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Breed suggestions

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Breed suggestions

Post Number:#1  Unread postby TeaTimeBunnies » Tue Jun 20, 2017 2:27 pm


I'm planning on getting a meat pair of rabbits, but I'm also wanting some good pelts off them. The breed options I have easily accessible to me are new Zealand, Californian, and mini rex. I'm thinking a mini rex buck (for colorful and soft pelts), but I'm not sure which kind of doe I'd want. Suggestions?
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Re: Breed suggestions

Post Number:#2  Unread postby shazza » Tue Jun 20, 2017 2:46 pm


if you want meat, get a meat rabbit. mini rex are small and have poor meat percentage (meaning in comparison to other breeds the amount of meat you get for the carcass size is much less,) and what you do get is again, tiny. they're also a dwarf breed, so unless you're careful about how you breed them (true dwarf to false dwarf only,) you'll lose a third of your litters every time as peanuts. if you get a mini rex buck and a meat doe, none of the kits will have rex coats, which makes it pointless if you were wanting that texture pelt. if you want rex fur AND meat, i would go for standard rex, but they won't grow as fast as a "normal" meat rabbit. not saying mini rex aren't fine rabbits, i just wouldn't consider them a good choice for meat production ;p

new zealand and californians are going to be the best, really. californians are smaller and have excellent meat to bone ration and will reach butcher weight within 12 weeks if not sooner depending on what you feed them. new zealands are bigger but they actually come in a variety of colours, so don't discount them as not being interesting. i would get a solid buck and a broken doe of two different colours so you'll get a mix of colours and broken/solid patterns in your litters to keep it fun. cali/nz crosses are particularly great growers, but if you breed the offspring you lose the hybrid vigor.

you could also just find someone who has quick-growing meat mutts - they don't need to be purebred if you just want to eat them. mutts have a variable breed history so you can end up with really interesting coat colours and patterns. this is actually the route i took - i found that a college in my state breeds a meat mutt that produces a huge variety of coat colours specially designed for home meat production. they grow really quickly, are very friendly, and every litter is a rainbow so it stays interesting. i absolutely love them.
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Re: Breed suggestions

Post Number:#3  Unread postby TeaTimeBunnies » Tue Jun 20, 2017 2:54 pm


Thanks. I'll keep my eye out for anyone who breeds for meat. I have a few more statements/questions in case I can't find a breeder. I think occasionally the feed store gets standards rex rabbits. The NZ rabbits there are only solid black or white, but you think those crossed might get interesting patterns? There is also another kind that I'm not sure what they are. I'll try to get a picture of one of the other breed next time I'm by there (if they have some) attempting to describe the pattern is Chestnut with black tipped ears. Also what kind of patterns do you think I could get crossing a NZ to a Californian?
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Re: Breed suggestions

Post Number:#4  Unread postby shazza » Tue Jun 20, 2017 2:56 pm


crossing a solid black to a rew rabbit really depends on what the white rabbit is genetically. if it turns out it's a broken, you'll get blacks and broken blacks with some rew. if it's solid, you'll likely just get rew and solid black. the chestnut rabbits, if they're large and solidly built, and probably just chestnut new zealands or mixes.

crossing a nz to a californian will get you litters that are half whatever colour the new zealand is, and half cali marked (dark ears, etc.) the appeal of that cross is more in its vigor than how attractive the kits are lol.


i would keep an eye out on craigslist too and not rely solely on your feed stores, by the way! it's not much more risky than buying at a store, since most of the time you get invited to the property to see the rabbits' setup so you know what you're getting into a bit more. plus there may be tons of breeds for sale that you could choose from.
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Re: Breed suggestions

Post Number:#5  Unread postby TeaTimeBunnies » Tue Jun 20, 2017 3:04 pm


Yeah, I planned on looking through Craigslist for some interesting mutts. That's actually how I got my pedigreed English Spots. I bought a doe off Craigslist and then kept in touch with the breeders, and now we are up to 4 rabbits, 3 of which I purchased from them. The other questions are just in case I don't find anything
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Re: Breed suggestions

Post Number:#6  Unread postby GBov » Tue Jun 20, 2017 4:02 pm


Dont give up on Mini Rex for meat though, while smaller than normal meat breeds, smaller rabbits take smaller cages, are easier to handle and eat less.

