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Hi from South Africa

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Hi from South Africa

Post Number:#1  Unread postby CO Int » Wed Aug 26, 2020 7:45 am


I am so glad to have found this forum - I looked at a few other but found mostly pet style forums - I have to agree with what has been written before - this is the most encompassing site regarding bunnies ever!

I'll just make a very long story short by saying that I started with horses 25 years ago and recently gave it up. I knew I would have to find something to occupy my time and I knew it had to have something with animals - rabbits seemed like the perfect option for me. I haven't posted much so far as I have been reading as much as I can - it's just great finding a resource with so much information.

I have a buck and two does of a local meat breed in South Africa called the Phendula (in English it means "The Answer"). They are very similar to NZ but they have a much less dense coat that is silkier. They were bred for the same reasons as the Altex but the Phendula is a showable rabbit under the South African Rabbit Breeders Association. My oldest doe gave birth to her (and my! :lol: ) first litter of 6 at the end of July. I'm having loads of fun trying things I read from the boards here - I think I have 4 boys and 2 girls but time will tell. I won't put any faith in my ability of sexing 4 week olds just yet.

I'll upload some photos soon and have quite a few questions regarding some general issues which I will post under the appropriate subject.

Thanks for having me!

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Re: Hi from South Africa

Post Number:#2  Unread postby michaels4gardens » Wed Aug 26, 2020 12:58 pm


welcome,
and good luck...
meat-mutt rabbits, a few laying hens.

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Re: Hi from South Africa

Post Number:#3  Unread postby hotzcatz » Wed Aug 26, 2020 2:18 pm


Pictures? I've never even heard of Phendula rabbits before!

What type of climate zone are you in? Can you grow a lot of their food?
Hula Bunny Yarn from Hillside Farm Hawaii
http://www.hillsidefarmhawaii.com

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Re: Hi from South Africa

Post Number:#4  Unread postby CO Int » Fri Aug 28, 2020 5:35 am


Here's a link to how the breed was developed with some pictures - http://grba.org.za/sa-phendula

They are really a meat mutt with everything you can think of with a mix of most available breeds here.

I definitely can grow their food although I am in an urban environment - but we have a big garden. Our temperature in winter never drops below 38F/3C and during the day it's usually a quite acceptable 60F/15C. Summer is more of a problem with nights rarely going below 60F/15C and days often hitting 104F/40C. Plants grow very well in my area as we are just behind a mountain which makes it slightly hotter and we never have frost. I am unfortunately the world's worst gardener and everything green I touch ends up dead. We have got some Bottlebrush trees (of the Myrtle family) which I use for toys and we also have Hibiscus which they like to eat.

I really doubt that my gardening skills will improve - I really hate it! Things either die or get eating by an army of insects. :evil:

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Re: Hi from South Africa

Post Number:#5  Unread postby Green2Rabbits » Sat Aug 29, 2020 9:27 pm


Welcome to the forum! Nice site and people to learn from. 104 in the day time.....I guess I shouldn't complain when it hits 90s here.

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Re: Hi from South Africa

Post Number:#6  Unread postby CO Int » Fri Oct 09, 2020 5:35 am


Thank you for welcoming me!
I wanted to post a bit more about my rabbitry and I'm sorry it's taken me so long to get everything together.

I'm actually a horsey person but due to circumstances I've given up horses. I needed to have something to keep me busy but I didn't want to do or breed anything that involved the pet market. Somehow I stumbled across meat rabbits and just knew that it was what I wanted to do. And I am loving it!

I live in South Africa and everything here is NOT geared for rabbits. It's hot. Our grass varieties are notoriously poor in quality. The market is geared pretty much for pets only and even then equipment are difficult to come by.

But I finally got everything together. It's a single garage size enclosure that is rodent proof with a double roof system and covered with shade netting.

Image

I have 8 double cages (and two single cages that total 18 holes) that can be divided into single cages for weaning although I have my upper cages temporarily divided for my grow outs.
Cage Size is 180cm/71 inches long by 70 cm/27 inch wide and 60cm/24 inch tall.

Image

A lot of ideas I got from here! Needless to say it's not perfect and it's not always practical but I built just about everything myself. I'm very proud I still have all my fingers and toes.

I had a lot of issues from the start - the car port was built too small (not done by me), the cages were skew (done by me), the waste disposal system (poly carbonate sheeting that I spray off with water when needed) caused havoc because the slope was too much and then too little (done by me). I couldn't for the life of me find J feeders, so I tried to make my own. I gave up in the end. Metal work is just not for me so I bought a local variety. They work fine for the larger rabbits but the babies obviously get in and make a mess. I also have an automated water feeding system that I decided not to install. I like seeing how much each rabbit has drunk everyday - I don't know why, I think it's a habit from keeping horses.

One of my grow outs
Cage Size is 90cm/35 inches long by 70 cm/27 inch wide and 60cm/24 inch tall.

Image

I also like giving them a hideout place - I want them to be comfortable and feel safe. At first I used closed boxes but they use it as a litter tray so now I have these little ones that they can hide in and lie on top to get off the wire. So far the rabbits doesn't seem that destructive and none of them have develop sore hocks, so yay on both sides.

Also weaning was a breeze. I just divided the cage with mom on one side and babies on the other at 5 weeks and they didn't even notice. I gave them one week then separated them into their own cages as I wanted them to get the best nutrition possible. I kept on waiting for the weaning enteritis that I read so much about but nothing. Maybe I was just lucky but I was really pleased that weaning was such a stress free event.

Feeding has been my biggest nightmare. I cannot find the right protein/fiber balance. The highest protein I could get was 17% but it only had 3% fiber. The best overall pellet I could find is 14% protein and 17% fiber. It's driving me nuts. But being a horsey girl I'm using a horsey supplement that pushes up my protein to 18% and fiber up to 20%. I don't want to feed hay as it clogs my drainage system and I need them to get as many calories as possible and I have been avidly tracking their growth. I will post it in the appropriate section.

The last bit that I still need to do is build a table - I don't have a lot of space so I want to make a foldaway one. My thermometer did arrive the other day - I'm very chuffed. Unfortunately it only records the highest of highs and the lowest of lows - I was hoping to find one that records every 24hr but unfortunately it wasn't to be.
Image

Welcome to my little Rabbitry with no name. I still can't come right on that one!
Also, please point out any issues you see or things that you feel is not right so I can improve my rabbitry as well as my knowledge!

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Re: Hi from South Africa

Post Number:#7  Unread postby Zass » Fri Oct 09, 2020 2:19 pm


Wow, those look like some comfortable rabbits!

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