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Spitzfire

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Good Morning from Ontario 🇨🇦

I was very excited to stumble upon your wonderful group.

I started breeding meat rabbits last October. I bought two breeding trios and at first started with the colony method. That quickly ended after our first breakout lol.
We then moved to mounted cages.

We lost our first two litters during the winter as moms birthed on the coldest nights of the winter and didn’t pull enough fur to keep babies warm. Our other for didn’t produce any kits at all.

We then decided to hold off breeding them again until it got a bit warmer and it was successful 2 out of the three does had litters, unfortunately the same doe didn’t produce.
We have decided to try her one more time and then give up. Lol. Sad because she definitely knows what to do! She builds her nests every time.

Anyhow our first butchering day is coming up soon and I am a little apprehensive. Lol

What methods of dispatching do the majority of you use? Of course we want to do it the most humane way we can while minimizing any stress on the kits.
Thanks,
Tina
 

Albert

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Good Morning from Ontario 🇨🇦

I was very excited to stumble upon your wonderful group.

I started breeding meat rabbits last October. I bought two breeding trios and at first started with the colony method. That quickly ended after our first breakout lol.
We then moved to mounted cages.

We lost our first two litters during the winter as moms birthed on the coldest nights of the winter and didn’t pull enough fur to keep babies warm. Our other for didn’t produce any kits at all.

We then decided to hold off breeding them again until it got a bit warmer and it was successful 2 out of the three does had litters, unfortunately the same doe didn’t produce.
We have decided to try her one more time and then give up. Lol. Sad because she definitely knows what to do! She builds her nests every time.

Anyhow our first butchering day is coming up soon and I am a little apprehensive. Lol

What methods of dispatching do the majority of you use? Of course we want to do it the most humane way we can while minimizing any stress on the kits.
Thanks,
Tina
Wow! Drama from the get go, well done you for sticking with it!

Welcome 😊
 

KelleyBee

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Welcome to the Rabbit Talk forums. Like you, I started last year, as well. Also 2 trios, but in August.

For dispatching, we tried the broomstick method and used it for a while, but the animals always showed severe bruising between the shoulder blades which indicates injury and suffering just before death. Therefore, we now use two 5/8 inch thickness boards simply nailed to a wooden structure in a V formation, and dispatch that way. You can buy dispatching gadgets with the necessary V formation to do the job….they are usually made out of metal. But we’ve found just making one out of a couple pieces of trimmed down scrap plywood works just fine. Other than that, since I am the main caretaker of the rabbit, I’ve asked hubby to be the main dispatcher. once done, he gives them back to me and I skin, gut and butcher. With the V dispatch, there has been absolutely no bruising. Quick, efficient, and far less trauma for the rabbit.
 

Albert

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We now use two 5/8 inch thickness boards simply nailed to a wooden structure in a V formation, and dispatch that way. You can buy dispatching gadgets with the necessary V formation to do the job….they are usually made out of metal. But we’ve found just making one out of a couple pieces of trimmed down scrap plywood works just fine.
Have you got a picture please. I've just had a bad experience with dispatching and would like an alternative. Thanks
 

Spitzfire

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Welcome to the Rabbit Talk forums. Like you, I started last year, as well. Also 2 trios, but in August.

For dispatching, we tried the broomstick method and used it for a while, but the animals always showed severe bruising between the shoulder blades which indicates injury and suffering just before death. Therefore, we now use two 5/8 inch thickness boards simply nailed to a wooden structure in a V formation, and dispatch that way. You can buy dispatching gadgets with the necessary V formation to do the job….they are usually made out of metal. But we’ve found just making one out of a couple pieces of trimmed down scrap plywood works just fine. Other than that, since I am the main caretaker of the rabbit, I’ve asked hubby to be the main dispatcher. once done, he gives them back to me and I skin, gut and butcher. With the V dispatch, there has been absolutely no bruising. Quick, efficient, and far less trauma for the rabbit.
Have you got a picture please. I've just had a bad experience with dispatching and would like an alternative. Thanks
I too would love a picture of this please if possible. Thank you for your response.
 

