The Line Between Show Rabbits and Pet Rabbits

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hotzcatz

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Eeewe! Never heard of that one. What's the genetics of WE? Separate gene like Vienna? Fortunately, it hasn't shown up in the herd here. Just wish there was some way to eradicate the Vienna gene.

Seems like another difference between pet rabbits, show rabbits and livestock rabbits are that the pet and show rabbits sell for a lot more.
 

hotzcatz

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Well, it's a pretty closed herd so no WE here. Still got the Vienna, even with trying to get rid of it but the choice is seriously inbred or some V. Some other folks are starting herds now, so soon hopefully there will be some not so closely related to the ones here to swap bucks back and forth.

I think pedigrees may be the difference between pet rabbit and show rabbit people. Pet rabbit folks don't seem to keep track of which rabbit has been bred to which - if they breed them at all, of course.

As far as which method to use to raise rabbits, it all depends on the rabbits and what you want from them. When it comes to breeding healthy rabbits, the meat rabbit folks have pretty much gotten that process down pat. For books, the 'Rabbit Production Manual' has way more useful information than many, although it's pretty much a university textbook on meat rabbits.

Pet rabbit people are also willing to spend way too much money on their pet. If there's a problem, they default to taking the bun to a vet instead of finding a recipe. Many breeders - especially meat breeders - would just cull and start over. Overall, healthier rabbits, although not for the specific rabbit.
 

Olbunny

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Good discussion. We breed for meat. And I try to keep our livestock as comfortable as I can. I had a buddy who was a dairy farmer tell me how a happy cow produces more milk, kind of thing.
When I make the pens I consider the kits with the doe. They can drive her crazy it seems, so a larger pen allows more space for all. They are 44" long, 30" wide 15" tall. And built so they fit in my 8x8' greenhouse for the winter.
We changed things up this year. The moose are always trying to get the hay so we put a reinforced carpport in front of the greenhouse n put the hay in the greenhouse so it's better protected.
Working out good and the grow out pens will be in there also. I need to have heated water bowls so having power there is essential. Lights are next, usually dark outside.
Anyhows I thought I'd chime in on behalf of us folks who want to raise a quality protien for my family. And having grandkids again. Animal husbandry is a great science class.
And it also teaches how to get up off the couch every day and have some responsibilities. If we are not keeping our rabbits as comfortable as possible they do not produce as well for us.
Each rabbit has a hutch to get into, it gets cold.
And I am trying out different methods for turning poo into profit. As this little project has to cover its own costs. It all adds up. Both financially and labor.
BTW, our pure breed black NZ does all sisters. Are breed to a purebreed California buck. I'm getting a couple blue or grey colored kits out of my litters. Would they have more financial value?
Hey I kinda all over the place here. I know. But wanted to demonstrate how raising the best quality ,for me, includes making sure our rabbits are happy. Our rabbits mean as much to us as anybody else. And end up being a big part of our lives
 

LatchawBriarPatch

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I am raising meat rabbits as livestock with the breaders being family pets. We have owned rabbits for three months and yesterday was the first time I let them roam the yard. I was doing some work on one of the does cages, so I let the kids watch her while I worked. She decided to roam the yard and started kicking her heals in the air all happy to be out....so I let out the other doe as well. She ended up running the length of the yard several times, binkys, dashes, you name it, just as happy as could be.

So I believe I need to add some exercize time to their routine, but I'm not really sure how to do so. I'm not currently aware of how much of a concern parasites are in our area. But it is winter, so I'm hoping it will be ok.

I am really supprised at how much they enjoyed their little adventure yesterday. It has me re-thinking some things and re-reading pet care info as opposed to spending so much time in the meat rabbit info section. Definitely feeling the info dichotomy right now. Thankful for this thread.
 

kthomestead

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Wire cages are not inhumane like the house rabbit society wants you to believe. Wire cages are the most sanitary option as they are not sitting in their own poop/pee. I do have a large ceramic tile in each cage that way they can have a break off the wire if wanted also added bonus a cooler spot.
 

RabbitsOfTheCreek

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Wire cages are not inhumane like the house rabbit society wants you to believe. Wire cages are the most sanitary option as they are not sitting in their own poop/pee. I do have a large ceramic tile in each cage that way they can have a break off the wire if wanted also added bonus a cooler spot.
Yes 🙏

