How we Raise are Californian Rabbits……….. in Theory.

Rabbit Talk  Forum

Help Support Rabbit Talk Forum:

jaxmarblebuns

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 27, 2021
Messages
103
Reaction score
97
Cages & barn set up

1648440070350.png

Diet


Are rabbits are fed a pellet only diet. (I personally would prefer to do a natural diet, but we live on a 50’ x 100’ lot with two buildings and 3 cars, so we don’t have enough room to do that ☹). They are occasionally fed veggie scraps and apple slices when we have ones that are safe for them to eat. They get hay if we have any left over from breeding season, or as a treat nonce in a while as well, but they do not get it constantly as a part of their diet.

Rabbits under 5 month (I really don’t know exact age, but I think that’s about it) and pregnant and nursing does are given unlimited pellets. Full ground rabbits are given enough food to last them the day, which is usually one ounce per pound they weigh, which is usually one cup.

X-Cel rabbit feed (location)

Crude protein, not less than…………………….. 18%

Crude fat, not less than…………………….. 2.00%

Crude fiber, not less than……………………. 16.50%

Crude fiber, not more than…………………….. 21.5%

Calcium, not less than……………………. 1.10%

Calcium, not less than……………………. 1.20%

Phosphorous, not less than……………………. .3%

Salt, not less than……………………. .3%

Salt, not more than…………………….. .6%

Vitamin A, not less than……………………. 8800IU/LB



Ingredients

Forage products, plat protein products, processed grain by-products, grain products, cane molasses, vegetable oil, salt, mono dicalcium phosphate, choline chloride, calcium carbonate, manganous oxide, zinc oxide, ferrous sulfate, niacin, copper sulfate, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, riboflavin supplement, vitamin D-3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, calcium iodate, menadiones sodium bisulfite complex, vitamin B012 supplement, d-biotin supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride and folic acid.



Daily Routine



Although all 6 of us benefit from the rabbits, it is I and my brother’s jobs to take care of them. In the mornings, (I would love to say like 8:00 am but we are home schooled with no jobs atm, so its more like 10:00am or later.) after brake fast we head out to feed and water, as we feed, we take a quick look of each rabbit just to make sure they all look ok. When we have time, we will bring are showman ship animals in to practice with them for about 30mins a day. If the weather is nice, I put the rabbits out in the ground pens (they have a rotating schedule day to day since we only have two pens, to make sure they all get roaming time.) At night we head out again to top off water and make sure very one is doing ok.



Weekly Routine



On Saturdays we do heath checks on all the rabbits and treat any ailments that may be affecting them, we then make record of this. Sometimes I also check to see if there are any shows, but since we are not avid showers I usually don’t bother to. Other than that, nothing really changes from day to day.



Monthly and yearly Routine



Every month the barn is completely cleaned. Cages are torched, manure is bagged, dishes/feeders/bottles are scrubbed and bleached, etc. we also take inventory and check condition of are equipment/if we need anything. Throughout the year we keep an eye on the condition of are equipment and “barn”, but once a year we heavily look over the “bran” especially the roof as it is a canvas car port and gets brittle fast.



Rabbits with Ailments



If a rabbit has mites they are isolated from the herd and treated accordingly, the rest of the herd is treated as well as precaution (fur mites with kitten flee powder and ear mites with garlic infused canola oil.) If a rabbit shows signs of internal/contagious illness they are immediately separated from the herd and their cage/supplies are bleached. We then research the symptoms they are having to find the illness and treat accordingly Depending on the severity and type of illness the rabbit will most likely not be bred, shown, or sold, and will go to the freezer. Noncontagious ailments such as cuts, abscesses, strains, etc. the rabbit will stay with the rest and be treated accordingly.



Breeding



We usually only breed once a year for fairs, and we breed two to three does. We use orchard grass hay for nesting material, the boxes are added at 27 days after the day of breeding, and they usually kindle around 31 days, though we have had some kindle at 28 and 35 days. One week after kindling, if needed, the nest box will be cleaned, leaving as much of the fur as possible. The box is removed when the kits spend the majority of their time out of it, which is usually 3 weeks and 4 in colder weather. The kits are weened at about 7-8 weeks.

