getting into rabbits

Discussion in 'Other Pets' started by ohiogoatgirl, Jan 4, 2011.

  1. ohiogoatgirl

    ohiogoatgirl New Member

    Jan 31, 2010
    i'm looking to get into raising rabbits for meat.
    i've found a place to buy them and been reading lots but i need some help.
    i'll be getting new zealands or new zealand whites.
    *anyone mix their own feed? i'd like to mix my own and am looking for a "recipe".
    *what size cage do you recammend? i was thinking 2x4 ft would be good size. i haven't seen store prices/sizes yet. thinking i'll probably end up building my own.
    *since it'll be a small set up and just be meat and hides for my family plus maybe selling some babies later down the road sometime. i was thinking 1 buck and 2 does. any suggestions?
    *after they kindle when do you rebreed? some says rebreed after the kits are weened. some say 4 wks after kindling... what do you recammend?
    :help: :scratch:
  2. imaginationacres

    imaginationacres New Member

    Sep 27, 2009
    Congrats on getting into rabbits. I raise mostly for show but am getting more involved in meat production. NZ have great dress out ratios so they're an excellent choice for home meat production.

    - I feed Purina brand pellets with unlimited grass hay, hay is very important for health, sorry I can't help with mixing feed suggestions.
    - 2x4 is plenty of space for NZ, all rabbits that are sexually mature should be housed individually, bucks will fight with one another and does can get pretty aggressive too. Commercial hanging cages or those with drop pans are available for purchase and are very sanitary.
    - A trio is best for small production operations, a buck and 2 does will be just fine
    - I personally don't rebreed often since I breed for show and not for production, it would be best to wait til the babies are weaned, excessive rebreeding 4 weeks post kindling will seriously shorten the reproductive lifespan of the rabbit.

    Good luck!

  3. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    Wish i could help... give advice on the wabbits... :greengrin: but ...I don't know.... congrats on getting into them and hope all goes well..... :thumb:
  4. Victoria

    Victoria New Member

    Dec 20, 2008
    Vernonia, Oregon
    We have had meat rabbits only for one year, but what a learning that year has been!

    I did mix my feed, but found there is ALOT of waste, and I do mean alot!! The rabbits will dig in the food to get to the good stuff. It was so frustrating to try to gt them to not waste it, so we just went back to feeding 16% pellets, but I also use calf manna on the nursing moms, and growing kits.
    I re breed so that when the kits are 10 weeks, the moms are kindling again. Seems to work well.
    We finally settled on Satins, but I would like to mix in a little Giant breed for better growth, as the babies aren't growing too fast these days..
    We have our rabbits in hutches, worm bins under to keep the smell down.
  5. ohiogoatgirl

    ohiogoatgirl New Member

    Jan 31, 2010
    i thought the bigger breeds grow slower?
    most of my rabbit info has come from "the homesteader's handbook to raising small livestock" by jerome belanger. it's a rodale press. copywright 1974...
    it's been the most helpful i think. it has two feed mix recipes... i'll find them and post them later. for y'all to check out.
  6. Victoria

    Victoria New Member

    Dec 20, 2008
    Vernonia, Oregon

    Depends on who you ask..out here in the great NW, there are those who mix in a bit of Flemish for size..true a Flemish Giant spends it's life growing bone, while a 'meat ' rabbit spends it time growing meat.
    I have oldtimers tellin me to add a bit of flemish to my lines and I will get bigger babies. I really want to keep with the Satins for the quality pelts, but they don't grow too quick. Three pound fryers were not at all what I expected!! So I am willin to try a bit of big bunny blood and see what comes of it!!
  7. SDK

    SDK New Member

    Jun 26, 2008
    Yucaipa ca
    as far as feed, i recommend buying a premilled feed. mixing your own is kind of risky IMO.

    New Zealands and New Zealand whites are the same breed, just different colors or varieties.

    I personally feed my herd purina feeds, i give no hay unless its for babies or nest making.

    as far as caging an 18 x24 or 24 x 24 is a good size for an animal that doesn't have a litter, i'd say maybe a 30 x 36 or bigger cage for a litter cage.

    as far as rebreeding it would depends on the doe's body condition, the litter size, and your need.

    also.. IMO breeding the flemish into the satins sounds like a big waste.. the flemish are not a good breed for meat, and mostly consist of bone. it you want to cross something fast growing in cross in Californians or martens. we used to raise cal meat pens and they averaged 4 pounds each at 3 months