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MuddyFarms

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Hey guys- I have learned so much from reading this forum over the past 8 months! I am in the snowy Northwest and raise Rex rabbits for meat. Glad to be able to discuss rabbit things with rabbit people!
 
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MuddyFarms

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Awesome! They are such sweet rabbits, friendly as can be. They are always trying to get us to open the cage doors to pet them and interact with them. They are smart, too!
 

MuddyFarms

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Ah, yes. Those sore hocks can be an issue, for sure! I had some Californians years ago that developed them, too. I am hoping to talk with some Rex breeders sometime to find out if anyone knows of a line of Rex that don’t get sore hocks (or maybe not very often?). I love the rex colors, fur, temperament, and growth rate, so I am just selecting replacements that have wider feet for now. It will be interesting to see how they do. If I find it to be too troublesome, I may try to switch to Satins. I wish I could have an idea of how common sore hocks are across breeds, though. Maybe I need to start some new threads on this topic… :)
 

Cosima

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Ah, yes. Those sore hocks can be an issue, for sure! I had some Californians years ago that developed them, too. I am hoping to talk with some Rex breeders sometime to find out if anyone knows of a line of Rex that don’t get sore hocks (or maybe not very often?). I love the rex colors, fur, temperament, and growth rate, so I am just selecting replacements that have wider feet for now. It will be interesting to see how they do. If I find it to be too troublesome, I may try to switch to Satins. I wish I could have an idea of how common sore hocks are across breeds, though. Maybe I need to start some new threads on this topic… :)
Sure I would like to know more about sore hocks before I get my rex rabbits.
 

MuddyFarms

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No, I tried to get some years ago, but ended up with Californians. They weren't nasty, but they weren't very friendly, either (except for the buck!). The difference between the Cals and the Rex in the kits friendliness from the time they come out of the nest boxes is amazing. The Cal kits used to run away as soon as they saw us and the Rex kits come running to say hi and lick our hands. Funny how things can vary like that.
 

Softie

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Ah, yes. Those sore hocks can be an issue, for sure! I had some Californians years ago that developed them, too. I am hoping to talk with some Rex breeders sometime to find out if anyone knows of a line of Rex that don’t get sore hocks (or maybe not very often?). I love the rex colors, fur, temperament, and growth rate, so I am just selecting replacements that have wider feet for now. It will be interesting to see how they do. If I find it to be too troublesome, I may try to switch to Satins. I wish I could have an idea of how common sore hocks are across breeds, though. Maybe I need to start some new threads on this topic… :)
Going on three years raising rates. Never had saw hocks. But, I raise them on the ground.
 
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Regarding my Reds, for the most part they were very congenial, but I also bred them that way. There was a couple of generations at times that took a hit in the conformation department simply because I was breeding a friendly, nice temperment into them. My first and second generation of does I started with were pretty aggressive--not necessarily "mean", although a few of those showed up and they never left the property and went straight into the freezer. I found that if the 10 week old was trying to bite me that one never made it to the show table or the breeding pen. They ranged between congenial to cuddly, but a lot of that also had to do with socializing with them.

Last I saw, there are not many lines with anti-sore hock genes, but it has a lot to do with what they're being raised/kept on. Softie has it right with raising them on the ground/solid surface, but that can involve a whole different set up and/or cage cleaning processes. My Red buck lived on about 1" layer of straw and got Blue Kote every couple days while his feet healed and re-furred.
 

MuddyFarms

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Yeah, I've looked into raising them on the ground, too. Just don't have a large enough indoor place for it (can't do it outdoors here). @Softie , do you keep them in a colony setup?
 
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MuddyFarms

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Regarding my Reds, for the most part they were very congenial, but I also bred them that way. There was a couple of generations at times that took a hit in the conformation department simply because I was breeding a friendly, nice temperment into them. My first and second generation of does I started with were pretty aggressive--not necessarily "mean", although a few of those showed up and they never left the property and went straight into the freezer. I found that if the 10 week old was trying to bite me that one never made it to the show table or the breeding pen. They ranged between congenial to cuddly, but a lot of that also had to do with socializing with them.

