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Expected Growth rates for 8 week old rabbits...

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Expected Growth rates for 8 week old rabbits...

Post Number:#1  Unread postby michaels4gardens » Fri Oct 19, 2018 2:34 pm


Raising Rabbits.com ....Quote". "Your rabbits should reach 5 pounds by 8 weeks, and then go straight to market".
I think this is way out there- maybe I am just out of touch..
who else thinks this is an unreasonable statement for "commercial rabbit production".
I seriously doubt there are very many rabbitries who consistently have over 8 kit weaning average, that make these 5 lb at 8 weeks weights that some people claim.
https://www.raising-rabbits.com/feeding ... bbits.html
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Re: Expected Growth rates for 8 week old rabbits...

Post Number:#2  Unread postby Nymphadora » Fri Oct 19, 2018 4:00 pm


For ours we definitely don't see those growth rates... yet. I am hopeful that as our rabbitry grows and we develop our lines we may get closer to that... but we are still young, and somewhat new in the scheme of things. For now, I am focusing on maintaining consistent lines with good type, good growth, friendly dispositions, and good mothering abilities.

Breed the best and eat the rest, right? :)

michaels4gardens wrote:who else thinks this is an unreasonable statement for "commercial rabbit production"

I think this is actually fine as a goal for commercial production (after all, you want the best margins you can get), but it may be a bit much to expect it from all commercial breed rabbits. Lines are developed for a variety of focuses, and sometimes I imagine you lose a little of one quality to improve another.

:shrug:

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Re: Expected Growth rates for 8 week old rabbits...

Post Number:#3  Unread postby michaels4gardens » Fri Oct 19, 2018 4:08 pm


The rabbits I have had that actually reached 5 lbs in 8 weeks were never litters of 8 or more. It was always the litters that had only 5 or 6 kits with a good milking doe.
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Re: Expected Growth rates for 8 week old rabbits...

Post Number:#4  Unread postby Nymphadora » Fri Oct 19, 2018 4:11 pm


michaels4gardens wrote:The rabbits I have had that actually reached 5 lbs in 8 weeks were never litters of 8 or more. It was always the litters that had only 5 or 6 kits with a good milking doe.

That makes sense! :)

We had a litter of 4 that were absolute monsters, but another litter of 7 (all healthy) never seemed to get quite as big.

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Re: Expected Growth rates for 8 week old rabbits...

Post Number:#5  Unread postby MaggieJ » Fri Oct 19, 2018 5:54 pm


The whole thing reads like an informercial to me, and I really dislike the lecturing tone. It's certainly one way to raise rabbits, but not the only way.

His rabbit meat costs him $1.12 per pound, on the hoof. Mine, raised on natural diet, cost $0.75 per pound, ready to cook. Both figures included overhead costs for breeders.

It's perfectly true that I could not, on my own, raise the large numbers of rabbits on natural feed. But for home production of meat, I'd take my way any time.

His arguments about coccidiosis fall flat too. I rarely saw a spot on the livers, except early on in one huge litter of messy rabbits. I was feeding pellets then, supplemented with greens. I culled that whole line and no further problems.

Also to be taken into consideration is the amount of fat on an eight-week-old, pellet-fed rabbit. The only fat on my fryers was a small amount around the kidneys. When I was feeding pellets, there was substantial fat. Not what I was looking for.

I hope Dood takes a look at this thread. It seems to me her fryers reach five pounds in about 8 weeks on natural feed. I know her growth rate is better than mine was, but I'm not certain about her cost per pound.
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Re: Expected Growth rates for 8 week old rabbits...

Post Number:#6  Unread postby Nymphadora » Fri Oct 19, 2018 6:09 pm


MaggieJ wrote:Also to be taken into consideration is the amount of fat on an eight-week-old, pellet-fed rabbit. The only fat on my fryers was a small amount around the kidneys. When I was feeding pellets, there was substantial fat. Not what I was looking for.

:yeahthat:

Ours are raised primarily on pellets (try growing fresh feed year round in the high desert and not going broke with the water bill :x), and we definitely get more fat than I was originally expecting. Especially when everyone talks about how lean rabbit is... :lol: Not a crisis, but it did surprise me!

MaggieJ wrote:I hope Dood takes a look at this thread. It seems to me her fryers reach five pounds in about 8 weeks on natural feed. I know her growth rate is better than mine was, but I'm not certain about her cost per pound.

:popcorn:

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Re: Expected Growth rates for 8 week old rabbits...

Post Number:#7  Unread postby michaels4gardens » Fri Oct 19, 2018 6:52 pm


MaggieJ wrote:The whole thing reads like an informercial to me, and I really dislike the lecturing tone. It's certainly one way to raise rabbits, but not the only way.

His rabbit meat costs him $1.12 per pound, on the hoof. Mine, raised on natural diet, cost $0.75 per pound, ready to cook. Both figures included overhead costs for breeders.

It's perfectly true that I could not, on my own, raise the large numbers of rabbits on natural feed. But for home production of meat, I'd take my way any time.

His arguments about coccidiosis fall flat too. I rarely saw a spot on the livers, except early on in one huge litter of messy rabbits. I was feeding pellets then, supplemented with greens. I culled that whole line and no further problems.

Also to be taken into consideration is the amount of fat on an eight-week-old, pellet-fed rabbit. The only fat on my fryers was a small amount around the kidneys. When I was feeding pellets, there was substantial fat. Not what I was looking for.

