Gutentag from Germany

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theMarjolein

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Hello,

We are a dutch family living in Germany
We were given pet rabbits a few years ago, my husband and son cared for them completly, I just ordered food. I did not care and when they died (they were quite old) I was certain- no more rabbits.

But then I heard about meat rabbits and since we enjoy being a bit more sustainable- I learned quite a bit about it going by some good channels on YouTube. Living Traditions Homestead. Slightly Rednecked. Rabbitry Center. To name some...
I decided for a Belgium breed called 'Blauw van Ham'. They grow well, have big litters, good moms, rare breed... and we got ourselves a German Giant buck
Except, the Belgium doe refused to be bred...
We then picked up some New Zealander Red does from Cologne and put them with our German Giant and they just had their first litters. Very exiting. The does on these litters will be kept as breederd. They will be bred to a NZ buck (that we will purchase later this year DV) and than we'll have, I think, a perfect combination of meat rabbit.

And then our first doe apparently did breed after all and we just butchered our first grow out (9 weeks old and 6.3 lbs- after butchering 3.3 lbs meat and bone -( is that a good weight you think??)). So were are full in on this journey. My husband and I have five young children (aged 8, 5, 3, 1&1) so we have quite some hungry mouths to feed. We now all love the rabbits, but I am doing most of the work. I find it relaxing to do when the children sleep.

We raise them in a colony-way and plan to build a bigger colony this spring. Already asked here for any ideas and got so many wonderful responses. Feels like you are friends actually.
Meat prices in stores are too high, and the way many creatures are being treated in big barns is not good at all. That is the main reason we want to raise our own.

Thanks for reading.
God bless you and love from Germany.
Marjolein
 

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Dimplz

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🥰 Good job. Keep working on that meat to bone ratio. You are working towards losing less than half the weight after dressing it out. You will get there.

It is one of the biggest reasons I chose the breeds I have and stayed away from the giant breeds. Giant breeds are known for poor meat to bone ratio and longer grow out times. So you are paying more per pound to grow and raise them vs the actual amount of meat you get.

With my NZW and Steel Tipped Chinchillas we are seeing 5.5lbs at 8 weeks, with a dress out weight of 3.5lbs.

The steel gene has been known for causing the kits to grow a little bigger and faster than non-steels of the same breeds. NZs are known for having an awesome growth rate and meat to bone ratio. The whites are notortious for having the hidden steel gene as well.

Good Luck!
 

theMarjolein

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Thanks, very interesting. New Zealanders are quite rare over here and red is the only color I could find. Love the color though.
Thanks for your positive reassurance! :)
 

theMarjolein

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Marjolein welcome to RT. so interesting to learn your journey. Enjoy those rabbits and yes, that weight was good. half of 6.3 would be 3.15 so you're better than half already! I wouldn't be complaining. :)
Thank you ladysown! We had our first taste of it yesterday. The little ones all love rabbits to pet, but now also to eat. 😀 looking forward to learn a lot more from all of you here!
 

Captaincatholic

Lord of the Rabbits
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Congratulations on your lovely family! I have 7 children from 1yo up to 17yo. 6 are boys, and 3, nearly 4 boys are teens. I hope these rabbits get breeding like rabbits so we can be a little kore sustainable as well.

To that end, we have some Flemish Giants, a NZ buck (with the steel gene), some cali/NZ/? crosses, and some 75NZ/25Flemish giant rabbits. We are playkng mix and match woth the breeding to see whondoes the best so we can keep a good herd. I watch the classifieds for free or cheap rabbits and equipment so we can get the hang of what we are doing. Tomorrow our first litters are 3 weeks old and we will do our first official weights.
 

Buknee

Bella Rose Rabbitry
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Welcome! Your daughter is adorable.
Nice looking rabbits. The German Giant is known as the Continental Giant in the USA. They are most likely descendants of the Flemish Giant. I raise Flemish Giants. They are very gentle rabbits. Rabbits dressing out at 3.3 pounds at 9 weeks is very nice.
Your country is beautiful. I was blessed to visit a few times. When my five children were young, we had exchange students from Germany.
Blessings
 

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