Now, all of this is how it should happen. However, we don’t keep up with a lot of it. The only things that stay 100% accurate all the time is the daily routine and kit care. We do all of the things listed, just not as often as we should, and record keeping is close to never done.......... so, ya that's how we raise are rabbits.​
 

MaggieJ

Administrator
Staff member
Admin
Moderator
Rabbit Talk Supporter
Joined
Dec 16, 2009
Messages
17,295
Reaction score
504
Location
South Eastern Ontario
What breed are your rabbits, Jax? Unless you are raising dwarf breeds, I think your cages are rather small. Especially the breeding does' cages. If they have average litters of eight, it must get awfully crowded by the time the kits are weaned.
 

jaxmarblebuns

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 27, 2021
Messages
103
Reaction score
97
What breed are your rabbits, Jax? Unless you are raising dwarf breeds, I think your cages are rather small. Especially the breeding does' cages. If they have average litters of eight, it must get awfully crowded by the time the kits are weaned.
We have Californians, are average litters are 6-8. The cage size is definitely not idea, or what we want, but it’s all we can manage with what we have. It has been proposed to make the doe cages 2’ X 3’ but there hasn’t been action on that thought yet. Even my parents wanted a colony set up, but after a lot of research and having no money at the time (10+ years ago) this is all they could manage. The rabbits don’t seem to be effected, but they have been bred for generations in these cages so they have probably adapted somewhat (I would think.) They do get time in the pens when I can give it to them as well. We do are best and give it all we can with what we have.
 

MaggieJ

Administrator
Staff member
Admin
Moderator
Rabbit Talk Supporter
Joined
Dec 16, 2009
Messages
17,295
Reaction score
504
Location
South Eastern Ontario
I understand completely that we cannot always afford to provide the ideal conditions. I think, however, that if I were in your situation I'd be looking at raising fewer rabbits and joining two cages into one. You really only need one buck, and if you are only breeding your does once a year, your grow-out cages must be empty much of the time while your breeders are in small cages. Just some things you might want to consider as you continue in your efforts to give your rabbits the best care you can.

I can tell that you put a lot of thought into your rabbits' care. I hope they do well for you.
 

Olbunny

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 5, 2021
Messages
145
Reaction score
193
Fantastic, we homeschooled our kids. Good job on keeping the records. Animal husbandry is an important class.
Our rabbitry started out as 3 black colored New Zealand does and a Californian buck. I'm kinda surprised that you only raise 1 litter a year. With the cost of grain the expense is considerable compared to the return. If money matters. For our rabbitry we like to have the rabbits cover their costs as much as possible. I'm assuming that your family doesn't eat the friers.
Anyway great that you are learning about raising small livestock. Our kids learned how to process them, actually enjoys it. But she is feeding her family a great protein. And how to cook it. Kind of a complete cycle. Breed for best genetics. Raise friers to help cover the cost. Learn how to process meat. Learning how to be self sufficient you have to learn how to process your own food. Canned in jars is great but I'd suggest doing it boneless as lots of little bones. But they add calcium. There is freezing, smoking, drying. Grilling baking n such. A cooking class.
Foraging is usually free. Rabbits love to eat sticks. And they contain trace minerals that provide vitamins and wear down their teeth. Also gives them something to do so less stress. Rabbit toys from toilet paper rolls with glass in them n such.
Your local government Cooperative Extension Service has a library full of free or less than a dollar printed out information on just about all you need. And very reliable information. They will even visit on the phone in person, great folks work there. Maybe check out on net
Hey good on ya for learning such a valuable lesson in life you'll always use
 

sweeethearts_2002

Well-known member
Joined
May 2, 2022
Messages
65
Reaction score
36
Cages & barn set up

View attachment 29345

Diet


Are rabbits are fed a pellet only diet. (I personally would prefer to do a natural diet, but we live on a 50’ x 100’ lot with two buildings and 3 cars, so we don’t have enough room to do that ☹). They are occasionally fed veggie scraps and apple slices when we have ones that are safe for them to eat. They get hay if we have any left over from breeding season, or as a treat nonce in a while as well, but they do not get it constantly as a part of their diet.

Rabbits under 5 month (I really don’t know exact age, but I think that’s about it) and pregnant and nursing does are given unlimited pellets. Full ground rabbits are given enough food to last them the day, which is usually one ounce per pound they weigh, which is usually one cup.

X-Cel rabbit feed (location)

Crude protein, not less than…………………….. 18%

Crude fat, not less than…………………….. 2.00%

Crude fiber, not less than……………………. 16.50%

Crude fiber, not more than…………………….. 21.5%

Calcium, not less than……………………. 1.10%

Calcium, not less than……………………. 1.20%

Phosphorous, not less than……………………. .3%

Salt, not less than……………………. .3%

Salt, not more than…………………….. .6%

Vitamin A, not less than……………………. 8800IU/LB



Ingredients

Forage products, plat protein products, processed grain by-products, grain products, cane molasses, vegetable oil, salt, mono dicalcium phosphate, choline chloride, calcium carbonate, manganous oxide, zinc oxide, ferrous sulfate, niacin, copper sulfate, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, riboflavin supplement, vitamin D-3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, calcium iodate, menadiones sodium bisulfite complex, vitamin B012 supplement, d-biotin supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride and folic acid.



