2017, 11:28:13 AM
Well my 3 young does, all first time Moms, went like this:

Doe #1 built her nest outside of the nest box and had 3 babies.  Since they wouldn't have survived anyways, I moved the whole nest and babies inside the box and put the box where she built the nest.  They made it 6 days, thought they were doing great and then Mom didn't pull enough hair and they all died from exposure. 

Doe #2 did not produce a litter, never made a nest and generally acted like she had never been bred. 

Doe #3 built a nice nest in the box and has pulled good hair.  I have not checked to see how many babies she had, but they are moving good every time I feed, so hopefully in about 5 days I'll be able to see how many she had.

I'll re-breed at the end of Feb.

You're fine getting in there on day 1 to check on them and count if you want. Won't bother anyone at all.
Good move moving the nest.
Sometimes they don't take. Not a bad idea to breed them again right away, especially with the one with the dead babies. Watch for mastitis with that one. She could get milk bound with no babies to drink it.



I have been keeping an eye on her, so far so good.  I normally don't breed this time of the year, just so cold over here at night in Dec and Jan.  I rarely have babies survive once it gets down in the lower teens and single digits, unless they are a couple of weeks old.
Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: KFhunter on November 20, 2017, 11:46:55 AM
I quit raising rabbits, still have some in the freezer


We pretty much boiled it down to 2 meals we'd make with rabbit.   Rabbit noodle soup and Rabbit dumplings.
I know there's literally 100's, 1000's of ways to eat rabbit but in this house it just all came down to two dishes.  Wife won't cook them unless I thaw them out and get them boiled, then she'll debone and make one of 2 dishes.  Kids aren't excited about either one.

 :dunno:


I had trouble butchering at the optimal age for frying, 1 or 2 weeks past due makes a big difference in meat tenderness then you end up with stewing rabbits instead of fryers.  You get busy, time fly's and then next thing you have boilers.....again. 


I'm going to tear out the hutch and build a different design, but before I do that I want a legit butcher shop that'll handle everything from a small rabbit to a huge Angus bull.  I didn't enjoy butchering in the summer, in the rain, in the snow, in the wind, in the mosquitoes, bees, flies etc.
Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: jackelope on November 20, 2017, 12:05:23 PM
This past year at the Snohomish County fair, they included rabbits in the youth livestock auction. My kid has decided she wants to participate in that next year. After raising little 5 pound Dutch rabbits for the last couple years, we'll see how she does handling a commercial breed. She wants to enter fryers, which means she'll have to have the doe at our house when she has babies in order to meet the 45 day ownership for fair rule. Could make for an interesting spring/early summer. Probably going to need a bigger cage for these critters.
Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: KFhunter on November 20, 2017, 12:31:59 PM
Some of the meat breeds can be more docile than others.  NZW aren't one of the docile meat breeds
Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: jackelope on November 20, 2017, 12:43:52 PM
Some of the meat breeds can be more docile than others.  NZW aren't one of the docile meat breeds

I think she'll likely end up with a Cali litter from the guy I just got set up or a NZ litter. Our friend raises NZ's and they're all pretty nice. She told my kid she could borrow a bred doe. It's more the size of them I wonder about when it comes to a 10 year old handling them. They have to do a seperate round of showmanship at fair with their meat project and need to be able to handle them trouble free. She wants to raise fryers and she has to have the rabbits in her possession 45 days before fair so the age requirements of fryers at fair mean they're not old enough to be weaned when they would have to be in the kid's possession. A lot of the kids buy rabbits 45+days before fair and do roasters rather than raising them themselves for a fryer class(1 rabbit under 12 weeks I believe) or a meat pen(3 rabbits under 10 weeks I think)
 
(maybe it's under 12 weeks. Honestly I can't remember. I know they have to be old enough to make weight but not over 10 or 12 weeks and not over a certain weight)


Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: jennabug on November 20, 2017, 01:14:16 PM
Sorry to hear of your troubles Fred. Hopefully Doe #3 does ok.
Congrats on the trio to your friend jackelope.
Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: jennabug on November 20, 2017, 01:23:12 PM
I will be making new cages here shortly, the one I built isn't to user friendly.but it worked. I old a few butcher rabbits and put the rest in the freezer until get back. I'm out of state for another three weeks visiting family and getting in some deer hunting.
I'll be making up a weaning pen something like a chicken tractor that can be moved around.
Good luck on your hunt. Be sure to post up pics of your new setups.
Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: jackelope on November 20, 2017, 01:28:57 PM
This is my kidís current situation LOL.  They just hit 3 weeks old. Sheís got a chocolate litter too, same age.

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20171120/14db741cec0cbdb0e9330e12ba2cc0f8.jpg)

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20171120/eaaaf6e72b719b602fffcf4177c7f131.jpg)


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: h20hunter on November 20, 2017, 01:31:48 PM
Shut your mouth right now that is a cute bunny!!!!!
Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: jackelope on November 20, 2017, 01:42:37 PM
Shut your mouth right now that is a cute bunny!!!!!

They'll be ready for your kid to take one home in 5 weeks!!
Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: Woodchuck on November 20, 2017, 01:44:37 PM
Shut your mouth right now that is a cute bunny!!!!!

They'll be ready for your kid to take one home in 5 weeks!!
Should't they always go in pairs so they don't get lonely?
Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: jackelope on November 20, 2017, 01:45:59 PM
Shut your mouth right now that is a cute bunny!!!!!

They'll be ready for your kid to take one home in 5 weeks!!
Should't they always go in pairs so they don't get lonely?

Yes. Your second one will be ready at the same time!!
Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: h20hunter on November 20, 2017, 01:53:19 PM
Shut your mouth right now that is a cute bunny!!!!!

They'll be ready for your kid to take one home in 5 weeks!!

Sweet....our snake is probably tired of rats.
Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: Machias on November 20, 2017, 01:54:14 PM
 :chuckle:
Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: jennabug on December 15, 2017, 02:54:56 PM
My NZ doe finally kindled this morning (Day 33), and I got to watch most of the action. She ate a tiny runt, whole, and almost choked. And there was another dead in the nest. 6 total survived: 4 broken and 2 solid. Leading up to the birth she refused any nest box and just built a nest in the hay early this morning. I was on baby watch the whole week, not knowing if she would give birth on the wire. It was the first time for both of us.

I was hoping to have a larger litter, and have friends requesting to buy any of my broken NZ that are does. So it looks like I won't get as much meat from this litter as I expected. And I'm not sure if I want to wait to grow out this litter for breeders.

In other news, I have the opportunity to get a Silver Fox buck in exchange for helping someone butcher. And am considering buying a Champagne D'Argent doe as well.  Does it seem unwise to have such a mix of breeds? So far I don't particularly care for the NZ temperament, and would primarily be breeding for meat. I don't have time to do tanning and breaking hides myself.
Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: Machias on December 15, 2017, 03:21:48 PM
Nice!

My doe is about to wean 7 nice Harlequins,  they were 4 weeks old yesterday.  All doing great.  I'll have to post a photo this weekend.
Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: jackelope on December 15, 2017, 03:44:25 PM
Congrats on the littles, Jenna.
My input regarding mixing breeds will come down to what you want to do with them. I know a lady who is a Champagne breeder in central WA and she breeds meat rabbits as well. Her meat rabbits are all NZ/Champagne crosses. I've never bred for meat production before so don't have any personal experience there. If you have any interest in showing rabbits, don't mix breeds unless you have a lot of space. Silver foxes are super rare. It would be cool to have them, but from a showing standpoint there is zero competition.

As far as temperament of the NZ's go...I think it comes down to handling and that sort of thing. I also think it's a little genetic. We have a local kid who uses a NZ doe for showmanship, so they're not all unfriendly. I've handled a bunch of them and like any other rabbit, there are calm ones and exciteable ones. My kid has had Dutch rabbits that were biters and generally spastic. Others that would snuggle on her pillow with her.   If they don't get handled, they're going to be little jerks from time to time.

