age to butcher

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by Chinclub, Mar 21, 2005.

  1. Chinclub

    Chinclub Well-Known Member

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    As I have said before I am very new to breeding rabbits. I'm upset with myself for not checking sooner, but I just noticed one of the rabbits in my first litter has horrible teeth. I guess I have to kill it. The bunnies are New Zeland Whites and will be exactly 4 weeks old tomorrow. I've never eatten a rabbit, nor have I ever killed or butchered one so my initiation to farm life begins.

    Since I have to do the deed anyway can we use it for meat? Is there such a thing as too young? I'm guessing there won't be much meat on a 4 week old, but I figure its a good practice run on things.
     
  2. birdie_poo

    birdie_poo Well-Known Member

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    I can't remember with my NZ, but I think it was at a certain weight...8-10 weeks is when they are taken fromthe mother. The bad teeth comes from one of the parents...you need to figure out which one and cull it. I had a doe that was throwin buck teeth, she's now gone, and have had great teeth since.
     

  3. Chinclub

    Chinclub Well-Known Member

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    Hopefully it was the father. I got the female when she was already pregnant and this is her first litter here. I'll be sure to watch her next litter.
     
  4. birdie_poo

    birdie_poo Well-Known Member

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    I hope that isn't why they sold her to you...
     
  5. rabbitgal

    rabbitgal Ex-homesteader

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    No kidding...One thing you *could* try is rebreed the doe to your buck and then breed two of the resulting offspring. Sounds utterly gross, I know, but it will tell you right away if there's any genetic defects in your breeding stock. (And if you do get a bunch of mutants you can always eat them! :D) I did have an accidental brother-sister mating awhile back and the litter was fairly decent considering the inbreeding. There was one w/ buck teeth and another with a small abdominal hernia, but now I know what nasty little genetic things might crop up and can plan accordingly.
     
  6. Dian

    Dian Well-Known Member

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    If by horrible teeth you mean long overgrown teeth, you can clip the teeth off with wire cutters (pliars). I would still cull and eat the rabbit, but trimming the teeth would give the rabbit time to reach a better size.