BuffBrahmaBantam

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Welcome to the Rabbit Talk forums. Like you, I started last year, as well. Also 2 trios, but in August.

For dispatching, we tried the broomstick method and used it for a while, but the animals always showed severe bruising between the shoulder blades which indicates injury and suffering just before death. Therefore, we now use two 5/8 inch thickness boards simply nailed to a wooden structure in a V formation, and dispatch that way. You can buy dispatching gadgets with the necessary V formation to do the job….they are usually made out of metal. But we’ve found just making one out of a couple pieces of trimmed down scrap plywood works just fine. Other than that, since I am the main caretaker of the rabbit, I’ve asked hubby to be the main dispatcher. once done, he gives them back to me and I skin, gut and butcher. With the V dispatch, there has been absolutely no bruising. Quick, efficient, and far less trauma for the rabbit.
I agree with previous posts. We’d love to see photos of this set-up.
 
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BuffBrahmaBantam

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I started breeding meat rabbits last October. I bought two breeding trios and at first started with the colony method. That quickly ended after our first breakout lol.
We then moved to mounted cages.
Tina, can you describe what you mean by breakout? I‘m assume you mean the rabbits escaped but could you share more detail on what you tried. We currently are using a modified colony set up but are tempted to switch to cages for a couple of reasons and would like to hear your experience with both.
 

Spitzfire

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Tina, can you describe what you mean by breakout? I‘m assume you mean the rabbits escaped but could you share more detail on what you tried. We currently are using a modified colony set up but are tempted to switch to cages for a couple of reasons and would like to hear your experience with both.
Sure thing! 😀

So at first we had them in our old duck hut that has a plexi glass floor in it. Just added bedding. This makes it impossible for them to dig out or critters to get in and makes it really easy to clean. We have a hinged door that opens up into a roofed and fenced in play yard.
The play yard floor is patio stones (except an L shape about two feet wide as we ran out of patio stones but we had pea gravel in that area to “discourage” them digging).
Needless to say the little stinkers after about a month of being in their colony home decided it would be fun to dig themselves out via the pea gravel area. LOL

So we ended up with 6 bunnies screaming “freedom” around our yard. Took a few days to catch everyone of them. During the “great escape” escapade we quickly located used cages and installed them in their play yard.

This spring we moved the cages not our wood shed/barn to keep them warmer in the winter and hopefully we will not loose any more kits due to temperatures in the future.

The cages work great! No escapes easy maintenance plus they don’t seem to mind the cages at all. Since breeding them I have also found this way beneficial as it is easy to keep track of the kits and their ages for future dispatching or selling.

We have since bought and installed more patio stones in the play yard and have turned the original colony hut and play yard into our grow out area and we will also use the play yard as our dispatching and processing area as well.

We haven’t quite decided if we want to try breeding again during the winter months and I am still trying to come up with an automatic watering system for them that won’t freeze and will continuously circulate.


Any suggestions or directions n this would be greatly appreciated.

Oh and I am still trying to come up with a better way to deal with their waste collection in the barn. I tried tarps leading to bind that worked but I find I needed to replace the tarps after a few months due to leakage.

Now they have been moved to the bunny barn we installed metal siding sheets under the cages in a V shaped and on an incline to bins. This doesn’t seem to be working out as the waste and and dropped hay seems to collect on the sheeting and not roll down to the bins.

As for the bins I think I am going to try the double bun method I just came across once I get the sheeting figured out. I was thinking about trying to find some old rubber conveyor belts.

Any suggestions or directions n this would be greatly appreciated!!!!
 

