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Rabbits

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Re: Rabbits

Postby bettacreek » Mon Nov 26, 2012 3:49 pm

Are the woolies as good as the angoras for fiber? For some reason, I dismissed them as fiber critters a few years back, but honestly cannot remember why I dismissed them, lol.
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Re: Rabbits

Postby Wyrdwoman » Mon Nov 26, 2012 5:47 pm

If you have a good line, yes they are just as good for fiber. There fiber is not as long but they do produce a lot. Mine eat next to nothing compared to the bigger rabbits. I actually got mine from a breeder that had too many bucks, so I got two and the does came from another breeder that did not find them show quality. For me these are non-issues, they are great little fiber producers and honestly the best bucks I have.
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Re: Rabbits

Postby Asatrur » Mon Dec 17, 2012 1:17 pm

We just picked up 4 new rabbits, an american and 3 offspring along with hutches. Does anyone have any experience with raising American rabbits as meat rabbits?
Thanks,
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Re: Rabbits

Postby mmpaints » Mon Dec 17, 2012 1:36 pm

kept for their thick fur and meat, yep, it's an eating rabbit. Raise it the same as you would any rabbit. No different than any other rabbit breed except that they were specifically bred for their coat color and thickness. Actually one of the rarest rabbit breeds now since the fur trade collapsed in America, then the influx of more commercial rabbit breeds such as the californian and new zealands.
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Re: Rabbits

Postby IceFire » Mon Dec 17, 2012 4:22 pm

Asatrur wrote:We just picked up 4 new rabbits, an american and 3 offspring along with hutches. Does anyone have any experience with raising American rabbits as meat rabbits?
Thanks,
Asa


Do you mean American Chinchilla rabbits? If so, then you lucky dog! That is the rabbit breed that I wanted to raise, because of the pelts as well as the meat, but couldn't find ANY in my area. I am SO envious!
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Re: Rabbits

Postby mmpaints » Mon Dec 17, 2012 4:42 pm

Ice, I read it as an american rabbit which is a recognized breed. Rare but still around.
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Re: Rabbits

Postby Asatrur » Mon Dec 17, 2012 4:48 pm

I know the former owner told me it is an american. I will try and post up a picture later to see if anyone can verify.
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Re: Rabbits

Postby Disa » Mon Dec 17, 2012 6:14 pm

I've enjoyed reading this revived thread. I have had my NZwhites for almost 2 months now. Bought a doe and a buck from a reputable breeder and both will be of breeding age the middle of next month. They were able to provide lineage for both which I liked.

We've done pretty well so far. I have 2 doe cages with built in nesting boxes and a buck cage. I hung the cages in the portable garage/shed in the back yard. I like this set up since it puts the cages as a height that makes it easy for tending the rabbits, everything's metal so it makes for easy cleaning and there's no wood to hold moisture/bacteria/parasites or for the rabbits to chew on if they become so inclined.. The garage has a gravel floor which means it's no big deal as far as their wastes are concerned. Urine goes into the ground and I "harvest" the poo occassionally for compost or flower beds.

So far, I have about $225 in the habitat (cages, water bottles, feeders, hanging hardware) and $45 in the rabbits. For the breeding pair, it looks like we're goomg through a 25# bag of feed a month...that's about $11 with tax. A bale of Timothy hay from Pet Smart was $7 and looks like it will last another couple of months. A handful or two a week is all they need. So long as they both do their job and make lots of babies they'll be worth the <$15/mo it costs to keep them. We'll see how much feed the kits go through after weening and before they're culled at 10 weeks. At $8/pound (retail) for rabbit meat I think we'll recoup our initial investment within a couple of litters....even if I build a grow out cage or two.

The buck had a bout of ear mites but we treated that with a vegetable oil treatment and he's doing great now.

I'll be happy to answer any questions from anybody else thinking about starting up with rabbits and will let you know how our first breeding and kindling goes.
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Re: Rabbits

Postby mmpaints » Mon Dec 17, 2012 6:19 pm

Well done Disa! I use mineral oil for the mites here. I've got one new zealand white that always seems to get mites.
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Re: Rabbits

Postby Disa » Mon Dec 17, 2012 8:08 pm

mmpaints wrote:Well done Disa! I use mineral oil for the mites here. I've got one new zealand white that always seems to get mites.


Vegetable oil was all I had on hand and the website that had the treatment info said it works just as well....so vegetable oil it was! :)
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Re: Rabbits

Postby mmpaints » Tue Dec 18, 2012 12:27 am

As long as it smothered the little blood suckers, it works in my book! Good job!
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Re: Rabbits

Postby kappydell » Tue Dec 18, 2012 1:29 am

Flemish Giants have a lot of meat, but they are also big boned. For a better meat to bone ratio, the California, or New Zealand Whites are the kinds most commonly raised for meat. Fiber? as in fur? Rabbit pelts are notoriously hard to tan, the skins are very thin and the fur sheds easily. Although it is warm enough, those two traits dont make it commercially viable. However, I have read that the old time Indian fur blankets were made from rabbit fur, and since a 'real' mountain man did not care if there was some fur shed on his other things, they were popular. They were made from a tanned pelt, which was cut in strips and loosely crocheted together to make a very fluffy, light, compress-able (for ease of back packing) blanket. Properly done, the stitches were so loose you could poke your fingers through it easily, but it was the loose weave that (like goose down) gave it its superior insulating abilities. It was popular with northern trappers, mountain men and others who were outdoors, camping in the wintertime.
I sure wouldn't turn up my nose at rabbit fur (or any fur) in the 'frozen north'.
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Re: Rabbits

Postby Tom Bergstrand » Tue Dec 18, 2012 1:22 pm

Let me chime in on pelts. After about 2 months or so the Californians and NZ's are ready to slaughter for the best meat. The pelt is worthless except for putting under a lamp on an end table. After 6 months the meat must be stewed but the pelt ROCKS! This is why in Europe they let them mature and just eat rabbit stew. The pelts are then sent to Korea and made into jackets and such and sold ..... surprise, surprise .... in the USA.
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Re: Rabbits

Postby mmpaints » Tue Dec 18, 2012 4:26 pm

I've got a nice grey pelt in the freezer right now, waiting on a couple more so I don't waste a batch of tanning solution for just one. I make my own, using a recipe I got from mother earth news. Tom is right, juvenile pelts suck, they're too thin and not worth messing with.
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Re: Rabbits

Postby Wyrdwoman » Thu Dec 20, 2012 3:54 am

I got a new Flemish doe this week, she is 7 weeks and cute as a button. I cross breed for meat production but do like to have pure lines as well for show possibilities. The pelts make great doll clothes for my little girl, she has the warmest, best dressed Barbie around. My Angora and Woolie does are getting ready to kindle, so I am holding off on grooming so they can use the fur for the nest box.

Kappydell, I only use the pelts of other breeds for fur but fiber is the wool produced by my Angoras and Woolies. Yarn produced by rabbit wool is very soft and warm. It is good for sweaters and scarves. I have sheep's wool I am processing for socks and sweaters. Mixing different types of wool produces great results, sweaters can be soft and extremely warm when rabbit and sheep or goat(cashmere) are mixed.
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