Unrelated news, my kid had a 6 month old Dutch buck choke on a feed pellet 2 nights ago. We got him cleared up to where he was breathing ok, but the damage was done I think. You could tell he wasn't well and was hurting so I took him to my buddy's house last night and put him down. He's the guy we just set up with the Cali's and he wanted to try out his new equipment. Processed him and put him in the freezer.




Title: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: jackelope on December 15, 2017, 03:58:28 PM
Here's an updated pic of one of the blue dutch babies I posted above. They're 7 weeks this weekend.

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20171215/ed23f8e9f5d6b7e2aa60e0144c33bb20.jpg)
Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: KFhunter on December 15, 2017, 05:35:14 PM
I was just thinking about street tacos,  just now  :dunno:
Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: jennabug on December 15, 2017, 06:15:41 PM
Thanks jackelope. Glad to see your kits are doing well; yours too Machias.
I honestly have zero interest in showing. So I'll probably move forward with mixing. The Silver Fox buck is a blue, but the seller says he's not showable. It's fine by me. And I've really like everything I've read about the Champagnes.
Sorry you had to put one down. I may have to put one of the kits down. It is not moving its hind legs at all. I'm going to see how it looks tomorrow.
Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: Widgeondeke on January 18, 2018, 10:51:16 AM

As far as temperament of the NZ's go...I think it comes down to handling and that sort of thing. I also think it's a little genetic. We have a local kid who uses a NZ doe for showmanship, so they're not all unfriendly. I've handled a bunch of them and like any other rabbit, there are calm ones and excitable ones. My kid has had Dutch rabbits that were biters and generally spastic. Others that would snuggle on her pillow with her.   If they don't get handled, they're going to be little jerks from time to time.

I still blame the person that was bit for being rough with him  :chuckle:
Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: Widgeondeke on January 18, 2018, 10:54:58 AM
@ KFHunter - my family(kids) prefers rabbit 2 ways. Ground burger tacos and backstrap tenders; this is how I made rabbit the very first time for them, told em it was chicken strips  :chuckle:
I like it in stew/soup, but am the only one in the household that does.
Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: KFhunter on January 18, 2018, 10:39:17 PM
I'm half tempted to get back into it, but not until I empty my freezers a bit. 

I never tried rabbit burger
Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: Jpmiller on January 23, 2018, 10:26:30 AM
Always wanted to try this. What kind of time commitment are meat rabbits? We had plain pet rabbits.growing up that we fed and played with but I'm curious if the time commitment for breeding and upkeep is significantly higher for meat rabbits?
Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: Machias on January 23, 2018, 10:30:10 AM
If anyone is looking for some baby rabbits.  For HuntWA members they are free.  :)

https://spokane.craigslist.org/grd/d/harlequin-rabbits-8-weeks-old/6451731875.html
Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: Machias on January 23, 2018, 10:32:08 AM
Always wanted to try this. What kind of time commitment are meat rabbits? We had plain pet rabbits.growing up that we fed and played with but I'm curious if the time commitment for breeding and upkeep is significantly higher for meat rabbits?

I spend about 15 minutes a day with mine, 5 to 7 minutes in the morning and the same in the evening.  But only because I have some babies right now that eat a hopper full a day and drink a crock full during the day and night.  Otherwise I could feed and water once every couple of days and they would be good to go.
Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: jackelope on January 23, 2018, 10:39:31 AM
Always wanted to try this. What kind of time commitment are meat rabbits? We had plain pet rabbits.growing up that we fed and played with but I'm curious if the time commitment for breeding and upkeep is significantly higher for meat rabbits?

My wife and kid have rabbits that they show. I assume they spend more time with them than you would meat rabbits because of grooming and stuff. Probably 30 minutes a day if they don't spend time playing with them or whatever. Once or twice a week we clean cages and that takes an hour or so dumping trays etc.
You can set up your rabbitry without trays if you have the place to do it and then use the poop for fertilizer. It's really great fertilizer. That would save cleaning time.

Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: Jpmiller on January 23, 2018, 10:47:50 AM
So other than the butchering process there's nothing specific meat rabbits need? That's good to know. Really like eating rabbit the handful of times I've been given it.
Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: jackelope on January 23, 2018, 11:03:46 AM
So other than the butchering process there's nothing specific meat rabbits need? That's good to know. Really like eating rabbit the handful of times I've been given it.

I think you need some cages to house your rabbits where they'll live and when they're kindling, then maybe cages for the grow outs after they're weaned. Babies are probably good together till 10 weeks or so, which I imagine is probably about butcher time depending on your breed and growth rate. Cages take up space. With 2-3 does and a buck you can make a crap ton of babies if you do it right. Meat rabbits are usually big so 24"x30" cages where they live and kindle and then a big place for the babies once the litter is weaned. It takes some space.
Quality pellets, timothy hay and wire floor cages. Figure out a way to dispatch rabbits....broomstick, bolt gun, hopper popper, etc.


 
Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: Machias on January 23, 2018, 11:58:10 AM
I used to just club them at the base of the skull.  But I made a homemade rabbit wringer (look at Google images), very easy to make and really easy to use and kills them very quickly. 
Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: jennabug on January 23, 2018, 03:28:03 PM
It's been super easy so far. I was even able to score cheap and free cages. The few we have now are in the house for the winter, in a utility room. But as we move in to spring they will be moved outside.  About the same maintenance level as chickens in my opinion.

I've been helping a lady butcher her extras in exchange for meat while my small set-up matures. So far we've made some pan-roasted, simmered in curry sauce, and jerky. Tacos next?

Bonus: All the waste has been going to the garden (rabbit waste is "cold" manure, so you can directly apply it in the garden without composting first.)

Machias, those are beautiful kits! Congrats!

My 4 surviving kits from the first litter are doing great, and I will be ready to re-breed my NZ doe next week. I did lose a couple after birth.
I'll be adding a Champagne D'Argent doe soon from a breeder who will also provide her with stud service until she can make an unrelated buck for me. I decided to keep the Champagnes are purebred and pass on the Silver Fox buck.
Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: jackelope on January 23, 2018, 05:00:50 PM
There's nothing wrong with line breeding. Super common in the rabbit world.
Breed her back to her best male offspring.
Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: jennabug on January 23, 2018, 08:08:47 PM
There's nothing wrong with line breeding. Super common in the rabbit world.
Breed her back to her best male offspring.

Yeah, I'm not opposed to that. Keeping my options open in the meantime.  :tup:
Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: HighlandLofts on March 03, 2018, 08:54:38 PM
I will be picking up another buck tomorrow to breed on my two black NZ does, i,'ll breed my white broken red doe on the rex buck I have.

I used about half of the young I raised last year.
I am going to build new cages that will be a little user friendly.

I can,t figure posting pictures on here.
Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: Boss .300 winmag on March 03, 2018, 11:01:27 PM
I will be picking up another buck tomorrow to breed on my two black NZ does, i,'ll breed my white broken red doe on the rex buck I have.

I used about half of the young I raised last year.
I am going to build new cages that will be a little user friendly.

I can,t figure posting pictures on here.

If you have an Apple Iphone try screen shooting your pic (I donít know if that helps on android phones) then try posting, that works for me.

Good luck


BTW your pm in box is full.
Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: HighlandLofts on March 04, 2018, 01:59:24 PM
I went and deleted a bunch of received pms.
Title: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: jackelope on March 04, 2018, 04:13:07 PM
Right on.
The less wood your cages are built from, the better off youíll be from a sanitation standpoint.

.02
Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: jennabug on March 05, 2018, 07:32:30 AM
I will be picking up another buck tomorrow to breed on my two black NZ does, i,'ll breed my white broken red doe on the rex buck I have.

