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Dog food is so expensive... If I bred small show rabbits....

From vermiculture and selling rabbit manure to rent-a-bunny for Easter photographs, this forum is a place to discuss other ideas for making a profit from rabbits.
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Dog food is so expensive... If I bred small show rabbits....

Post Number:#1  Unread postby squidpop » Mon Apr 30, 2012 4:24 am


If I bred small show rabbits and fed culls to my dogs and cats— I figured out I would save enough money on pet food to pay for my hobby. Do any of the rabbit show breeders out there feed the cute dwarf rabbit culls to their family pets? If they do, do they ever let anyone know they do it? I was looking at raising and feeding 12 lb meat rabbits to my dogs and it seems like a lot of work to slaughter and cut a 12lb meat rabbit up (to feed small proportions of less than 1lb to my dogs). Then I started thinking— Instead of cutting up a big rabbit it would be so much easier to give them a whole small rabbit, fur and all- without cutting it up. (not really sure I could really cull a rabbit though especially cutest smallest ones, or even the big pink eyed ones).

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Re: Dog food is so expensive... If I bred small show rabbits....

Post Number:#2  Unread postby skysthelimit » Mon Apr 30, 2012 5:37 am


Quite a few of us do. I feed my dogs the rabbits at the stage we call fryers- when the rabbits are 5lb live body weight. You don't have to wait till the rabbit is at it's max body wait, that takes some time and I generally don't keep culls around that long. i do cut up the rabbit, I keep the fur, so the dogs don't get that.
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Re: Dog food is so expensive... If I bred small show rabbits....

Post Number:#3  Unread postby Mary Ann's Rabbitry » Mon Apr 30, 2012 6:24 am


Hi squidpop
:hi: ...What kind of dogs are you feeding?
And are you in Bristal quebec near shawville.?

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Re: Dog food is so expensive... If I bred small show rabbits....

Post Number:#4  Unread postby ladysown » Mon Apr 30, 2012 6:32 am


you can do whatever rabbit you want to your dogs... but you can't JUST feed rabbit, it doesn't have enough fat in it for them. So you'd need to purchase pork/beef etc.. but going to your local butcher you could purchase trim and what not.

Your cats might not be able to handle just rabbit either, and with them you need to make sure they eat the ENTIRE animal...and I'm not sure if they could crack a rabbit skull. Feeding them babies would probably work better over all.

If you breed meat rabbits you'll get the one lbers faster. A small breed rabbit can take three months to reach a pound, a meat rabbit will be at that by 4 weeks old, so every month or so you could have your 1 lb rabbits.
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Re: Dog food is so expensive... If I bred small show rabbits....

Post Number:#5  Unread postby squidpop » Mon Apr 30, 2012 7:32 am


I'm far, far away from Quebec, I'm in New Zealand. I know people in the US order frozen whole rabbits and keep them in the freezer and thaw when needed, but I could only find frozen rabbit fryers $15 each. ( I know that's ironic because of the New Zealand white meat rabbit, but to me it doesn't seem like people eat them here). I was at dinner party the other night and said something about raising meat rabbits and New Zealand White Rabbits and no one - (8 other people at the table) knew that New Zealand has famous meat rabbits— also, no one at the table had ever eaten rabbit.

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Re: Dog food is so expensive... If I bred small show rabbits....

Post Number:#6  Unread postby ~Abstract~ » Mon Apr 30, 2012 9:12 am


Has anyone fed whole rabbit to large dogs with fur and all? My dog caught a rabbit a while back and ate the entire thing. We want to feed rabbit to the dogs, but butchering them all would be a slight pain.
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Re: Dog food is so expensive... If I bred small show rabbits....

Post Number:#7  Unread postby ladysown » Mon Apr 30, 2012 9:13 am


can be done quite easily. :)
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Re: Dog food is so expensive... If I bred small show rabbits....

Post Number:#8  Unread postby caroline » Mon Apr 30, 2012 9:23 am


~Abstract~ wrote:Has anyone fed whole rabbit to large dogs with fur and all? My dog caught a rabbit a while back and ate the entire thing. We want to feed rabbit to the dogs, but butchering them all would be a slight pain.


I've done a variety of things. I was butchering them
just like i do for human consumption
but then giving them the whole carcass and then also
giving them the head and innards in another meal.

Then I tried just using cervical dislocation and cutting off the head.
I then gave the the headless carcass with the fur
They have all been fine with that. I feed the head in another meal.
It's a whole lot faster than skinning and gutting the rabbit.
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Re: Dog food is so expensive... If I bred small show rabbits....

Post Number:#9  Unread postby JueLee » Tue May 01, 2012 12:11 am


~Abstract~ wrote:Has anyone fed whole rabbit to large dogs with fur and all? My dog caught a rabbit a while back and ate the entire thing. We want to feed rabbit to the dogs, but butchering them all would be a slight pain.

