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questions about the size of my meat mutts

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questions about the size of my meat mutts

Post Number:#1  Unread postby Noobious » Wed Nov 02, 2016 12:28 pm


I got 3 meat mutts from someone who's been doing meat rabbits for awhile now, but I'm a little concerned about their sizes. The does I have are 4 and 5 months old, respectively, but I don't think they weigh much more than 5 pounds. They told me the younger one is a new zealand, but she's a mottled brown color, the other is a new zealand/Rex cross. Are they way undersized for their breeds? Or do I just need to wait for them to mature a little more?

Update I just went and weighed them all, the 4 month nz is 2 lb, the 5 month nz/rex is 3 lb, and the 9 month nz/satin buck is 6 lbs. Any reason why they would be this small?

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Re: questions about the size of my meat mutts

Post Number:#2  Unread postby SarniaTricia » Wed Nov 02, 2016 12:59 pm


I breed meat mutts too....

Sounds like they all are a bit small... my 6 week old NZ mixes were averaging 2lbs last week!!

I expect my meat rabbits to be 8lbs to breed... that is usually 5-6months.

With meat mutts it is important not to get too stuck on size... you want them to be about 5-6 lbs to butcher, so your breeding stock just need to produce quick growing rabbits more than huge rabbits.

Avoid any giants to add to the mix (they take too long to grow).... I have a mix American Chinchilla Buck that produces fast growing kits .... good bone to meat ratio and they prefer hay to pellets, so a bit cheaper to feed. Depending on where you are located I have some 6 week old kits I'm willing to part with. (just read you are in Montana... sorry to tease)

Let me know and I'll get photos of my kits and post you what I look for in the kits and maybe that might help. (at work right now...lol)
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Re: questions about the size of my meat mutts

Post Number:#3  Unread postby Noobious » Wed Nov 02, 2016 1:41 pm


Well I'm resolved now to just try to get them up to butchering size, and pick new breeding stock out of my older rabbits, a silverfox buck and doe and a Californian doe. Do you think the nz/satin buck would be ok to try to keep as breeding stock? Or no because he's not growing to size fast enough?

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Re: questions about the size of my meat mutts

Post Number:#4  Unread postby SableSteel » Wed Nov 02, 2016 3:16 pm


I wouldn't a keep him. My nz were past that weight at 3 months, and one of the new Zealand's best features is their growth rate and size, no need to keep a small buck like that. New zealands can come in chestnut & steel by the way, it's just not recognized, so color isn't a good way to tell that it's not a NZ
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Re: questions about the size of my meat mutts

Post Number:#5  Unread postby Zass » Wed Nov 02, 2016 5:17 pm


Noobious wrote:Well I'm resolved now to just try to get them up to butchering size, and pick new breeding stock out of my older rabbits, a silverfox buck and doe and a Californian doe. Do you think the nz/satin buck would be ok to try to keep as breeding stock? Or no because he's not growing to size fast enough?



I have a hunch, if your breeds are accurate, there is something very wrong with those rabbits, as they are drastically undersized for their respective breeds, especially if they are first generation hybrids.

The fact that it transcends breed indicates that genetics are not a factor.
Out of curiosity, what is their diet like?

Although, I actually suspect a parasite problem more than a dietary one.

Either way, I wouldn't suggest wasting your time and money to grow them out to size.
They won't grow fast enough to be worth the feed or cage space, and you have already spent several extra months worth of feed for less than I would expect out of 8 week old fryers.

If they were mine...I'd probably cull them all now, even undersized, eat them anyway, sterilize everything (to prevent re-infestation), and start over with fresh stock.

There is also a chance you could sort out what their problem is and treat them for it. The stock you have may be stunted and will likely never reach their full potential, but their kits should, if they are kept in an environment with clean feed, and manageable exposure to disease or parasites.
Last edited by Zass on Wed Nov 02, 2016 5:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: questions about the size of my meat mutts

Post Number:#6  Unread postby Noobious » Wed Nov 02, 2016 5:22 pm


I can't imagine why they're all so small though. Unless I was so unlucky to get every runty rabbit those people had to offer. It's just frustrating that all 3 are no good for breeding. I'm hoping some calf manna will get them up to butchering size so they're not a complete waste of money

__________ Wed Nov 02, 2016 3:22 pm __________

They eat grass hay mostly. Their poop looks normal if it's a parasite. What kind of parasite could stunt those rabbits so bad

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Re: questions about the size of my meat mutts

Post Number:#7  Unread postby Zass » Wed Nov 02, 2016 5:37 pm


Grass hay alone would not provide enough nutrition for growing meat rabbits, so that may be one area to look into.
The calf manna would help, although I tend to see it as a rather expensive supplement.

As for parisites, worms and coccidiosis (caused by a protozoa) are the most likely suspects.

__________ Wed Nov 02, 2016 6:33 pm __________

Possible mold toxins in the hay would be something else to consider.
My rabbits usually tell me when something is off about a batch of hay long before I notice anything wrong. They will pick at it, and tend to refuse to eat it for the most part.

If your buns are readily chowing down on their hay, it's probably good hay. :)

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Re: questions about the size of my meat mutts

Post Number:#8  Unread postby Noobious » Wed Nov 02, 2016 5:41 pm


Sorry, correction, they eat mostly grass hay, they also get greens from the garden, clean veggie scraps, amd pellets now and then. The other rabbits I've got rhat aren't infested eat the hay no problem. I'm thinking your right about parasites. Sad as it is, I'm thinking they all have to go.
Is there any chance they could have passed it off to my other rabbits?

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