Rabbits by Accident

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cage_hay_chute_Wacky_Pup_Great_Budget_Ideas_and_More.jpg

This is the setup I have for poop/urine, made from old roofing. It collects in the gutter. Once a day, I push it into a bucket with a scraper I made out of wood. It works GREAT! It can hold a LOT of poop and cleaning takes only a few minutes. Because I offer unlimited hay, I sometimes have to scrape down the metal where the poop got stuck in hay. I have a piece of pipe from an old e-z up shade canopy that works great to slip up under the cages. More pics here: Wacky Pup

It is just hung under the rabbit cages with wire. Doesn't take much to hold it up. The trick is enough slant for the poop to roll and not enough for it to fly out and over the edge of the gutter LOL
 

Spitzfire

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View attachment 30156

This is the setup I have for poop/urine, made from old roofing. It collects in the gutter. Once a day, I push it into a bucket with a scraper I made out of wood. It works GREAT! It can hold a LOT of poop and cleaning takes only a few minutes. Because I offer unlimited hay, I sometimes have to scrape down the metal where the poop got stuck in hay. I have a piece of pipe from an old e-z up shade canopy that works great to slip up under the cages. More pics here: Wacky Pup

It is just hung under the rabbit cages with wire. Doesn't take much to hold it up. The trick is enough slant for the poop to roll and not enough for it to fly out and over the edge of the gutter LOL
What a wonderfully informative site! I really enjoyed reading thru it and it gave me so many ideas!

The one thing I have found so far is it seems to be more expensive than we thought and we are beginning to wonder if the investment and work is worth the amount of meat 🍖 in the freezer in the end. Lol

I am definitely going to try out your gutter idea as I think we have some old ones laying around.

Thank you so much for sharing.
 

Rabbits by Accident

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What a wonderfully informative site! I really enjoyed reading thru it and it gave me so many ideas!

The one thing I have found so far is it seems to be more expensive than we thought and we are beginning to wonder if the investment and work is worth the amount of meat 🍖 in the freezer in the end. Lol

I am definitely going to try out your gutter idea as I think we have some old ones laying around.

Thank you so much for sharing.
I am the queen of reuse-repurpose-"don't throw that away" LOL ... I can usually find a cheap shanty 'green' way to do anything. I save just about everything and usually find a purpose for it. I'm glad it was helpful. I haven't spent much at all on my rabbits, but again, I have a huge stash of salvaged treasures to search through.

(I even have a jar of buttons cut from worn out shirts, for instance) I also save all that really strong thin string that the feed bags are sewn with. It's great for garden stuff.
 

Rabbits by Accident

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@Spitzfire You will probably find the amount of work goes down quite a bit. When I first started, it seemed like I spent the whole day in there. Now I'm done in about 15 minutes. ... except for talking/petting/bonding/playing ... which is the fun part!!!
 

Robochelle

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@Rabbits by Accident With your setup, have you found you're able to reuse the hay that falls through? I did something similar with netting, worked great to begin with, but it started to stretch and sag, and my buns seemed to think that the spot where it all gathered was the best place to pee.
 

Rabbits by Accident

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@Rabbits by Accident With your setup, have you found you're able to reuse the hay that falls through? I did something similar with netting, worked great to begin with, but it started to stretch and sag, and my buns seemed to think that the spot where it all gathered was the best place to pee.
TBH I don't have very much hay fall out. They seem to pull what they want. Very occasionally one will go berzerk and pull out a lot, but that's unusual. They eat a LOT of hay, though. I have found that it's best to have it over the lowest part of the poop chute, because if it is at the top, the dropped hay will stop the poop from rolling down. They pull the hay out, eat what they want, some pieces fall through to the chute (or the ground if I didn't have a chute). Seems that they chew it up small so not much is in the cage. Grass hay is wasted a lot more than 'real' hay because the pieces are so short, they will fall through the floor right away. I put a floor tile in the cage in front of the hay rack to help stop this. Don't know if any of this info helps or not :D
 

ladysown

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I use the choke chain method for anything under 5 months, and a piece of rebar for anything older than that. Using rebar minimizes bruising. Others use a pellet gun, a dead bolt, using their hands, etc. There is one person on here who decapitates them.
 
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