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wife,mom,taxi driver,cook
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on my investment with rabbits. So far I've had 13 that made it to freezer camp. 13 in 6 months. I just found another litter dead. No fur pulled or anything. I'm getting really frustrated! This was from the NZW doe too. I'm giving one more chance and then that's it. I'm going to just stick with the cotton tail doe...she at least is reliable. So far every litter she's produced she's raised with no issues. The other two (nzw and chinchilla) end up loosing half to all of their litters. I did save two does from them though as replacements....maybe they'll be better mothers than their mothers....
 

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I know what you mean. We just started with the rabbits in September and out of our first 3 litters only 1 pulled fur. The one that did have 8 but sat on them and lost 2 before I decided to bring them into the house for feeding.
4th doe pulled fur and had 7 babies, I brought them right into the house. It has been so cold and the nest boxes dont have lids so better safe than sorry. I am getting my exercize back and forth to the barn. LOL 5th doe is pulling fur now. crossing my fingers. guess for winter babies I am destined to be feeding in the house. LOL Dont want to find any more frozen popples when I go out.
Linda
 

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Sorry to hear that.
I have been suprised how many does I have gone through since I started raising rabbits.
When feed went up so high we cut the 3 strikes rule to a 2 strikes and your out. And this month we weeded out any thing that wasn't working. Which meant culling some expensive starter rabbits.
If your favorite has some doe kits maybe you should start some from her to breed in the spring.
I am saving 2 doe kits for each older doe we put in the freezer this month. If I cann't use them maybe some one else can breed them.
 

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Just to clarify, is your "cottontail" doe really a cottontail or is she a domestic rabbit with cottontail colouring?

If she is a domestic and raises good kits, why not save a couple of does from her and use them to increase your breeding stock? There is nothing magical about NZW or other breeds for raising meat. At their best, they are excellent producers, but you're not seeing the best from yours. Perhaps if the sizes are comparable, you could breed your "cottontail" line back to a purebred NZW or Chin to improve comformation without losing the good mothering skills.

Another way to go would be simply to look for a new doe or two from a good meat breed and hope for better mothering skills than your current ones have.
 

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I completly agree, there are bad mothers when it comes to meat breeds too. I have been lucky and bought a line that mostly takes care of their litters.
I did have one who chased her kits from the feeder, though.
Some of the NZW's are just down right mean. I am fortunetly finding the generation that was born here is getting tamer all the time.
 

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Pacific Northwest
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The others gave really good advice. Mine advice would be to hang in there, stick with it! Things have a way of working themselves out and sometimes there can be a steep learning curve. Rabbits are definitely worth it! ;)
 
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