I used about half of the young I raised last year.
I am going to build new cages that will be a little user friendly.

I can,t figure posting pictures on here.

I need to get my larger cages set up soon. My two does both kindled this past week.
First timer (Champagne D'Argent) had 4 survive birth. The kits are really fat and well fed.
The NZ doe had 9 survive, though I had to assist with the sac on one of the kits. She has not yet figured out building a nest, but allowed me to put the kits into the nest I made in the nest box for her.

My 12 week kits aren't quite 5 lbs yet. We're keeping one, selling one to a new meat breeder, and processing the remaining two.  How large do most of you butcher at? They seem too small to process to me.
Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: jackelope on March 05, 2018, 09:58:40 AM
My friend's 9 week old Californians are 9 weeks this Thursday and they're right around 4.5 pounds a piece give or take. They're headed to the freezer this week with the exception of 1 buck for a 4-H kid in our club and a doe he's going to keep back as a breeder.
Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: jackelope on March 16, 2018, 10:37:24 AM
Just a heads up to all you rabbit folks.

http://www.thenav.ca/2018/03/16/deadly-rabbit-disease-strikes-nanaimo/

This has the potential to be a big deal. It's the same virus(different strain I guess) that they released in New Zealand to eliminate all the feral rabbits. NW Washington is in the 150 mile radius "red zone". Might be a lot of hype at this point, but either way it's something to be aware of. Hopefully it stays on Vancouver Island but it's really easily transmitted or carried to different areas.  If it makes mainland BC the kid's rabbits will probably end up locked down and she'll have to take a break from showing.
Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: HighlandLofts on April 07, 2018, 07:52:44 PM
I bred the three does I have today, I will put them back in with the buck again tommrow.
I am going to build a couple or pens to finish the kits out in.
I will also be buying a galvanized garbage can to keep the feed in.
I have been using 5 gallon plastic buckets.
Title: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: jackelope on April 07, 2018, 09:18:34 PM
I was told a while back that plastic cans wonít create as much moisture as galvanized cans do. If youíre going through a bunch of feed, itís probably a non issue. We did the garbage can thing a while but we use vittles vaults now.
My kid has 2 litters now and we bred another doe last night. Sheís not showing right now so might as well work on some new show prospects.

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180408/1857233d958d4b4435090095ca891ed1.jpg)
Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: HighlandLofts on September 14, 2018, 03:30:19 PM
I have three litters New Zealand/Rex crosses that are about ready to butcher if any one wants any. There are 22 little ones, I'd like to keep half.
Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: jennabug on September 16, 2018, 07:09:59 AM
I have three litters New Zealand/Rex crosses that are about ready to butcher if any one wants any. There are 22 little ones, I'd like to keep half.
That's fantastic! The majority of my breedings were unsuccessful this year (I think heat sterility, plus I lost a doe this spring.) I think my boys may come inside the garage next summer. Fortunately we're not lacking for meat yet from helping others with culls. I have 3 does hopefully due early October.

Anyway, that's great that you're sharing this opportunity with others. :)  :hello:
Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: eastsidemallard74 on September 16, 2018, 07:13:06 AM
We breed rabbits, and have about 20-30 rabbits we butcher 2-3xs a year. we have a huge room set up with 55g feeders that the food represent remove replenishes as the eat
Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: jackelope on September 16, 2018, 05:35:17 PM
Good stuff, folks. I started helping a buddy get his breeding program going with some really nice Californian rabbits this past year. Sent a couple with kids to a couple of the local fairs for market and youth livestock sale animals. Kids did good there and the rabbits did good too. We managed to fill a freezer or 2 as well.

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180917/52579d32504daa53a504c6e5477ea36c.jpg)

Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: jennabug on September 16, 2018, 05:59:42 PM
 :tup:
Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: HighlandLofts on September 16, 2018, 06:58:25 PM
How big do the Californians get? I was going to keep a buck.from this cross for my next spring breeding and then get rid of it and keep a buck from that set to use.
Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: jackelope on September 16, 2018, 07:23:18 PM
Max weight on senior bucks is 10 pounds.  Does are 10.5 pounds.