It does take more for a meal though. :lol:

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Re: Breed suggestions

Post Number:#7  Unread postby BlueHaven » Tue Jun 20, 2017 8:52 pm


There should be some rex in tn. Check the arba website for breeders and also some of the facebook groups. There are transport groups all over the place and you could surely find some.

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Re: Breed suggestions

Post Number:#8  Unread postby TeaTimeBunnies » Tue Jun 20, 2017 9:10 pm


Thank you all!! Does anyone also know of some interesting crosses I could try?
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Re: Breed suggestions

Post Number:#9  Unread postby Dwc77 » Tue Jun 20, 2017 10:18 pm


My brother crossed a checkered giant with a NZ red buck and keep a couple does out of that litter. And while I like my NZW/California looking rabbits cause kids can't pinpoint one from the other :lol: My brothers does are about the nicest looking rabbits if seen. He breeds them to his Flemish giant buck (big kits) I've found cute bunnies don't taste any better tho. :lol:

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Re: Breed suggestions

Post Number:#10  Unread postby Ramjet » Tue Jun 20, 2017 11:22 pm


I raise "standard" Rex for meat and process the hides .... they might take two weeks more than a NZ or Cali to reach butcher size but if you want a decent hide you aren't going to butcher at 8 weeks anyway. I keep them to about 14 weeks which gives me a very nice sized hide and carcass.


If you want hides .... no matter what breed you choose they need to be in that 14+ week range or they will be so thin that they will rip when you try to flesh / work them.
Most of the commercial breeders that breed for fur raise Rex and keep them 20+ weeks and are climate controlled.
Hindsight is always 20/20 but looking back its still a bit fuzzy.

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Re: Breed suggestions

Post Number:#11  Unread postby UFCreel » Wed Jun 21, 2017 6:41 am


From a meat prospective it is awful hard to beat the NZ White. I have NZ Red. Had whites for years but wanted to change things up. Whites seem to fill out a bit quicker. 10 to 12 weeks for 5lbs live weight. My Reds take the same amount of time though. With the whites you can also dye the pelts.

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Re: Breed suggestions

Post Number:#12  Unread postby SarniaTricia » Wed Jun 21, 2017 10:40 am


I really think getting mutts from a back yard breeder will be your best bet!! Wait and talk to people at your local fall fairs!

I was gifted a meat mutt trio when I started rabbits.... I have a friend that breeds tri rex and I started getting into Harlequins....

My meat mutts threw: tris, booted tris, magpie harlequin, broken magpie harlequins, chinchillas, broken chinchillas, chestnuts, broken chestnuts, and occasionally a REW :D

I sold my breeders to a young couple starting out.... but here is the group she got:
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Plus a Chinchilla Buck and Broken Chinchilla doe
Scarlet had a 2 week old litter that I added some kits from another REX doe that was crossed with a Harlequin buck.... so I'm hoping she got a couple of does to add to her breeding program to get more tris (they were tri coloured kits!)
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Re: Breed suggestions

Post Number:#13  Unread postby TeaTimeBunnies » Thu Jun 22, 2017 5:39 pm


Ok so I got a picture of the rabbits I mentioned earlier. Can anyone tell what they are? They are roughly 8wks old and there is a REW new Zealand in the picture too. I'm pretty much just curious as to what they are. The black tipped ears intrigue me
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Re: Breed suggestions

Post Number:#14  Unread postby shazza » Thu Jun 22, 2017 6:02 pm


they just look like chestnut NZs/meat mutts to me. the black tip ears aren't really anything special - a good chestnut will always have them.
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Re: Breed suggestions

Post Number:#15  Unread postby TeaTimeBunnies » Sun Jun 25, 2017 10:59 am


Okay. Thanks. I just couldn't tell what they were. I'm also trying to figure out who breeds them, because all the rabbits sold at the store are from local rabbitries. I also found out that my county doesn't have a fair, but the next county over does, so now I'm trying to figure out if they have a rabbit show at the fair

__________ Sun Jun 25, 2017 10:59 am __________

Well looks like I'm not going to get to go to the fair this year due to family matters. Y'all think it might be a good idea to experiment with the breeds I can easily get? I think a new Zealand might be a bit much because it is just me and my fiance, but I also think that maybe we could experiment to see what we might like best
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