best age for eating

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by AndreaNZ, Sep 4, 2003.

  1. AndreaNZ

    AndreaNZ Well-Known Member

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    Hi, all -- our first pair of Rexes just had their first litter, and this is our first foray into rabbits for eating. At what age so we slaughter the kits for eating? I've read that it can be anywhere from 8-16 weeks, but I'd like to hear other folks' experiences.

    Thanks in advance. )

    Andrea
    NZ
     
  2. Robin Pundzak

    Robin Pundzak Active Member

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    Andrea,
    The fryers should be 4-5lbs which they usually reach at 8-12 weeks of age. I don't know what that is in grams/kilograms. Maybe someone else can help us with that.
    Robin
     

  3. Bob in WI

    Bob in WI Well-Known Member

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    2.2 pounds equal one kilogram.


    So a 2 kg. rabbit would be 4.4 pounds, about just where you would want them to be.
     
  4. Hotel Californian

    Hotel Californian Member

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    Different cultures and people of different countries have differnt ideas on the best age to harvest.

    In Germany and Europe in general they like an older and larger rabbit, say 4 months and older. I suspect they bake or roast mostly.

    I have a co-worker originally from Africa who wants all my grown rabbits I cull at the end of their production. He pays me well for these large rabbits. I tried to get him hooked on 8 week fryers by giving him a couple and he came back the next time wanting the large rabbits again. He says they cook them well and chewing is good for you.

    In America we like them young and tender. We use medium breed adult rabbits in the 8-12 lbs range to produce 4 lb fryers in 8-9 weeks. Young and tender is the preferrence in America.

    It's your choice. It's all good eating!
     
  5. AndreaNZ

    AndreaNZ Well-Known Member

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    THanks for that, everyone! ) We're looking forward to the first rabbit feast.

    Andrea
    NZ
     
  6. kyrabbitman

    kyrabbitman Guest

    One thing I did not notice mentioned anywhere in replies is the feed conversion for rabbits. Feed is converted in "meat" on a young rabbit until approximately 10-11 weeks old. After this, the rabbits feed conversion no longer goes to meat, but rather into reproductive organ production. At this time, the rabbit meat tends to start to undergo a change as well, it begins to get "tough" or "chewy". One final note on feeding out rabbits, most people think that feeding a rabbit all it can eat is what it needs to grow effeciently, that is not the case. I raise rabbits commercially and would be interested in helping anyone with any questions they may have. If anyone is interested in a proper feed ratio for a rabbit in different stages of growth, you may contact me and I will provide that to you. Thanks
     
  7. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    About the gent from Africa who prefers older rabbit...

    Many years back, Cornish chickens were introduced to an African country (I don't remember which one). Nobody wanted more than one. The traditional way of fixing chicken in that country was a long, slow simmer and the Cornish meat tended to fall apart.

    The local farmers wanted the fast-growing properties of the Cornish, so they ended up CROSSING the Cornish with the local chickens, so that the meat would be tough enough to stand up to the way that the locals liked to cook. Also, the older animals, I have heard, have more flavor.

    Perhaps the folks who like older animals simply do not bar-b-que them like a westerner would!
     
  8. chupang

    chupang Well-Known Member

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    8 to 12 weeks makes for very cheap meat,the does don't eat much more than at any other time and the kits just kinda nibble a little.I saved a couple for a family cookout this summer,4 mnth old,went over big!!
     
  9. AndreaNZ

    AndreaNZ Well-Known Member

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    Chupang - you mentioned that your does don't eat that much more with kits... ours didn't while she was pregnant, but now that she's lactating and feeding 7 kits, she's eating and drinking an enormous amount, about 3x as much as usual. When they're outside, we have them in small runs on grass, and the whole house and run gets moved every day (we have some really nice pasture out back). When they have the option to eat the grasses and herbal ley under their run, they hardly eat any pellets at all (they have free choice pellets at all times, but hardly touch it... but we moved the doe inside when her kits were born, as we had a terrible cold and wet run of weather - mountains of hail, and didn't want to risk the kits to the cold. OK, I'm all over the place, I know. Just my morning ramble. roll

    Anyway, I'd also be quite interested in what KY Rabbit Man has to say about feed to meat conversions, as I always like to hear from first hand experience rather that what one reads in reports, etc.

    Thanks for all the input.

    Andrea
    NZ
     
  10. chupang

    chupang Well-Known Member

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    been paying more attention.I free feed rabbit pellits,higher pritien during lac,veggies and greens in the eve.dry does eat the least.pregnant does gradualy increas,but not much-maybe a handfull(small)worth.then another small increas as the kits get out of thier box and start nibbeling.If the kits are allowed to hang around longer than 10 weeks,they will eat u out of house and home,but are yummy if u don't mind!I couldnt say about water,I use dishes and they like to play in them,lol
     
  11. chupang

    chupang Well-Known Member

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    update on paying more attention,
    I have an "outsider"doe,not part of the family,her kits hit about a week old and she started chowing big time!I'll have to see if it is worth keeping her.She is more of a pet type than a meat type rabbit.about the same sise but floppy eared and pushed in face,very friendly.I'll probably try to find her a home instead of butchering her.
     
  12. chupang

    chupang Well-Known Member

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    update on paying more attention,
    I have an "outsider"doe,not part of the family,her kits hit about a week old and she started chowing big time!I'll have to see if it is worth keeping her.She is more of a pet type than a meat type rabbit.about the same sise but floppy eared and pushed in face,very friendly.I'll probably try to find her a home instead of butchering her.