Picking a Breed and Seller for Starting Out (Pics)

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So he's not panting inside any more. Maybe that first day he was overstimulated by moving into a new home? I think you're right that he was an indoor bunny. Unfortunately my heating pad has a built in safety feature where it shuts off after 30 minutes. All of those are neat ideas though. You gave me a lot of options to think about. -15f is brutal. When I lived in Upstate NY, I was not a fan of those types of temps! Here the weather forecast is showing either low 20s at night or 30s and pouring down rain. It's going to be 50s during the day a lot though, so I can put him outside some. But at night he might need to come in. I can try to set him up on the back porch with a chicken brooder lamp hung above his cage to raise the temperature a bit though. I think it'd be better to have him close to the house than in the tractor shed or walk-in chicken coop. If I end up with a lot of rabbits at some point I can see myself moving them all to the tractor shed together though. It only has 3 walls though so I'd still have to winterize. You gave me some ideas to start on. Thank you!
I'd bet you're right that it was stress causing the panting; the shivering could be due to the same thing. 50s in the day and 20s in the night shouldn't be too hard on him, even if he was in a bit warmer spot before. Those aren't extreme temperatures for a rabbit, but the added stress of constant moving, in and out and into different cages might tip him over the edge. Rabbits need a home base to feel secure, and he's probably pretty confused right now. If it was me, I'd put him where he's going to be, and leave him to adjust.

Cover the cage with a blanket, sure. But ever since a brooder lamp short burned down our greenhouse with our chicks and bunnies in it - it was horrible - I've stayed away from any electric heat in my barn. :( But we've found that even our smallest bunnies do great if we give them a nesting box (wood or even cardboard in a pinch) stuffed with hay or straw. We typically get down to -25F at least a couple of times a year, and have wide temperature swings (it was 39F the night before last and dropped to -2F overnight). But the rabbits can adjust on their own by burrowing into the hay or sitting on top of the box, as they wish. Just be sure to keep adding bedding material, especially if it's hay, since they'll eat their blanket. :)

I'd go out of my way to get him situated where he'll be, with as few changes as possible, at least for a time while he gets settled in, though. Young rabbits are pretty sturdy, but in general, rabbits don't like change, at all.
 

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Ok so I went to Rural King and after being out of rabbits for a while they had rexes and minis. Here is the boy I brought home. He is 8 weeks. The standards were all siblings. I picked the biggest one. He also happens to be the most laid back and friendly. There were some otters with the super silky fur but they were skittish and clawy so I passed. This guy is soft but not like velvet. He was $44. The lady at the store said the rexes sell the best for them.

Is this the correct body type? I guess i should weigh him.
looks like a nice bunny to me, it's a rex correct? Is there just the one? they like a buddy.
 

ihatedarkroast

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I'd bet you're right that it was stress causing the panting; the shivering could be due to the same thing. 50s in the day and 20s in the night shouldn't be too hard on him, even if he was in a bit warmer spot before. Those aren't extreme temperatures for a rabbit, but the added stress of constant moving, in and out and into different cages might tip him over the edge. Rabbits need a home base to feel secure, and he's probably pretty confused right now. If it was me, I'd put him where he's going to be, and leave him to adjust.

Cover the cage with a blanket, sure. But ever since a brooder lamp short burned down our greenhouse with our chicks and bunnies in it - it was horrible - I've stayed away from any electric heat in my barn. :( But we've found that even our smallest bunnies do great if we give them a nesting box (wood or even cardboard in a pinch) stuffed with hay or straw. We typically get down to -25F at least a couple of times a year, and have wide temperature swings (it was 39F the night before last and dropped to -2F overnight). But the rabbits can adjust on their own by burrowing into the hay or sitting on top of the box, as they wish. Just be sure to keep adding bedding material, especially if it's hay, since they'll eat their blanket. :)

I'd go out of my way to get him situated where he'll be, with as few changes as possible, at least for a time while he gets settled in, though. Young rabbits are pretty sturdy, but in general, rabbits don't like change, at all.
That's some crazy weather up where you live! Wow. I feel better about my situation for sure.
I'm really sorry about the fire that destroyed your animals. Poor things! That must have been so heartbreaking. Did you build a new barn after that?