The amount of people that diss wire cages

None of them stop to think about how clean they are
 

Rabbits by Accident

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Good discussion. We breed for meat. And I try to keep our livestock as comfortable as I can. I had a buddy who was a dairy farmer tell me how a happy cow produces more milk, kind of thing.
When I make the pens I consider the kits with the doe. They can drive her crazy it seems, so a larger pen allows more space for all. They are 44" long, 30" wide 15" tall. And built so they fit in my 8x8' greenhouse for the winter.
We changed things up this year. The moose are always trying to get the hay so we put a reinforced carpport in front of the greenhouse n put the hay in the greenhouse so it's better protected.
Working out good and the grow out pens will be in there also. I need to have heated water bowls so having power there is essential. Lights are next, usually dark outside.
Anyhows I thought I'd chime in on behalf of us folks who want to raise a quality protien for my family. And having grandkids again. Animal husbandry is a great science class.
And it also teaches how to get up off the couch every day and have some responsibilities. If we are not keeping our rabbits as comfortable as possible they do not produce as well for us.
Each rabbit has a hutch to get into, it gets cold.
And I am trying out different methods for turning poo into profit. As this little project has to cover its own costs. It all adds up. Both financially and labor.
BTW, our pure breed black NZ does all sisters. Are breed to a purebreed California buck. I'm getting a couple blue or grey colored kits out of my litters. Would they have more financial value?
Hey I kinda all over the place here. I know. But wanted to demonstrate how raising the best quality ,for me, includes making sure our rabbits are happy. Our rabbits mean as much to us as anybody else. And end up being a big part of our lives
My only comment about your lovely cages is the height. Rabbits like to stretch their backs and reach up. A10 lb rabbit can stretch about 24 in vertically at least.

IMG_20220408_175909215.jpg

I have some long low cages (18” high) and I added a smaller cage as a second story. This allows the rabbits to stretch their backs and jump up on a shelf as well.

I thought it would also give the doe a way to escape her kits for awhile, but as you can see from my avatar, it didn't work out that way LOL
 

Olbunny

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Yeah could be taller but that's the wire I had n space for. I made the nesting box so that doe can get on top. The rear door stays open, wired up. So they have a 12x18" shelf to get up on to. When there isn't kits the 30"x 44" gives them good floor space.
Thanks for the comments
 

HTAcres

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I am raising meat rabbits as livestock with the breaders being family pets. We have owned rabbits for three months and yesterday was the first time I let them roam the yard. I was doing some work on one of the does cages, so I let the kids watch her while I worked. She decided to roam the yard and started kicking her heals in the air all happy to be out....so I let out the other doe as well. She ended up running the length of the yard several times, binkys, dashes, you name it, just as happy as could be.

So I believe I need to add some exercize time to their routine, but I'm not really sure how to do so. I'm not currently aware of how much of a concern parasites are in our area. But it is winter, so I'm hoping it will be ok.

I am really supprised at how much they enjoyed their little adventure yesterday. It has me re-thinking some things and re-reading pet care info as opposed to spending so much time in the meat rabbit info section. Definitely feeling the info dichotomy right now. Thankful for this thread.
I bring my bucks inside one at a time as I don't have an outside space that is safe. The does don't seem to enjoy it like the bucks do. Only problem is that they want to run the house. lol
 

hotzcatz

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I have a bunch of refrigerator racks scavenged from our local transfer station (area rubbish is gathered before it's hauled off to the dump). They're zip tied together into a big folding panel which is put into a circle and the two ends clipped together. That makes a great bun play pen and they can zoom around in there for exercise and still be safe.

The doe herd has a hutch which is ten feet long by two and a half feet wide and about two feet tall with hide boxes and a ledge in there to break up the space. It's a two layer hutch and the upper layer is taller at about three feet tall. The bucks have a similar hutch except theirs is broken into three 'holes' on the top level and three 'holes' on the bottom level. The bucks have either a ledge or a box to break up their space. There's also a separate 'nesting' hutch with dropped nesting spaces so babies who get dragged out of the nest can roll back in on their own.
 
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We show rabbits and I look at it this way its doesn't cost you any more money to feed a Nice pedigreed show quality rabbit over a pet quality rabbit. Most people that Show are extremely picky on what is kept from a litter could be 1 kit 3 kits or No kits, Everything that is in their rabbitry is there to serve a purpose to improve the quality of the bloodlines. Not every rabbit born has the genetics to be a top quality show rabbit. We did not sell pets, We would sell pedigreed show quality rabbits to 4-H Children to get them a nice start. To many people screw 4-H children over with selling them mixed rabbits, rabbits with DQ's, Which is just WRONG.
Breeding rabbits will always leave you in the hole money wise because if its pedigreed Nice Show Quality rabbit your going to have to pay for it because their not cheap along with feed,cages,carriers,supplies,hay,crocks, etc. It all cost money. Alot of you only have a few rabbits your expenses are low. Alot of showers have anywhere from 20-200 head of rabbits to feed,water,hay and clean cages for you can go thru a 50 pound bag of rabbit feed in 1 day.
When I culled out my stock I wasn't keeping for show. they were around 4-5 months old and I would just call the Meat man and he would back up to our barn and I would start culling out what I didn't think was top show quality. Its nice when you have empty cages again to put something in thats going to benefit your program.
I have seen alot of VM & VC rabbits sold on the net for pets and breeding, people need to be careful selling these to the public because they could really destroy someone's breeding lines and program if they don't know there is a Blue Eyed White in the generations somewhere.
 

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