Rabbits not growing fast enough

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by Lurch1, Jul 3, 2010.

  1. Lurch1

    Lurch1 Active Member

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    First of all, HELLO! I have a few NZW's and am not happy with the growth rate. I weigh them at 8 weeks and they are only 3 lbs on average. I am feeding 16% pellets only. I can get 17% performance pellets, but they are 45 min away. Any ideas?
     
  2. Lyndseyrk

    Lyndseyrk Guest

    They don't grow as well when it's hot out. They're too hot to eat, which means they don't eat as much, which slows growth. I'd look for an 18% feed for fast growth. If it's not available, look at supplementing with Animax or Calf Manna to increase the protein. Also, keep them with mom as long as possible (before she kicks them to the curb or you run out of cage space), preferable 6-8 weeks. They DO still nurse, even if you don't see them. The comfort of having mom and all siblings still together is less stressful than early weaning. More stress equals less eating.

    Make sure the cage isn't too small (as mentioned above) OR too big. Yes, if it's too big, they'll do a lot of running around, running off extra calories they should be for using for growth.
     

  3. rabbithappy

    rabbithappy Well-Known Member

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    I agree with the recommendation for a good 18% feed. If your feed store doesn't carry it, there is a good possibility that they can order it for you. I start my pregnant moms on 18% feed one week before their due dates. Then I feed it to mom & babies until the babies are 7 weeks old, Then switch to 16%. I get excellent growth rates. Most are 4 & 1/2 to 5 pounds at 8 weeks. If not, they have always reached 5 pounds by 9 weeks.
     
  4. Devoville

    Devoville Well-Known Member

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    What were the weights of the parents at eight weeks? You can up the protien as well, but I wouldn't overfeed or up the protien of the doe untill after she starts nursing. You don't want oversized kits stuck in birthing. The doe doesn't need extra till they start demanding a lot of milk. Do you free feed ? You may also have a different breed than NZW, perhaps Florida Whites?

    There are a lot of possibilites here or combination thereof that might be affecting the kits weights :)
     
  5. rabbithappy

    rabbithappy Well-Known Member

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    So far, I have never had large kits or any birthing problems. On the plus side, I have also never had a mom eat her kits either, which I've read can be caused by not enough protein in late pregnancy. When I switch the moms to the 18%, they get 1 cup a day to start. I gradually increase to 1 &1/4 cups by their due date. By the time kits are a 3 to 4 days old, moms get all they want. I have NZW, NZR, & Standard Rex.
     
  6. Lyndseyrk

    Lyndseyrk Guest

    That is EXACTLY what I do! I feed 18%, 1 cup daily to pregnant mommas. One week before, birth, I up it to 1 1/4 cups. A few days into nursing, and they get as much as they want.
     
  7. Lurch1

    Lurch1 Active Member

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    So with the 18% I am assuming they get free choice hay? I have just been doing this for a few months now and selling live kits to people for pets and what not. I now have a contract for 60lbs a month so I would like to be more efficient. The cages are fine and the weaning is good. I think it is the protien. As for the parent size, I just bought the stock from a meat rabbit farm that was going out of business. They are good, large stock. How much animax or manna should I feed if I can't find the 18% pellets? What about adding roasted soybeans?