Ok. I didn't realize that was so stressful to move them around. I will get him settled quickly then.

Today I was able to go pick up the castor doe. My son named her Tizzy. I weighed her in at 7.75 ish lbs at 9 months. So she is not huge by any means, maybe why the breeder is selling her instead of keeping her. Tizzy is not friendly and not quite as calm as Harvey (the broken) but still pretty calm. She burrowed herself in her box of straw and has refused to come out except to eat one sunflower seed then dive back in. Haha.

Omg her coat though, it's incredibly soft. I can't get over it.

The breeder was nice, fairly young. She's been doing this for 12 years so she must have started as a kid. She told me feed is $6 more in North Carolina than Virginia, so she drives to Virginia to buy feed! And she also told me she has a really hard time finding buyers for her Rexes. I was puzzled, as that's the opposite of what the Rural King gal told me. But maybe they are just less popular in her town? I dunno.

@Scooter1A Yes! Thank you. I just got them a buddy so there are two now. Hooray!
 

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That's some crazy weather up where you live! Wow. I feel better about my situation for sure.
I'm really sorry about the fire that destroyed your animals. Poor things! That must have been so heartbreaking. Did you build a new barn after that?

Ok. I didn't realize that was so stressful to move them around. I will get him settled quickly then.

Today I was able to go pick up the castor doe. My son named her Tizzy. I weighed her in at 7.75 ish lbs at 9 months. So she is not huge by any means, maybe why the breeder is selling her instead of keeping her. Tizzy is not friendly and not quite as calm as Harvey (the broken) but still pretty calm. She burrowed herself in her box of straw and has refused to come out except to eat one sunflower seed then dive back in. Haha.

Omg her coat though, it's incredibly soft. I can't get over it.

The breeder was nice, fairly young. She's been doing this for 12 years so she must have started as a kid. She told me feed is $6 more in North Carolina than Virginia, so she drives to Virginia to buy feed! And she also told me she has a really hard time finding buyers for her Rexes. I was puzzled, as that's the opposite of what the Rural King gal told me. But maybe they are just less popular in her town? I dunno.

@Scooter1A Yes! Thank you. I just got them a buddy so there are two now. Hooray!
Nothing wrong with a Rex that's for sure! My two bunnies were strangers when they came home with me in April. The buck was the most upset but in a few days it got much better. My doe had to live in 3 different places before I got their permanent hutch built. I always kept them beside each other so they could see each other and they did fine. Now last April seems like years ago.
 

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Nothing wrong with a Rex that's for sure! My two bunnies were strangers when they came home with me in April. The buck was the most upset but in a few days it got much better. My doe had to live in 3 different places before I got their permanent hutch built. I always kept them beside each other so they could see each other and they did fine. Now last April seems like years ago.
It's definitely encouraging to hear that members here are still enjoying themselves a while after starting up their new venture.

These two I got seem to be settling in nicely now. The doe is still not friendly, but has chilled out so my 4 yr old son can sit with her in his lap on the sofa and watch TV. The buck is very friendly and if you open his cage will come and sniff your fingers to see if you have a treat. Next step is to assemble and weather proof the rabbit tractor, then to look for doe #2 I suppose. I did pick up some cheap tent stakes so in addition to the rabbit tractor, if I want to put one of the XL kennels out on the grass and pull the plastic tray out of the bottom, I can stake it down.
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It's definitely encouraging to hear that members here are still enjoying themselves a while after starting up their new venture.

