Some are reported to not be the best mothers. I had a few and they were great mothers.
Definitely not the best feed conversion out there. You will get a mix of solid and broken thanks to the english spotting gene, some just black and orange, some tricolor and some just regular black and white and some orange and white.
Cool breed, but if meat is your objective, another breed would probably suit you better.
Rhinelanders are a full arch breed, a runner, if you will. To me they seem like a very slow moving runner, like they are big and dopey compared to a tan or an english spot. Pretty though. Senior weight is 6.5 to 10 pounds.
They will be narrow in the shoulders and long in the body. You will get more meat than a wild rabbit, but not nearly as much as a commercial meat rabbit.
But if you are looking for something different and unusual, why not?
Thanks everyone, I wondered what they were used for. I did notice they were a little slender & looked kinda long & lean. Probly won't get as much out of the fryers as I'd like if I had Rhinelanders but they are really cool looking rabbits. I googled them & it gave the back ground & what 2 breeds it took to get them, etc.
I wonder how much breed really matters, within reason, when it comes to meat? I say "within reason" thinking that some of the tiny breeds might not work well (although I fully expect somebody will respond saying "we raise Mini X's" and they make great eating, and if so more support for my point). But really, wouldn't any medium to giant breed work fine for meat? I know there is a perfect desired carcass type (probably something in the New Zealand or comparable breed) but even a less than picture perfect carcass shape would do well for most people's dinner table if they like the taste of rabbit. My point is if Backfourty likes the look of Rhinelanders, I say go for it. If you are just raising the traditional back yard sized project, not a huge commercial rabbitry, having a breed you love seems like the ideal way to go.
Rabbits are similar to chickens, in that some breeds are specially developed to put on a lot of weight for the feed they eat. Some others are developed to be pretty to look at, or to be pets, or to have nice fur.
So, yes, you can eat any of them. But if meat is the only objective, your meat will cost less if you stick to the breeds developed especially to be meat.
I agree, Oregon, you are making a good point. Just wondering if, say, a person is just raising a few for fun and for the family freezer if the relative rate of gain or feed conversion or pounds per litter weaning weights are going to be a deal breaker? Everybody "should" raise Cornish Rock broilers by the "meat breeds" logic but it is kind of cool that some people have persevered with the old established poultry breeds like standard Wyandottes or Orpingtons from my point of view. Just my opinion. Would love to see somebody take up a rarer rabbit breed like Rhinelanders so maybe I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt on meat potential
We raise them for meat, a few we have given to kids when they were old enough to take from their momma's for pets & we sell a few here & there butchered already for the table.
They are not cheap to feed & raise to butcher size so the faster growing for the freezer the better for us. It's nothing for us to go through 50 pounds of pellets in a week when we have 24 or 25 kits in grow out pen's.
I do like the different colors, etc. so all my rabbits are not the same. Most are meat mixes but I do have 1 registered Flemish doe that I breed to my buck, which I believe is a Chinchila cross & I get nice fast growing kits from her.
I would Love to have a nice Rex or another large breed doe to add to my mix as well since I have 1 doe we butchered awhile back & I want to replace her. Plus I have another who is 3 years old now so she's getting up there in age.
The Rhinelander is a lean show rabbit. They actually look better when they are lean and straight sided from shoulder to hip.
A friend of mine is working on having the Blue Rhinelander recognized as an ARBA variety for show. Her rabbits are awesome. Her culls go to the freezer because she will not let anything out of her barn unless it is worthy of the show table.
They are good to eat if you like that type of body. Her rabbits put on weight quickly in their growth period. So if you don't mind the bread loaf shape, go for it. If you prefer the gumdrop shape, do a different rabbit.