I hope Dood takes a look at this thread. It seems to me her fryers reach five pounds in about 8 weeks on natural feed. I know her growth rate is better than mine was, but I'm not certain about her cost per pound.


" NOT to mention the fact that any deviation from feeding commercial rabbits a pellet-only diet opens your rabbits to health risks.

If you regularly dilute the pelleted feed nutrients with low-nutrient hay and grass, you open your rabbits to eventual weakened nutrition, lower immune system strength, and reduced performance. Health problems can arise, such as infection, bacteria, viruses, pasteurella, etc.

I thought that statement was pretty ignorant also-- I would wager,... this person has no experience in this area at all. I have raised as many as 50 does on natural feed, i had almost no disease at all. Growth rate was almost [not quite] as good as pellets- pellets are less work.

__________ Fri Oct 19, 2018 4:43 pm __________

I see these "breed stock" selling folks [advertising] rabbits that reach or exceed 5 lbs at 8 weeks, and belittling the folks who cant make those weights-- JMHO--- to me -- it is all hype and BS
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Re: Expected Growth rates for 8 week old rabbits...

Post Number:#8  Unread postby Dood » Sat Oct 20, 2018 9:19 am


I never recommend that site to new people. It might hold true for the big producer buying food by the ton but not your average rabbit raiser doing it for home use

I don't recommend backyard chicken farmers follow the Purdue production manual either ;)

The site is VERY misleading and gives the impression that you're doing something wrong if you don't meet those numbers. This in turn encourages people to frequently bring in "better" stock, which exponentially increasing the chance of disease coming into the herd and muddys the bloodline so youre less likely to have consistency

I was getting 8lb in 10 weeks on average with a few bigger and a few smaller on a natural diet but last fall I had a outbreak of a respiratory disease which only affected my adults, and lost almost half of my does :(

I blame this on my herd being too inbred as the ones who succumbed were very closely related and so I bit the bullet and brought in a new buck and doe which has cost me some growth as they don't do as well on the forage, hay and grain diet and I've needed to add pellets to maintain good condition, but by "keeping the best and eating the rest" :) I'm hopeful that I can get back to what I had

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Re: Expected Growth rates for 8 week old rabbits...

Post Number:#9  Unread postby Preitler » Sat Oct 20, 2018 9:27 am


There are two brands of pellets available here, and one is mixed with antibiotics - "against cocci". Cocci isn't an issue at all here, and that specific antibiotic builds up restencies in the bacteria within a year anyway, so it's sole purpose is to make kits grow faster. It too somewhat rises kit mortality, but overall it's a win in meat mass production.

I wouldn't be raising rabbits if I wouldn't be strictly oposed to that "stuff them with chemicals" attitude.
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Re: Expected Growth rates for 8 week old rabbits...

Post Number:#10  Unread postby michaels4gardens » Sat Oct 20, 2018 12:03 pm


Dood wrote:
I was getting 8lb in 10 weeks on average with a few bigger and a few smaller on a natural diet

Dood, That is a very good growth rate, what genetics / breeds were/are you using to achieve that growth rate ?-- That is better than most of my "good breed stock" when I had a "commercial rabbitry" feeding pellets, [20+ years ago]...
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Re: Expected Growth rates for 8 week old rabbits...

Post Number:#11  Unread postby Rainey » Sat Oct 20, 2018 1:54 pm


Dood wrote:
I was getting 8lb in 10 weeks on average with a few bigger and a few smaller on a natural diet but last fall I had a outbreak of a respiratory disease which only affected my adults, and lost almost half of my does :(

I blame this on my herd being too inbred as the ones who succumbed were very closely related and so I bit the bullet and brought in a new buck and doe which has cost me some growth as they don't do as well on the forage, hay and grain diet and I've needed to add pellets to maintain good condition, but by "keeping the best and eating the rest" :) I'm hopeful that I can get back to what I had


We don't feed pellets at all since we transitioned our first buck and 2 does off them when we started with rabbits in 2014 and our litters of 8 take 12 weeks to reach 5 pounds. We've hoped by breeding the best and eating the rest we could get closer to Dood's growth rates. Sorry to hear about the losses of breeding stock. Feeding other than pellets does make it harder to bring in new breeding stock and I wonder sometimes about how closely our rabbits are related after 5 years of breeding descendants of those 3 we started with. But we still prefer more natural feed for whatever is feeding us.

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Re: Expected Growth rates for 8 week old rabbits...

Post Number:#12  Unread postby Dood » Mon Oct 22, 2018 1:16 pm


michaels4gardens wrote:
Dood wrote:
I was getting 8lb in 10 weeks on average with a few bigger and a few smaller on a natural diet

Dood, That is a very good growth rate, what genetics / breeds were/are you using to achieve that growth rate ?-- That is better than most of my "good breed stock" when I had a "commercial rabbitry" feeding pellets, [20+ years ago]...


My first trio were AmChins from a very good production bloodline

And I had a Flemish X NZ buck that was our family pet for his first 6 years that I crossed to as well

I tried adding a pair of show bloodline AmChins to the herd, but that resulted in terrible mothering skills, lower fertility and poor milk production, however, they did well on the natural diet

Adding a commercial Cali buck lowered the immune systems and I had nest box eye and die offs from enteritis for the first time - I culled him and all of his offspring

Then I had an oops litter with a Mini lop - the growth of some of the kits was shocking and I kept back two for replacement does and repeated the breeding with my other females. At first the results were not consistent but after 3 gens it was getting good :mrgreen:

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