These two I got seem to be settling in nicely now. The doe is still not friendly, but has chilled out so my 4 yr old son can sit with her in his lap on the sofa and watch TV. The buck is very friendly and if you open his cage will come and sniff your fingers to see if you have a treat. Next step is to assemble and weather proof the rabbit tractor, then to look for doe #2 I suppose. I did pick up some cheap tent stakes so in addition to the rabbit tractor, if I want to put one of the XL kennels out on the grass and pull the plastic tray out of the bottom, I can stake it down.
324243276_1004326790955949_8385660761375054543_n.jpg
that's a big bunny. very pretty. i see why people like their Rex
 

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This may be barking up the wrong tree again like with the old english spot. But what about this guy's Belgian Hare doe he's selling for $20? She's so pretty! I do have solid floor hutches and cages, so sore hocks would not be as big a worry. The question more is, feed effeciency/grow out time/meatiness, docile temperament? Would the kits be decent if we crossbreed with another meat breed? Or is this just another fancy rabbit we should dodge?
*edit: so I saw some videos on Youtube of Belgian hares spazzing out, leaping, kicking, whirling in circles just for fun and now I'm a bit concerned they might be too high strung. Would a pregnant/nursing doe used for breeding still act like that tho?
 
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nice looking rabbit. not very meaty looking but sometimes you can't tell until you butcher one. don't know anything about this breed but good luck! look at the breeders set up if you can and see if they keep things clean ya know. if the breeder has stayed with same breeding line and no problems health wise I'd say go for it!!
 

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nice looking rabbit. not very meaty looking but sometimes you can't tell until you butcher one. don't know anything about this breed but good luck! look at the breeders set up if you can and see if they keep things clean ya know. if the breeder has stayed with same breeding line and no problems health wise I'd say go for it!!
When i look up the breed history they were dual purpose for exhibition and meat but now just a show breed. They tend to be fine boned and medium sized 6-9 lbs with meaty thighs but might take longer to grow so idk. If anyone knows pls comment.
*Edit ok i found an old thread on rabbit talk that at 12 weeks a 6 lb belgian produces a 3 lb carcass. That's not too bad? Belgian Hares.....

*edit... Ok i found out after adking the seller 3 different times that she is 3 years old. Thus the cheap price. I think i gotta pass
 
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This may be barking up the wrong tree again like with the old english spot. But what about this guy's Belgian Hare doe he's selling for $20? She's so pretty! I do have solid floor hutches and cages, so sore hocks would not be as big a worry. The question more is, feed effeciency/grow out time/meatiness, docile temperament? Would the kits be decent if we crossbreed with another meat breed? Or is this just another fancy rabbit we should dodge?
*edit: so I saw some videos on Youtube of Belgian hares spazzing out, leaping, kicking, whirling in circles just for fun and now I'm a bit concerned they might be too high strung. Would a pregnant/nursing doe used for breeding still act like that
This rabbit is a Tan. Yes, that is a breed. It is not a meat rabbit. Too high of energy. I saw these at a show. Very slim, looks like a racer.
 

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When i look up the breed history they were dual purpose for exhibition and meat but now just a show breed. They tend to be fine boned and medium sized 6-9 lbs with meaty thighs but might take longer to grow so idk. If anyone knows pls comment.
*Edit ok i found an old thread on rabbit talk that at 12 weeks a 6 lb belgian produces a 3 lb carcass. That's not too bad? Belgian Hares.....

*edit... Ok i found out after adking the seller 3 different times that she is 3 years old. Thus the cheap price. I think i gotta pass
pass
 
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This may be barking up the wrong tree again like with the old english spot. But what about this guy's Belgian Hare doe he's selling for $20? She's so pretty! I do have solid floor hutches and cages, so sore hocks would not be as big a worry. The question more is, feed effeciency/grow out time/meatiness, docile temperament? Would the kits be decent if we crossbreed with another meat breed? Or is this just another fancy rabbit we should dodge?
*edit: so I saw some videos on Youtube of Belgian hares spazzing out, leaping, kicking, whirling in circles just for fun and now I'm a bit concerned they might be too high strung. Would a pregnant/nursing doe used for breeding still act like that tho?
She is very pretty!

