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Author Topic: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?  (Read 5859 times)

Offline jennabug

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Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
« Reply #45 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.

Offline Machias

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Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
« Reply #46 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.
Fred Moyer


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

Offline jackelope

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Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
« Reply #47 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.

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Offline jackelope

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Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
« Reply #48 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.

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Offline Machias

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Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
« Reply #49 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.
Fred Moyer


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Offline KFhunter

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Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
« Reply #50 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.

Offline jackelope

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Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
« Reply #51 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.
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Offline KFhunter

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Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
« Reply #52 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

Offline jackelope

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Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
« Reply #53 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)


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Offline jennabug

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Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
« Reply #54 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.

Offline jennabug

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Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
« Reply #55 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.

Offline jackelope

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Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
« Reply #56 on: November 20, 2017, 01:28:57 PM »
This is my kid’s current situation LOL.  They just hit 3 weeks old. She’s got a chocolate litter too, same age.






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Offline h20hunter

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Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
« Reply #57 on: November 20, 2017, 01:31:48 PM »
Shut your mouth right now that is a cute bunny!!!!!

Offline jackelope

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Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
« Reply #58 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!!
:fire.:

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Offline Woodchuck

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Re: Anybody breeding meat rabbit?
« Reply #59 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?
Antlered rabbit tastes like chicken


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