Basic questions

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by Cerulean, May 24, 2005.

  1. Cerulean

    Cerulean Member

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    Hi gang.. this is my first post here. I'll say that I'm a longtime lurker, and I think this site is pretty darn cool.

    Anyway, I've just really confused myself trying to figure out all these numbers and whatnot. Can you kind folks tell me how many breeder rabbits I would need to produce 30 market size (8 week) rabbits every week? I figured around 45 does.. am I correct?

    Are rex rabbits considered good producers? I really like the look of them, and I find the NZ whites so boring.
     
  2. sheep tamer

    sheep tamer former HT member

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    Hi Cerulean...

    Welcome from out of lurkdom. (I've been there, too) :)
    If you will sell to meat buyers, they may not want the Rex
    so do look into that before building your flock. We literally
    GAVE away our white NZ doe recently to venture into the
    more awesome Rex bunnies. I've got two black/white does
    that look kinda like dalmations and are the most luxurious
    velvety bunnies. They are a pleasure to gaze at and hold.

    That's all I can share with you, I'm not good on the
    math and I don't breed my does as often as big timers...
    I would think Pat Lamar would have answers as to the
    number of does needed.

    Best of everything in your endeavors!
     

  3. Cerulean

    Cerulean Member

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    Thank you. I actally am a reptile lover and wish to raise boa constrictors. Rabbits are the food of choice for them, and I really like the rex rabbits (might as well like raising the snake food, right?) I figure I could use the extra rabbits as food for my dogs (on the BARF diet) and use the pelts to make blankets and whatnot.

    I thought of another question.. how do you maintain the cage? I read that you should use a handheld torch to singe the hair off.. do you do that? Or just daily spot clean?

    Ooh.. and on average how many babies do your rex does produce per year?
     
  4. dlwelch

    dlwelch Well-Known Member

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    Only "averages" can be provided. It sounds as though you are not
    familiar with intensive rabbit production. As such, I'm suggesting that
    management skills may be lacking initially. (no offense meant) IMO, it
    possibly will take a while to get up to top production with your rabbits.

    Since you are needing 1560 per year, your 45 (44.5) does is right on target!
    It also depends on the breedback schedule. If you use a less
    intensive schedule, you will not be able to wean an average of
    35 kits per doe.

    As your breeding stock and management improve, you should be
    able to wean more than 35 kits per doe per year on a more
    intenstive breeding schedule. An intensive rebreed system is not
    necessarily the best system for all producers, however.

    Good luck with your venture.

    ************************************
    Linda Welch
    http://www.texasrabbitconnection.com
    http://www.texasrabbitconnection.com/forums/
     
  5. sheep tamer

    sheep tamer former HT member

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    Cerulean asked "how do you maintain the cage? I read that you should use a handheld torch to singe the hair off.. do you do that? Or just daily spot clean?"

    Many rabbit folks use chlorox and singe-ing to keep cages clean. Bass sells a good cage brush for removing dirt and hair...and we will occasionally use a water/vinegar rinse for the wire flooring. If the floor hardware is letting droppings through, they stay cleaner. Have you gone through the sticky's
    in this forum for more useful info?

    And also, "on average how many babies do your rex does produce per year?"

    Sorry, ours are too young to start breeding yet. I'd guess about 8 kits, but we
    chose the Rex for the wonderul pelts and patterns, not so much litter size. If
    you raise buns for food, you sometimes will take a bit of heat. Whether it's
    people eating meat or snakes...some forget that we're raising animals and
    giving them lots of love while they're with us, and they wouldn't be born
    otherwise. Hope you achieve your goals!
     
  6. Cerulean

    Cerulean Member

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    Thanks again guys. I did look at the sticky thread with the rabbit links. Some useful articles there.

    Sheep Tamer.. I assume you mean 8 kits per litter? I meant how many kits a year.. is it possible to wean at least 30 kits per year with rex?

    As for people giving me trouble for raising food rabbits.. they can bite me. So what if my pet of choice is a carnivore? What do they think is in dog food anyway? :)

    Ok.. for cage cleaning. Would you recommend a daily swipe through with a scrub brush.. and then how often would you singe/chlorox?

    Sorry for all the questions. I just want to know how much time will need to be spent doing all of this. It will be some time before I'm raising rabbits, but I like to go into things with my eyes open.
     
  7. sheep tamer

    sheep tamer former HT member

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    Gee, I'm sure not the expert here...it might depend alot
    on climate and environment as to how often to clean
    cages...We aren't getting really yucky cages...I'm thinking
    once a week would be enough on average...Commercial
    rabbitries have a flush-type system where the entire
    cages gets hosed down with a chemical wash, then
    rinsed once bunnies are cleared out...Anyone else want
    to jump in with your procedures?

    Let me refer you to another breeder for the yearly
    production possibilities...WWW.MontanaRexRanch.com.
    I probably wouldn't breed mine more than 3-4 times
    per year...that'd be 25-40 kits from a doe on average.
     
  8. Rosarybeads

    Rosarybeads Well-Known Member

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    The burner is a great thing for the cage, just watch the skittish does, or they will get lightly singed! Just do it as needed, some does don't eat their night dropping (sticky droppings that they are supposed to eat), other does are real clean. Once a week is overkill unless they tend to have dirty cages, but you should have less of a problem with rexes compared to NZW, since they have shorter fur. The only qualm I have with the wire brushes is that they wear down, so I prefer just scraping the burner along the cage if it's not real dirty, and only using the brush on bad cages, and burning the brush afterward (to not transmit disease, in case you have it, to one another).
     
  9. slfisher

    slfisher Well-Known Member

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    In other basic questions, how old do the baby bunnies have to be before I could take them away from their mom? Mine are four weeks old and I see they're eating and drinking on their own already. I took the nest boxes out yesterday because it's hot here and they had a lot of waste in them -- plus it's getting crowded in there!
     
  10. dlwelch

    dlwelch Well-Known Member

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  11. sheep tamer

    sheep tamer former HT member

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