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3 rabbits butchered, raised on ONLY fodder and hay(pics)

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3 rabbits butchered, raised on ONLY fodder and hay(pics)

Post Number:#1  Unread postby Kariotic » Wed Feb 08, 2017 7:58 pm


I have a self-watering fodder system that I built myself that turns out enough fodder for my 10 rabbits everyday. I have 8 does and 2 males to breed them. I started with 2 does and 2 bucks. I have two family trees from that source, which created my 10 thus far. My rabbits were purchased from a pedigreed breeder of new Zealand whites, and they were bred and raised for meat.

These rabbits are 9 weeks old.

I fed the rabbits in the following pictures nothing but barley fodder and bermuda hay with occasional black oil sunflower seeds as a tonic, but the seeds were extremely rare. I added a banana and paper towel to the pictures to give size references.

Benefits:
-They eat a completely natural diet with no ingredients that I am unsure of
-They LOVE the fodder, they literally attack my hand to get at it.
- After the butchering I noticed the meat did not have the unpleasant smell of the rabbits raised on pellets. The meat smells really clean and odorless.

Cons:
-The rabbits are slightly less meaty than the ones I raised on pellets
-Cleaning, making new trays, and maintaining the system takes an extra 30 minutes a day as opposed to pellets.


I am happy to tack on 30 min of chores a day to give my rabbits a healthy diet that they love to eat. If any of you have questions, feel free to ask.
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Re: 3 rabbits butchered, raised on ONLY fodder and hay(pics)

Post Number:#2  Unread postby 2CrazyFools » Wed Feb 08, 2017 8:12 pm


First off, welcome to the forum! :hi:

Secondly... thanks for the write up Kariotic! I had tried to transition to fodder last spring but the mold ended up winning... when I did succeed in growing mold-less fodder the rabbits just LOVED that stuff!

So question 1 - How did you combat the mold? (Bleach/vinegar/air circulation/indoor/outdoor/temp/etc...)
Q2 - Do you have any pictures of your fodder system setup?
Q3 - What breed were the buns you processed and how much did they weigh (live) at 9 weeks?

Thanks! ^_^ I'd love to get back into it, if only as a tasty supplement.

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Re: 3 rabbits butchered, raised on ONLY fodder and hay(pics)

Post Number:#3  Unread postby Kariotic » Wed Feb 08, 2017 8:24 pm


To combat mold I leave a fan running 24/7 to circulate the air, and I soak the seeds in bleach water for 12 hours.
As long as I harvest by day 6, the mold stays away. Waiting until day 7 the mold starts to creep in. Before that, it smells like fresh cucumber.
The breed is new zealand whites pure.

The picture below is my system. I use the cans of food to prop up the trays for better draininage. The black hoses you see, are attached to a submersible pump, in a tote below the bottom shelf. It pulls the water from the tote, and sprinkles it down through the misters I have running through each shelf, as well as the drainage at the end of the trays.

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Re: 3 rabbits butchered, raised on ONLY fodder and hay(pics)

Post Number:#4  Unread postby 2CrazyFools » Wed Feb 08, 2017 8:42 pm


Nice setup! What about the moisture effecting the room? (paint/trim/etc...) Any issue from that?

Also, what did your 9 week old juniors weight prior to processing?
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Re: 3 rabbits butchered, raised on ONLY fodder and hay(pics)

Post Number:#5  Unread postby BeachBC » Thu Feb 09, 2017 1:05 pm


Thanks for posting this, I've really been considering feeding my growouts on only fodder. Do have a question though...did you have to give them any type of salt/minerals or does the fodder provide everything they need?

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Re: 3 rabbits butchered, raised on ONLY fodder and hay(pics)

Post Number:#6  Unread postby Rainey » Thu Feb 09, 2017 3:16 pm


I think whenever you're not feeding pellets you need a mineral supplement. depending on the variety of feed they may or may not use it much but should have available. We don't feed pellets at all and do feed some fodder in the cold months but they also get hay, root veggies,and dried willow.

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Re: 3 rabbits butchered, raised on ONLY fodder and hay(pics)

Post Number:#7  Unread postby Kariotic » Thu Feb 09, 2017 8:26 pm


The fodder provides all the nutrients they need, they just need hay for roughage.The fiber in the hay is needed to keep the digestive system running properly.

I don't weigh my rabbits, they're simply butchered at 9-10 weeks regardless of progress.I just ate one in a stew tonight, and the meat was incredibly tender and delicious.falling off the bone tender, and meaty.

The water system for the fodder does not cause any problems in the room it's in.

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Re: 3 rabbits butchered, raised on ONLY fodder and hay(pics)

Post Number:#8  Unread postby baefull.wolfbunnies » Fri Feb 10, 2017 5:14 pm


Couple things

1) Welcome!!! :cheer2:
2) Thank you for the write up :all-ears:
3) Keep it up! Obviously what your doing is working. :feed-plant:
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Re: 3 rabbits butchered, raised on ONLY fodder and hay(pics)

Post Number:#9  Unread postby Kariotic » Fri Feb 10, 2017 11:21 pm


This is the typical load out for a days feed. Each of those portions goes to one adult rabbit. The container in the middle holds the BOSS, which I give more of as a tonic than anything. Beside it is a canister of Calf Manna which I sometimes give to nursing does or expectant mothers if they feel a little underweight. Neither the boss or the manna is given everyday, and the babies eat none of either.

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Re: 3 rabbits butchered, raised on ONLY fodder and hay(pics)

Post Number:#10  Unread postby bigfoot_158 » Sun Feb 12, 2017 1:41 pm


What was growth rate? And live weight at butcher?
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