A new pair of Californian rabbits

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Cosima

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I think that this month (probably at my birthday which is on the 22) I will get a pair of Californian rabbits and I want to be prepared so tell me all you guys know about the breed.

Also is the color of Californians dominant over magpie or harlequin?
 

jaxmarblebuns

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Californian bucks can get up to 8-10 lb or larger and does can get 8.5-10.5 lb or larger. from my experience grow out are usually ready to be processed at 12-14 weeks though you should be going off weight of 3.5-5.5 lb. they are usually pretty docile if handled often. however I have found with the Californians the bad/aggressive personality's will most likely be passed down through the doe onto her daughters (unlike other breeds I've had), but that could just be my lines. if your raising them for meat you will want a diet of 16%-18% protein and 20%< fiber (there are more specifics about rabbits diets that you can look up if interested) they are a fairly hardy breed that can withstand law temperatures quite well and because of there light coats they do better in the heat than those with darker (still not supper great though). I can get more specific information from the book of standards later today if you would like.

I'm not sure about the colors as I have never cross bred mine and I'm not supper great with genetics
 

WyoWool

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I personally like NZ’s so much better than Cals. Personality can’t be beat when the NZ are sweet ones. Make sure that the parents make weight if you’re looking at buying your two for meat production or show. Too many these days don’t.
 

ThunderHill

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REW is recessive. I had only black and broken black NZ, but ended up with some REW kits, which means both patents carried REW as a recessive gene. If you breed REW together, you only get white. They could be carrying other colors though, so if you bred your new whites to Lily or Mus you could get all kinds of surprise colors! Do you know what colors their parents are, or grandparents, etc.? Do you plan to try breeding them with your other rabbits?
 

Cosima

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Lily and mus are quite small and i am worried that lily would have trouble giving birth to the kits if they are half nz. I might breed mus to the female nz so there will be no problems with size but there would be pretty colors. do you think I should mix lily and mus with the nzs or not?
 

ThunderHill

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If your main goal is meat production, I would guess that just breeding the NZ would give better meat growouts if the others are much smaller. Maybe once you have some NZ litters and if you keep more does for breeding from those litters, someday you could try breeding Mus to one of them if you still have him? That's probably what I would do just to see what colors I would get! I don't have any experience cross-breeding different sized rabbits (smaller does to larger bucks), so I don't know how big of a size difference would present a problem. Maybe someone else can chime in on that!

Anyway, congrats on getting your new rabbits tomorrow! I hope they do really well for you! I love my NZ! They are so sweet!
 

Cosima

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What are the risks of breeding them at three months old because I am inpatient and I haven’t actually eaten rabbit yet and since the nz pair is two months old it will take a lllloonngg time for them to reach six months.
 

ThunderHill

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I think the earliest I've seen recommended is around 17 weeks for does. That's the earliest I've tried with does and one did great as a new mom, but the other had two stillborn kits, then a full miss the second try, and then one stillborn kit on the third try. I'm going to cull her. I don't know if it had anything to do with trying to breed her that young or if she just wasn't going to be a good breeder regardless, but I don't think I would try a doe any younger than 17 weeks. I've read that bucks should be closer to a full 6 months. I just tried breeding a new buck today who is just over 5 months old (because I'm inpatient, too), so I hope he's old enough! I'll know in a month or so!

Please post pictures of your new bunnies!
 

Cosima

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I would like name suggestion
 

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ThunderHill

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Aww! They look great! The study I've seen referenced actually says 17 and a half weeks, so I guess that's around 4 and a half months.

What is the problem with the buck other then possibly being sterile
I'm not sure really. That seems to be the biggest issue since it doesn't seem like it would hurt them to try at a younger age, but I don't know honestly. That's just what I've read.
 

Olbunny

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Nice bunnies. We don't breed until 6 months old so they are sexual mature. Breeding too young will effect their growth also as they should be developing their own bodies. Before making more. Probably kinda hard on mama.
We have the black NZ does as my beautiful wife didn't want red eyed rabbits. Our California buck has a great attitude n we are getting 8-10 kits so he's doing his job. His name is reddy, as in ready.
Congratulations on your rabbitry. We all raise them for our needs.
 
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