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Hi from Missouri

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Hi from Missouri

Post Number:#1  Unread postby Lauren.Christians » Mon Sep 21, 2020 12:23 am


I've lurked around for quite awhile. I have so many questions, but they've mostly been covered already.
I raised and showed rabbits at the county fair as a kid. 25 years later, I'm settled back on a farm. We're well experienced at butchering Cornish cross chickens. We're ready to try rabbits again. I'm primarily interested in meat /fur breeds. I'm a seamstress and artist. I intend to tan the furs and make luxurious things with them.
My mom lives rexs, they seem a pretty common breed around here, thefurs are glorious. I'm joining thestatewide club for $10, see what that's about.
I'm also interested in American chinchilla. Much less common here. Can you chime in about pedigreed animals vs not. I don't intend to show, but i want quality, healthy, meaty animals
I'm making some hanging cages this week. I read here about reinforcing the edges with wire and cutting wire with a mini grinder (brain fart, can't remember the right wordfor it). This forum helped me decide to stick with j clips. *grateful* I'm going to hang the first few In my chicken coop to protect them from raccoons here, And set my mom up with some hanging cages in her greenhouse for the winter. In the summer, hers will move to a pole barn.
I'm really excited about adding a new meat source, fertilizer source, possible revenue stream (fur moccasins,baby),and source of joy around the homestead.

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Re: Hi from Missouri

Post Number:#2  Unread postby michaels4gardens » Mon Sep 21, 2020 5:41 am


Two thoughts,..
Buy breed stock rabbits from someone who raises them
for the same purpose you intend to raise them .
IE:a focus on growth rate, productivity, and fur quality..
Many "show breeders" don't have good "productivity", as their main focus is on "show quality"..[some do]
Secondly, be careful when housing rabbits with chickens, make sure the cages are situated,
[or covered] in such a way that chicken poop cannot get into their cages ..
meat-mutt rabbits, a few laying hens.

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Zass

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Re: Hi from Missouri

Post Number:#3  Unread postby Zass » Mon Sep 21, 2020 12:34 pm


michaels4gardens wrote:Two thoughts,..
Buy breed stock rabbits from someone who raises them
for the same purpose you intend to raise them .
IE:a focus on growth rate, productivity, and fur quality..
Many "show breeders" don't have good "productivity", as their main focus is on "show quality"..[some do]
Secondly, be careful when housing rabbits with chickens, make sure the cages are situated,
[or covered] in such a way that chicken poop cannot get into their cages ..


:yeahthat:

I just found out there are show harli breeders who routinely cull any kits over 5 in a litter to maximize individual kit growth. :shock: :-o

I raise mine as primarily backyard livestock, but also enjoy showing when I get the chance. I'd sooner cull a doe who couldn't feed at least 8 kits.
Temperament is huge on my list as well, because I enjoy petting, grooming, and just generally interacting with my rabbits.

I would think over what you most enjoy from your rabbits, and then try to choose a breed or mix from a breeder with similar goals.
Unless you are showing, a pure breed isn't (usually) very important at all.
If your goal is raising something like rex for fur, however, you will want to only breed rex to quality rex to maintain their unique coat qualities. (If you go this route, get good pedigreed ones from someone who knows the breed well , and keep records, your kits will generally be worth at least twice as much. )

If you decide to get unpedigreed rabbits and breed towards whatever you like without concern for show standards, your market will mostly be other backyard meat breeders and maybe a few pet sales. This is perfectly fine for small livestock raising.
It can be very enjoyable to get different breeds and mix them together just to see what you create, with a good possibility of seeing some hybrid vigor and all kinds interesting coat variety that you would rarely see in purebred rabbits.

Just be aware that most breeders will see any unpedigreed rabbits as functionally the same thing as meat or pet mutts.
Sometimes, I think there is more of a demand for meat mutts than there is for show rabbits, but this also depends on the breed you choose.
As a breeder of pedigreed show rabbits, other show breeders would be your main customers, so choosing something popular in the area is a going to generate more sales than something rare or unusual.

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Re: Hi from Missouri

Post Number:#4  Unread postby Lauren.Christians » Mon Sep 21, 2020 3:24 pm


michaels4gardens wrote:Two thoughts,..
Buy breed stock rabbits from someone who raises them
for the same purpose you intend to raise them .
IE:a focus on growth rate, productivity, and fur quality..
Many "show breeders" don't have good "productivity", as their main focus is on "show quality"..[some do]
Secondly, be careful when housing rabbits with chickens, make sure the cages are situated,
[or covered] in such a way that chicken poop cannot get into their cages ..


That's a excellent point. I've noticed small litters from some competitive breeders around here. I just heard back from the state club, $7 dues. Evidently the national rex show is at the mo state fairgrounds next spring. Could be a good opportunity.

Ah, yes. I'm absolutely going to cover the top of the cage and feeder/water bottle. It's incredibly well ventilated.

__________Mon Sep 21, 2020 2:24 pm ___________

Great food for thought there Zass. I'm a trial and error learner, maybe I'll just jump in with a pair and get a baseline to grow from.

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Re: Hi from Missouri

Post Number:#5  Unread postby hotzcatz » Wed Sep 23, 2020 5:12 pm


"Howdy" Lauren!

That's Missourian for 'aloha', isn't it?

When raising rabbits of any type, I've found good record keeping to be invaluable. There's a 'pedigree' program called 'Kintracks' which has a free download and you can add in several hundred animals before it asks for any money for the program. Even when you decide to buy it, the program is only about $20 Australian which is usually somewhat less than $20 US.

I've been using it for years and have detailed information about the herd which comes in really handy for all sorts of things.

Most breeders will sell different qualities of stock. You can frequently get breeder quality stock from them which is usually a level above pet quality and still less expensive than show quality. Also, a breeder can tell you a lot more about the rabbit than a pet breeder with an 'ooops' litter.

AFAIK, the plush Rex coat requires a double recessive allele in order for it to show up on the rabbit. Which means any cross bred rabbit won't have the extra plushy coat of a Rex. So buying stock from a breeder - even if it's not show quality - will give you bunnies that can be bred and get predictable results.
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