Last I saw, there are not many lines with anti-sore hock genes, but it has a lot to do with what they're being raised/kept on. Softie has it right with raising them on the ground/solid surface, but that can involve a whole different set up and/or cage cleaning processes. My Red buck lived on about 1" layer of straw and got Blue Kote every couple days while his feet healed and re-furred.
Thanks for the info on both topics; helps fill in the breed picture for me!
 

CanineWild

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I hadn't heard that rex had a hock problem typically! I'm hoping to get silver fox, but they're scarce enough I may only find rex instead. My hutches are good 1"x1/2" cage wire on the bottom, with a large permanent wooden platform that I can put a shelter box on, since we have cold winters and they'll need a good straw filled area then. Would people experienced in the breed let me know if this might be an issue? I'd certainly be willing to breed towards better hocks, but I'd hate to have a lot of grief about it at first.

(Sorry if I'm getting off topic- I can start a new thread if anyone thinks I should!)
 

MuddyFarms

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I hadn't heard that rex had a hock problem typically! I'm hoping to get silver fox, but they're scarce enough I may only find rex instead. My hutches are good 1"x1/2" cage wire on the bottom, with a large permanent wooden platform that I can put a shelter box on, since we have cold winters and they'll need a good straw filled area then. Would people experienced in the breed let me know if this might be an issue? I'd certainly be willing to breed towards better hocks, but I'd hate to have a lot of grief about it at first.

(Sorry if I'm getting off topic- I can start a new thread if anyone thinks I should!)
Yeah, I have always heard that it is because their fur type is so short it does not offer the protection normal fur would and also gets worn off easily. Others have said it is because of their narrow feet. There seem to be many reasons a rabbit can get sore hocks (environmental and genetic). I have had Californians get sore hocks, too, but I am pretty sure it was my misting system getting their cages wet during an extremely-hot year. :(

I have read here on RabbitTalk of people keeping their rabbits in cold environments like you are planning with straw and shelters, successfully. I keep my Rex in an insulated barn, so I have no experience with that method. It seems that giving them the straw-filled area could be helpful in protecting their feet. People do raise their Rex on solid floors with straw. I keep a piece of wood in the cages and they spend time on it often. I also use three to five plastic floor resting boards to cover the floor. Moisture seems to make the fur on the footpads unable to protect the feet, so you want to keep all bedding and wood dry; it is also important to keep their floor and bedding clean, since dirty floors/bedding can irritate the feet and invite infection.
 

CanineWild

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That makes sense! I haven't had much real life experience with rex, just pics, so I haven't had the chance to examine any feet up close. With the fur type, I can see that being an issue though, given regular furred buns have such thickly furred feet.

Thankfully outside moisture wouldn't be an issue- I have the hutches in a large shed. Uninsulated, but dry at least. Will see what happens!
 

MuddyFarms

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That makes sense! I haven't had much real life experience with rex, just pics, so I haven't had the chance to examine any feet up close. With the fur type, I can see that being an issue though, given regular furred buns have such thickly furred feet.

Thankfully outside moisture wouldn't be an issue- I have the hutches in a large shed. Uninsulated, but dry at least. Will see what happens!

I laugh whenever my rabbits' move and their feet catch my attention- "Ooooh, look at those good-looking, well-furred, WIDE, beautiful feet you have!..." I think the feet are the thing I notice most in the rabbits, now. I didn't realize how much variation there can be in feet. Watching them develop from the nestbox on up to adulthood is interesting. I love good, wide bunny feet!

I don't know if this is the way all rabbits or Rex are, but my kits have a little triangle at the heel that is bare when they start getting fur in. That is one thing I don't have any idea how to breed out of them. I can select for wider feet, proper foot placement, well-furred feet, etc, but if they all automatically show up with the bare little triangle? Not sure where to go on that one.

It's great that you can have them in a shed. It should give them a good windbreak, too, which will be good for kits in nestboxes.
 
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