I feed two German shepherd crosses. I kill the bunnies at about 5 to 6 weeks, when they reach 1 lb 12oz, and freeze them whole. At feeding time, I thaw one rabbit just enough to cut it in half with a steak knife without anything squishing out. Each dog gets a half, and I alternate who gets the head end. They eat it head, fur and all and greatly enjoy it.


ladysown wrote:Your cats might not be able to handle just rabbit either, and with them you need to make sure they eat the ENTIRE animal...and I'm not sure if they could crack a rabbit skull. Feeding them babies would probably work better over all.

I've just started feeding rabbit to my cats. I kill the bunnies at about the same age as for the dogs (because it's convenient, not because it makes any difference), then I grind them, head, insides and all. It comes out about the consistency of canned cat food. They love it. I started with the recipe here: http://catinfo.org/?link=makingcatfood and adapted it slightly to fit my specific situation.

The fur of the rabbits does cause hairballs, though. I'm still figuring out what to do about that.

I spend a lot more money raising rabbits than I used to spend on pet food, but I greatly enjoy the increased health and fitness of both my dogs and my cats. Going back to commercial pet food is just no longer an option.
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Re: Dog food is so expensive... If I bred small show rabbits....

Post Number:#10  Unread postby squidpop » Tue May 01, 2012 6:46 am


Someone asked Is it ok if dogs eat the fur. Someone on youtube has a video about feeding her pug, and german shepherd— she said the fur is good for the dogs to eat, because when it it goes through a dogs digestive system it wraps around the bones and protects the dogs intestines.

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Re: Dog food is so expensive... If I bred small show rabbits....

Post Number:#11  Unread postby Brody » Tue May 01, 2012 8:27 am


rabbit alone wouldn't be balanced long term probably

I don't know anyone who deliberately feeds live rabbit to dogs .. I sure wouldn't want my dogs thinking the alive rabbits were dinner
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Re: Dog food is so expensive... If I bred small show rabbits....

Post Number:#12  Unread postby ladysown » Tue May 01, 2012 8:46 am


i don't think anyone here is talking about feeding live rabbits to their animals. They would kill them first. :)

if fur is causing your rabbits trouble I would skin them.. or at least mostly skin them before feeding.
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Re: Dog food is so expensive... If I bred small show rabbits....

Post Number:#13  Unread postby skysthelimit » Tue May 01, 2012 10:05 am


Brody wrote:rabbit alone wouldn't be balanced long term probably



No, but I assume when people say they are feeding their dogs rabbit it is part of a variety of things they are feeding, never the single item. Besides I could never, with considerations of space and economy, raise enough rabbits to feed four adult german shepherds. They consume 40lbs of meat per week, 160lb per month. Raising rabbits provides variety. I don't feed fur on because I raise the Rex for fur as well. I bop, bleed through the nose, cut head off and some lucky dog gets it. Then I divide up the meat between the four dogs. There has been an occasion when a dog has snatched a salted hide off a table, and consumed it, with no ill affects. As far I I know, most of my raw feeding friends feed the rabbit whole, prey model style with fur on.

I used to throw the whole cockerel in the crate at first, before I could stomach killing the animal. My dogs developed a habit of killing my chickens, and after I came home to a bloody massacre (escaped from kennel) I stopped that practice and learned to butcher them myself. I have not had a dog kill a rabbit yet.
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Re: Dog food is so expensive... If I bred small show rabbits....

Post Number:#14  Unread postby walldogs » Tue May 01, 2012 5:11 pm


skysthelimit wrote:Quite a few of us do. I feed my dogs the rabbits at the stage we call fryers- when the rabbits are 5lb live body weight. You don't have to wait till the rabbit is at it's max body wait, that takes some time and I generally don't keep culls around that long. i do cut up the rabbit, I keep the fur, so the dogs don't get that.



What do you do with the fur? Can it be sold? If so where can you sell it.
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Re: Dog food is so expensive... If I bred small show rabbits....

Post Number:#15  Unread postby skysthelimit » Tue May 01, 2012 5:44 pm


walldogs wrote:
skysthelimit wrote:Quite a few of us do. I feed my dogs the rabbits at the stage we call fryers- when the rabbits are 5lb live body weight. You don't have to wait till the rabbit is at it's max body wait, that takes some time and I generally don't keep culls around that long. i do cut up the rabbit, I keep the fur, so the dogs don't get that.



What do you do with the fur? Can it be sold? If so where can you sell it.



I am stocking up for winter ear muffs and hats. Later I will make squeaky bait toys for my dogs in the show ring. it can be sold, but you gonna do some work to find a buyer.
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