Fryers, best weight to butcher? - Homesteading Today
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  #1  
Old 05/13/09, 03:46 PM
Falls-Acre's Avatar  
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Fryers, best weight to butcher?

These are not 'meat' breed rabbits, but rabbits that were bred for meat. A cross between 2 moderate to large breeds (adult does are around 8-9 lbs, adult buck is I think around 7 lbs). I was expecting to butcher all young bucks between 3-4 months of age. They are growing much better/faster than I had anticipated though. Could they be processed at a younger age? Approximately what weight is good to expect for a standard fryer?

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Old 05/13/09, 04:02 PM
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I believe the "standard" is between 3 and 4 months and about 5 pounds.

Dave

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Old 05/13/09, 05:17 PM
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depends as well on what you need. If a five pound rabbit is what you can consume...then aim for a five pound rabbit. I'm good with a three pound rabbit myself... good thing I tend to do the smaller breeds!

Average grow out is 3-4 months for a 4.5-5 lb rabbit with the bigger meat breeds. For smaller breeds the grow out to that size might be a tad longer.

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  #4  
Old 05/13/09, 05:29 PM
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I butcher at 11 weeks old, regardless of breed. Some times that means a extra lage fryer in my NZW or an extra small fryer in my mini lops.

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  #5  
Old 05/13/09, 07:05 PM
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squashnut - how did you pick 11 weeks as your magic age?

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  #6  
Old 05/14/09, 05:53 AM
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with my previous rabbitry, i butchered the young at eight weeks. they weighed between 4 1/4 and 4 3/4 pounds at the time. i used a "42-day" breed back time frame. this gave the doe a bit more than two weeks to recover and get ready for the next litter. any youngsters allowed to grow further were not as tender as the eight week old ones. which may be ok for some, but my customers liked the younger, more tender youngsters. my entire rabbitry was new zealand based rabbits.

grumpy.

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  #7  
Old 05/14/09, 07:50 AM
 
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Around 10-11 weeks. Kits weigh between 2-4 pounds depending on which crosses or purebreds I'm processing.

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  #8  
Old 05/14/09, 09:39 AM
 
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I do my fryers between 8 and 12 weeks (around 4 or 5 lbs), some grow better than others.

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Old 05/14/09, 11:32 AM
 
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Location: Eureka, California area
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jcran View Post
Around 10-11 weeks. Kits weigh between 2-4 pounds depending on which crosses or purebreds I'm processing.
When I wrote this, I meant their dress-out weight. Just clarifying. On my Silver Fox rabbits, I'm pleasantly surprised to see 60%+ dressout weights on most of them so far.
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  #10  
Old 05/14/09, 09:14 PM
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
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For actual Frying I prefer the youngins, 8-9 weeks. Their weight may not be quite as high but the meat is fork tender most of the time and it doesn't take long to fry out. For general purpose I prefer a bit bigger bunny around 10-12 weeks. (5lbs+ live weight) We have a fella around here that raises for sausage making that allows his to get up to about 7-8lbs before he processes, not sure the age on his they are a NZ Flemish cross and get much bigger than my rabbits.

A year is tops for the best meat, the best feed conversion comes between 9-12 weeks with most breeds. I don't like feeding more animals than I have to, they don't eat very much at freezer camp so I tend to butcher fairly young.

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  #11  
Old 05/15/09, 07:35 AM
Katie
 
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We've only had 1 set of popples here so far that went in the freezer we butchered them at about 12 weeks & they all dressed out at right around 3 pounds each.

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