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JUST GETTING INTO MEAT RABBITRY

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JUST GETTING INTO MEAT RABBITRY

Post Number:#1  Unread postby mckinleyw » Tue Nov 15, 2016 8:54 am


Hello all. I've been looking into raising New Zealand rabbits for meat at home for many months to almost a full year. I started looking for them a little while ago and wasn't having any luck finding them. Recently I have found someone with a few to sell and I picked up 2 does and a buck which I was able to sex myself at her rabbitry. im not sure how old they are im thinking 9-10 weeks on my does who are sisters, and the buck was a recent addition to her herd and she allowed me to have him. im thinking 12 weeks old from size. My question is if there is a way to tell how old a rabbit is without the kindle dates?


All in all I am enjoying raising them and hope to be able to have kits at the beginning of 2017. I will post pictures of my set up soon. My plan is to raise these 3 rabbits as my family breeders and somewhat spoiled pets while their kits will be food and pelts for my family. I am going to run a relaxed breeding schedule one doe at a time and when kits are weaned off mom, I will breed the other. This is kind of my thought on a routine cycle. I figure 4 weeks to kindle and 4-5 weeks till weaning gives plenty of time in between litters and the kits are going to be family food so I don't need the amounts most want. If anyone has any thoughts or suggestions on ideas please let me know. I want to have a successful rabbitry, and would love as much input on how my ideas sound.

Thank you in advanced.
:)

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Re: JUST GETTING INTO MEAT RABBITRY

Post Number:#2  Unread postby Marinea » Tue Nov 15, 2016 9:18 am


Welcome to RT!

Based on your estimated ages, I would plan on starting to breed in mid to late February. If the breeder you got them from is local, hopefully they will be more heat tolerant and you will be able to breed through hotter Florida weather.

There is a lot of great info here on RT to help you get started. I look forward to seeing pictures of your buns and set up.
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Re: JUST GETTING INTO MEAT RABBITRY

Post Number:#3  Unread postby SarniaTricia » Tue Nov 15, 2016 10:25 am


Welcome!

You sound like you have a good plan.
I, personally, breed as many of my does together as I can.
This way if one is not producing milk, or is struggling to be a mom, I have options of putting litters together. Also, I prefer to cull in batches. (those are my preferences, may not work for your family)

I would also suggest checking out the ARBA site and going to shows. Any rabbit can be used for meat, so doing a breed that you can show, gives you a social environment as well. (You can get a lot of feedback from fellow breeders at the shows to help you improve your stock.)

I was only going to have a max of 3 breeding does at a time... currently up to 5... but next cull, will be down to 3 or 4 (before Dec 1st)
I think that is normal. :lol:

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Re: JUST GETTING INTO MEAT RABBITRY

Post Number:#4  Unread postby Rainey » Tue Nov 15, 2016 1:58 pm


Welcome to RT. You can find lots of help here with raising your own meat. We started with NZW and SF and now have meat mutts from half to 3/4 SF. No interest in showing so this works well for us. I'd be unhappy starting with young rabbits when I didn't know their ages because I wouldn't have much basis for what to expect for growth rate in the kits I'd get from breeding them. But we all start with what we can get or what we have and I didn't heed the advice to start with the best rabbits you could afford (and was skeptical of the idea that more expensive meant better)
As for breeding schedule, this year we bred 2 weeks apart starting in late winter/early spring, then took a break in the summer an bred for 2 more litters this fall. Again the advice most often given is to breed at least 2 does at once (to have possibility for fostering) but for us it worked better to have the meat not coming in all at once. Everyone has a different situation and makes choices that work for them. So make a plan and be ready to adjust it as needed.
Take a look at the meat rabbits forum when you have time--lots of information there--and best of luck.

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Re: JUST GETTING INTO MEAT RABBITRY

Post Number:#5  Unread postby mckinleyw » Thu Nov 17, 2016 8:23 am


Thanks, for all the input. Our rabbits were from a local breeder. I'm not very confident in their knowledge but rabbits seem to be healthy the breeder I got these from didn't have any notes written done on kindle dates. ?? makes me wonder.. anyway here is a pic of my set up and my bunnys. Let me know what you all think. Anything I could improve? I am planning on having a total of 8 cages. and I have an auto watering system I will be putting in soon.

3624

3623
Star (DOE)
3621
Halo (DOE)
3622
Haus (BUCK)
:)

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Re: JUST GETTING INTO MEAT RABBITRY

Post Number:#6  Unread postby a7736100 » Thu Nov 17, 2016 10:22 am


I recommend Adam Danforth's _Butchering Poultry, Rabbit, Lamb, Goat, and Pork_ for reference if you are new to butchering.

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Re: JUST GETTING INTO MEAT RABBITRY

Post Number:#7  Unread postby ButtonsPalace » Thu Nov 17, 2016 3:15 pm


I you're a visual learner I recommend youtube and look up " best ways to process meat rabbits" and a how too. Watching them has helped me personally make a lot of critical decisions. Plus IMO its the closest thing I'll get to having someone do it right in front of me
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Re: JUST GETTING INTO MEAT RABBITRY

Post Number:#8  Unread postby Zass » Thu Nov 17, 2016 4:11 pm


I'm not sure I'd call any of those new zealand rabbits. They honestly look like meat mutts to me.
Halo may even be a dutch cross.

When it comes to raising for meat though, breed really doesn't matter.

Culling for growth rates, health, and good mothering traits will be what really matters. So long as they preform, they are good meat rabbits. If they don't, they are still good meat. ;)

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