This doe is a young senior so a little over 8 months old.

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180917/d7c356cd3cb5f16a907ebd8f9d2a7c37.jpg)

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180917/fe3bd358a8d88e0a56d2b53a0a5ee83b.jpg)

Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: jennabug on September 16, 2018, 08:04:17 PM
How big do the Californians get? I was going to keep a buck.from this cross for my next spring breeding and then get rid of it and keep a buck from that set to use.

Have you considered Champagne D'argent?  The mature does get up to 12 lbs and have a really nice meat ratio. I'm seriously considering ditching my New Zealands moving to just D'argent and crossed after growing some of each out.
Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: jackelope on September 16, 2018, 08:10:41 PM
If youíre growing for meat, growth rate is where itís at,  not so much maximum size. You look for the best quality animal you can afford and know about growth rates of their offspring. This doe I posted pics of above is from a litter that was 4.5-5 pounds at 10 weeks old. Thatís pretty darn good so we held her back. We just processed a litter that was 14 weeks and they had a lot of fat buildup on them because we waited too long to harvest them.
Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: jackelope on September 16, 2018, 08:11:25 PM
How big do the Californians get? I was going to keep a buck.from this cross for my next spring breeding and then get rid of it and keep a buck from that set to use.

Have you considered Champagne D'argent?  The mature does get up to 12 lbs and have a really nice meat ratio. I'm seriously considering ditching my New Zealands moving to just D'argent and crossed after growing some of each out.

Martie likes that cross if I remember correctly.
Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: jennabug on September 16, 2018, 08:28:03 PM
If youíre growing for meat, growth rate is where itís at,  not so much maximum size. You look for the best quality animal you can afford and know about growth rates of their offspring. This doe I posted pics of above is from a litter that was 4.5-5 pounds at 10 weeks old. Thatís pretty darn good so we held her back. We just processed a litter that was 14 weeks and they had a lot of fat buildup on them because we waited too long to harvest them.
10 weeks? That's pretty good! I think my current NZ kits are at least 12 weeks now are approaching 5lb. The champagnes did grow out faster, but the only one I butchered died from heat. The remaining 3 of the litter were does. (Kept or bred).

One of Marty's does weighed in at over 13lbs last weekend in hermiston.  :chuckle: :chuckle: I'm going to try to get one of her kits. But yes, I've heard good things on CdA/NZ. I'm sure that cross will be bred later this fall.
Title: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: jackelope on September 16, 2018, 09:31:56 PM
One of the rabbits we gave to a kid was 12 weeks old at  evergreen state fair in August and weighed 5 pounds 4 ounces. My buddy has more stats but thatís pretty common. The Cali lines were using comes from one of the top Cali breeders in the West.

There was 10-12 CdAís at the Bremerton show yesterday.
Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: jennabug on October 04, 2018, 06:26:39 PM
My three does that were due (if they were impregnated) did not give birth this week.
But fortunately for me a couple of friends have culls that they need help with, so I wont be out of rabbit meat. The deal is that I keep half of what i butcher. That's my plan for tomorrow.
Meanwhile I've been making a new lean-to shelter for winter using scrap wood. It's still in a work in progress. It should fit my 2 stackers and a couple of growout cages. The roof is lined with plastic to keep out the moisture. It looks uneven because I didnt align the roof boards well. I promise the roof base is level.  :chuckle:
Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: HighlandLofts on October 14, 2018, 01:56:39 PM
It's nice having a roof over your rabbit pens.
Next year I want to do something different for my rabbit and laying chicken adventure. I am thinking of rabbits on one side and the chickens on the other side with an isle between..
Title: Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
Post by: Kc_Kracker on November 10, 2018, 01:02:45 PM
we breed them, selling the whole lot off right now listed in classifieds