Growth rate vs size at birth

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NY Rabbits

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I have a litter of 7 just coming upon 8 weeks. Two are 4-1/4# and the rest are 3#-12oz except for one that is a little smaller. Over the last 3 weeks the growth rate has been about the same for all but the bigger ones were born bigger. Does this make the two larger ones better candidates to keep as breeding stock or does the similar growth rate make them equal?

I had planned to process them when they reached 4#. Is it worth feeding them 2-3 more weeks to get closer to 5#?

Last question, is this reasonable weight for 8 weeks?

Thanks for any insight you can offer.
 

Sagebrush

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Hello NY Rabbits. With the growth rate, we also need to look at the breed or breeds that your rabbits are. For instance, I breed smaller rabbits, so to be at 4# by 8 weeks is HUGE, but if you are breeding one of the larger breeds like Flemish, then that wouldn't be a very good growth rate.
 

macksmom98

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For 4-H, with Californians, we can get them to 5-5 1/2 lbs in 8 weeks. But thats feeding prime feed and 2-3 times per day, with some chunks of sweet potato to wet their appetite occasionally. Breed truly makes a huge difference, so what Sagebrush said is correct and I second that qurestion. Since you are talking about grow out weight I have to assume its some kind of meat breed. If it was me, for food, I would like to have them be 5lbs or more before I butchered.
 

NY Rabbits

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The doe is a Creme D’Argent and the buck is an Altex/NZ cross. She is 9# 11oz and he is 11# 10 oz. I am thinking of keeping one of the biggest ones, a doe, as a breeder. The other two does fall into the 3# 12 oz group and not sure if there is any real difference between them as far as breeding potential.
 

SableSteel

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A difference of 1/2# like that isn't going to be just due to birth weight. If you were keeping a doe back for meat breeding, I'd try to keep one of the larger ones, hoping for a better growth rate in her kits. Personally I'd grow them out another couple weeks to 10 weeks, the goal is 5# by 10 weeks before growth slows down, and it looks like, at least with the larger ones, you could be on track.
If you do want to keep one of the smaller ones, try to choose the one with the best, meatiest type.
 

michaels4gardens

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there is a definite correlation between birth weight, and weaning weight, - it was so when I raised rabbits , it was so when I raised hogs. For hogs it was so dramatic that breed stock selection was made based primarily upon individual birth weight/ number born/ and average weight of weaned litter. - it was very unusual when these numbers did not correlate.. [the last factor was just evaluating the "milking ability" of the mother]
 

NY Rabbits

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Thanks for all of the info. I plan to keep them all at least one more week and see if weight gain is worth the feed. Most likely will keep the largest doe who is also one of the two largest now and at birth.
 

michaels4gardens

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macksmom98":1d3ze9db said:
For 4-H, with Californians, we can get them to 5-5 1/2 lbs in 8 weeks. But thats feeding prime feed and 2-3 times per day, with some chunks of sweet potato to wet their appetite occasionally. Breed truly makes a huge difference, so what Sagebrush said is correct and I second that qurestion. Since you are talking about grow out weight I have to assume its some kind of meat breed. If it was me, for food, I would like to have them be 5lbs or more before I butchered.

have only had a very few does in my life that could get a litter of 10 kits to 5 lbs in 8 weeks, and it never was consistent ...
 

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