Homesteading Forum banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi

I finally sourced 3 rabbits, a trio (2 girls, 1 lucky boy) of Californians, unrelated. They are 20 to 22 weeks old. The man who got them for me said that he'd heard Californians 'don't breed like rabbits'! Anyone with experience of this breed care to comment ... are they difficult to breed or do they just get on with it?

Thank you
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,103 Posts
They can't be too difficult to breed, as they are the number two meat rabbit in North America, just a whisker behind New Zealand Whites. If they were hard to breed, that would not be the case.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,427 Posts
i have a California doe, bred to a NZW buck. She was put in with the buck twice and hour apart in the evening, cause it was very hot out.
She is getting wider every day.
I Have noticed she is a very nervous doe. while the other rabbits come to the cage door to see what I have for them she heads to the back till I have closed the door and walked away. Not saying all Caliornians are that way, but dh and I are concerned because of her nervisness she may stomp the baby's,We'll see.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the replies.

My Cali's are curious, when they hear me around and about, they come to the front of their enclosure. When I put food in they are milling around my hands waiting for it. They don't seem nervous. Today we are making a run for them so they can eat grass as they please.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,388 Posts
I have a Californian buck and two NZW does. I don't breed in hutches, so my experience may not directly relate, but the buck keeps my girls pregnant quite effectively! He's not real affectionate, but he's laid back and easy going, not jumpy.
 

·
Pook's Hollow
Joined
·
4,570 Posts
I had Californians years ago. I don't recall that they were difficult to breed. I did have one doe who was rather nasty - "vorpal bunny" - and I ended up culling her. Never before or since had I heard a rabbit growl and bark! not to mention attacking me if I went into her cage.

But other than that - they were nice rabbits.

Congratulations on finding some, I know you were having trouble. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,713 Posts
I have cali mix rabbits and they are the most laid back. I have no trouble getting them to breed and have consitent litters of 9 to 11.
 

·
Ex-homesteader
Joined
·
1,508 Posts
I also have few problems with mine - perhaps the bloodlines are different there, but here, Cals are pretty popular as meat animals. :shrug:
 

·
FourCountryGals.com
Joined
·
149 Posts
I raised rabbits commercially several years ago, and also owned a rabbit processing plant for 16 years.

My observations...

Rabbits generally breed pretty well... I'm referring to the NZ and Cali. If you work at it, you can generally get 6 healthy litters a year, and most likely get between 4 and 5 to market out of each litter.

Most breeding problems are related more to the human than to the rabbit. You have to put the rabbits together in the buck's cage. You have to observe them to ensure a good breeding. Absolutely nothing can happen until you do those two things.

You have to provide the right environment for your animals, bot does and bucks to keep them productive. Bucks can and do go sterile when they get either two hot or two cold. However, they will still try to breed.

Does get really cranky when they're in heat, or are already pregnant and you try to get them to breed again.

Record keeping is a major part of your management, even if all you're doing is raising a few bunnies for your own freezer.

Mean rabbits must be destined for the stew pot!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,103 Posts
therealshari said:
My observations...

Rabbits generally breed pretty well... I'm referring to the NZ and Cali. If you work at it, you can generally get 6 healthy litters a year, and most likely get between 4 and 5 to market out of each litter.
Shari, I have to ask... Are you saying with six healthy litters a year that you only end up with about 24 - 30 marketable fryers per doe per year? That seems very low. Or am I misunderstanding?

I have mutts and typically only breed them four times a year. They average 7 - 9 kits that live past the first few days... We occasionally lose a newborn or have one dragged out onto the wire. I've never lost a kit older than four days. But still, even at 7 kits per litter, that is 28 per doe per year. And from what I understand, my rabbits are in no way extraordinary.

Could you clarify for me?
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top