a newbie in rabbit raising,...

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by sdrew, Jan 4, 2005.

  1. sdrew

    sdrew Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Southern Maine
    I am going to be purchasing a pair (or two) of rabbits this spring, for the purpose of raising their offspring for meat for my family (family of 4). I would like to have enough to have rabbit twice a week on average.
    My 3 main questions are:
    (1) - what breed reaches butchering age the quickest, with the least amount of food. New Zealands? CA's ?
    (2) - Would one breeding pair be enough to supply my family, or should I get a buck and a couple does?
    (3) - what's the easiest method(s) of dispatching of the rabbits at butchering time?

    thanks in advance for any words of advise,

    Steve in maine
     
  2. JAS

    JAS Well-Known Member

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    South Dakota
    I can answer question 3 only--learned it from one of the posts here. Take a stick or broom handle and lay it across the back of the rabbit's head. Step on the stick on both sides of the head and pull the hind legs up to snap the neck. It is very fast. I was making my husband do the deed until I learned this method, I didn't think I could kill them fast enough.
     

  3. boren

    boren Well-Known Member

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    Since someone was complaining about people reading and not posting I'll answer it and let people correct me. ;)

    1) Most popular meat rabbits are NZW and Cal. They reach butcher weight in 8-12 weeks, have a good meat/bone ratio, etc. If can find Champagne D'argent they are supposed to be excelent, except they don't have a white coat.

    2) Well 1 doe will have between 6-8 litters per year, depending how you breed her. Say you manage 6 litters, with 8 rabbits/litter that's at most 48 rabbits/year. You'll need replament stock, some might die, etc. How many rabbits/year do you want to eat? 1/week?

    3) I just dislocate the neck with my hands. Easy, isn't bloody, an quick an anything I've seen, and safe for you.

    I would recommend buying: "Rabbit Production" by McNitt/patton/Lukefahr/Cheeke. There's links in the archive for where to find this book cheaply. Well as cheap as any text book would be.
     
  4. MaineFarmMom

    MaineFarmMom Columnist, Feature Writer

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    I like the cross between NZW and California. They're a terminal cross. This means you eat the offspring instead of using them for breeding. You can breed them but those offspring won't grow out as quickly or efficiently as their parents.
     
  5. sdrew

    sdrew Well-Known Member

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    THANKS for the responses, I am going to do the NZ / Californian cross as suggested by Mainefarmmom.