Belgian Hares are fairly large, but I wouldn't really categorize them as a meat breed; although they were in the past, selection for extreme show type may have kind of lessened that. They have decent thighs, and good ones have really well-developed muscle tone, but a lot of the meat on a rabbit usually comes from the loin. I think finding another meat breed that has already been selected for meat qualities would be your best bet, since you will probably find yourself working to get back to that. However, since you're starting out, it might be worth having a few different breeds just for the experience. There is meat on all rabbits. :) $20 for a nice Hare sounds like a good deal!

Like all the full arch breeds, they are usually quite high-strung. The Hare breeder I know has pretty sweet rabbits, but they are very active. I have never talked to her about how much they eat, but their active nature makes me suspect they may not have the best feed conversion.

This rabbit is a Tan. Yes, that is a breed. It is not a meat rabbit. Too high of energy. I saw these at a show. Very slim, looks like a racer.
It's hard to say from that single photo. It may be a Tan or a Belgian Hare, which is now accepted in the tan pattern. The size of the ears leans toward Hare, but it would help to know the weight of the rabbit. Hares range from 6-9.5lbs, while Tans are quite a bit smaller at 4-5.5lbs.
 
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Scooter1A

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Not that I've been able to find. What I mostly see are lops, lions, NZs and some Flemish. Some mini rexes too. Occasionally silver fox or chinchilla, but all of those breeders are now out of does. There are buck clearence sales going on everywhere, haha.
how bout a NZ buck with that Belgian doe? on second thought after reading above, nah. I dunno, gotta start somewhere.
 

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Not that I've been able to find. What I mostly see are lops, lions, NZs and some Flemish. Some mini rexes too. Occasionally silver fox or chinchilla, but all of those breeders are now out of does. There are buck clearence sales going on everywhere, haha.
when do the breeders think they will have does again? I'm guessing April? If they have ones born in December you could be breeding by late June early July. I've been told to wait until they are 7 months and that was for a NZ Rex cross doe. I got one litter last year and am waiting until maybe March to breed again but may be sooner, depends on how our winter goes. So far it's been fairly mild. Hmmm maybe February breed.
 

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No idea. I imagine around Easter there will be more popping up for sale. I will keep checking. I have to wait some months until my buck is old enough to successfully breed without getting dominated. Or i could pick up one of those sale bucks. Lol
 

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Rural King now has California whites and rexes and rex mixes (probs mixed with Californians) again. I'm not sure if it's the same breeder as last time. The pure rexes are a dark dark brown and lovely. The mixes are broken black and otter again. I'm not sure if I should get a californian or one of the rexes or rex mixesd. But the lady who is in charge of them had left for the day. And the cages were unsexed. The other lady said the rabbits could not be sexed by the staff and the cages were only labeled if they knew. They are all 8 weeks old. If I get another female, I will have to wait quite a bit for her to be breeding age. I can check back Monday and see if the usual caretaker knows which are female and which are male. If it's a different breeder, I suppose I'll get a purebred rex. If it's the same breeder and they're likely a full sibling of my buck, should I get a Californian?
 

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Rural King now has California whites and rexes and rex mixes (probs mixed with Californians) again. I'm not sure if it's the same breeder as last time. The pure rexes are a dark dark brown and lovely. The mixes are broken black and otter again. I'm not sure if I should get a californian or one of the rexes or rex mixesd. But the lady who is in charge of them had left for the day. And the cages were unsexed. The other lady said the rabbits could not be sexed by the staff and the cages were only labeled if they knew. They are all 8 weeks old. If I get another female, I will have to wait quite a bit for her to be breeding age. I can check back Monday and see if the usual caretaker knows which are female and which are male. If it's a different breeder, I suppose I'll get a purebred rex. If it's the same breeder and they're likely a full sibling of my buck, should I get a Californian?
people say you can breed a mother to a son but I would not. I've been told it's ok to breed father to daughter and that's fine but like I said others say mother to son also is cool for meat and show. I really like my Cali buck bred to my Rex/NJ cross so? I bred her today and within an hour she was already eating alot and oinky. Crazy how they know. Amazing. Glad they got what you need, have a blast.
 

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