Daily Routine



Although all 6 of us benefit from the rabbits, it is I and my brother’s jobs to take care of them. In the mornings, (I would love to say like 8:00 am but we are home schooled with no jobs atm, so its more like 10:00am or later.) after brake fast we head out to feed and water, as we feed, we take a quick look of each rabbit just to make sure they all look ok. When we have time, we will bring are showman ship animals in to practice with them for about 30mins a day. If the weather is nice, I put the rabbits out in the ground pens (they have a rotating schedule day to day since we only have two pens, to make sure they all get roaming time.) At night we head out again to top off water and make sure very one is doing ok.



Weekly Routine



On Saturdays we do heath checks on all the rabbits and treat any ailments that may be affecting them, we then make record of this. Sometimes I also check to see if there are any shows, but since we are not avid showers I usually don’t bother to. Other than that, nothing really changes from day to day.



Monthly and yearly Routine



Every month the barn is completely cleaned. Cages are torched, manure is bagged, dishes/feeders/bottles are scrubbed and bleached, etc. we also take inventory and check condition of are equipment/if we need anything. Throughout the year we keep an eye on the condition of are equipment and “barn”, but once a year we heavily look over the “bran” especially the roof as it is a canvas car port and gets brittle fast.



Rabbits with Ailments



If a rabbit has mites they are isolated from the herd and treated accordingly, the rest of the herd is treated as well as precaution (fur mites with kitten flee powder and ear mites with garlic infused canola oil.) If a rabbit shows signs of internal/contagious illness they are immediately separated from the herd and their cage/supplies are bleached. We then research the symptoms they are having to find the illness and treat accordingly Depending on the severity and type of illness the rabbit will most likely not be bred, shown, or sold, and will go to the freezer. Noncontagious ailments such as cuts, abscesses, strains, etc. the rabbit will stay with the rest and be treated accordingly.



Breeding



We usually only breed once a year for fairs, and we breed two to three does. We use orchard grass hay for nesting material, the boxes are added at 27 days after the day of breeding, and they usually kindle around 31 days, though we have had some kindle at 28 and 35 days. One week after kindling, if needed, the nest box will be cleaned, leaving as much of the fur as possible. The box is removed when the kits spend the majority of their time out of it, which is usually 3 weeks and 4 in colder weather. The kits are weened at about 7-8 weeks.

Now, all of this is how it should happen. However, we don’t keep up with a lot of it. The only things that stay 100% accurate all the time is the daily routine and kit care. We do all of the things listed, just not as often as we should, and record keeping is close to never done.......... so, ya that's how we raise are rabbits.​
I have cifornians that were someone's show stock/meat stock that I took over for about a year now. I am new to everything rabbit and this is super helpful, probably the most helpful as of yet snd I've done a lot of research. You break it down quite nicely. I will say that while they cane with their cases, some of those cages were make shift snd crappy. We have slowly bought cages. The cages we bought were 2 different sizes by the time we realized it , it was too late. They serve their purpose but as I get more cages I will arrange them according to your "map" lol. We have 2 cages that are 24x24 and 2 that are 36x36. I will say this I feel that for just a normal time spending cage a 36x36 is probably best, breeding cages that are less room for chase and just get the job done a 24x24 is good and for kindling a 36x36 because nesting boxes in a 24x24 are hard because that doesn't leave much space. I know this because I bred my does this month ( 2nd week of April )and 1 of them showed pregnancy behaviors but wasn't gaining weight while the other 2 gained weight. One gained 5lb in 10 days and they are on a strict diet, but those 2 aren't nesting yet. I'm sure the one doe had a pseudo pregnancy but because I was unsure ( Palpatine is hard fr me as pf this point ) so I went off of her behaviors snd put in a box and she hay stashed, fur pulled, and then has lived in it for 2 weeks poor baby. She's kindled before and because I'm not 100% sure on their ages she could be too old for breeding I was thinking. Well.....yesterday I thought " ya know what, while I'm getting her weight and she's already out let's see what happens if I put her with her buck" I tell you what they instantly had 4 successful knock-off's so I put her back in her cage. I feel like of she wasn't ready she wouldn't have lifted for him but she did perfect.
 
Top