Rabbit Talk

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Re: Rabbit Talk

Postby mannytheseacow » Mon Aug 25, 2014 11:26 pm

I haven't posted anything about my rabbit farming in a while. I was really excited for my California x California offspring and really disappointed with the results. Both parents came from exceptional blood lines and I had high hopes. After 11 weeks the 8 young only weighed in at 4 pounds, 3 pounds dressed. My junky French lops only produce 6 per litter but typically weigh 6 pounds at 10-12 weeks and dress out at over 5. Call it luck or hybrid vigor, I'll take the lops.

The other thing I really don't like is that the Californias are all the same. white white white. No character at all. The lops are all different; all sorts of colors, some ears up- some ears down. Much more fun to see what is going to come out. Of course it's easier to kill a group of rabbits when they all look the same.

Anyway, long story short- I just sold the Californias. They're gone. They didn't go far, though. I can take a doe over there any time and get her bred by the old buck. My plan is to take a buck from one of my current large lop litters and use him for the breeder, cull the lop mother, and breed to the other lop. I've also picked up another doe- a New Zealand that is an oddball. She's all black coming from a long line of all white blood lines. Hopefully that will throw a wrench in the mix. She's quite ill-tempered, which is another reason I'm really impressed with the lops. They have quite subdued personalities.

I was recently reading on another forum that people have problems putting rabbits out in tractors, which hasn't been my experience at all. I have had great luck, though my California litter did dig a bit. Perhaps another favorable attribute of the French lop? I haven't lost any yet, knock on wood.
"Knowledge is power. Arm yourself."
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Re: Rabbit Talk

Postby mannytheseacow » Fri May 27, 2016 1:37 am

So, I've been raising rabbits for a few years now. We've had as many as 40 running around at some points and as few as 1 at others. We've finally reached a good balance with just one doe and one buck that we are happy with. They are both pure New Zealand, a red buck named Hong and a black doe named Hei. They are huge, small boned, huge loins and back legs, big litters, and their offspring grow fairly quickly.

I'm only breeding Hei four times a year. But she is a good momma with healthy litters so I don't want to push her. At the end of the day, we have a good supply of rabbit meat so that is really all that matters. We don't get to know the kits very well because they get butchered at 10 weeks. But Hei and Hong are kinda becoming part of the family so the small cages have been kinda bothering me for a while. That has been my impetus for building them a new rabbit palace.
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Their old cage was just a 30 x 30 box with a wire bottom and a top that opened. Their droppings fell underneath, which the dogs would inevitably eat as it pile up and had to be shoveled out. The rabbits were on wire all the time and I had to sub in a box for Hei to kid in. I know I would go crazy in those conditions.

The new one is mostly scrounged material I had laying around, though I bought some hardware cloth and 2x2s at our local non-big-box hardware store.

The new one has two levels. They have a box to hide in or kid in, and I can open a door to the box to check on the kits. The whole top is hinged so I can get in there if I need to. They can get on top of their box and hang out, too, which they seem to like to do, being off the wire both in the box or on top of the box. What they seem to like the most is that they have a ramp to run down under to a lower level, and be near the ground where they can see a lot more and be cooler in the summer. What I like the most is the removable trays underneath that I can easily remove to clean and the dogs can't get into.
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Re: Rabbit Talk

Postby matt walker » Fri May 27, 2016 2:59 am

Looks great Manny, they sure look relaxed in there.
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