Can someone straighten this out for me?

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by furkidzfarm, Oct 1, 2005.

  1. furkidzfarm

    furkidzfarm New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2005
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Quick questions...

    How long between weaning and kindling the next litter is best for the health and productivity of a doe?? Two books I've read say that the kits should stay with the doe until she is preparing the kindle (approx day 28... so to time the breedings according to that) and the others say that they should be out at 8 weeks at the latest and to rebreed so that at least 10 days are between that and kindling the next litter or else her milk production will be effected for the new ones.

    Also, for NZW and Californians... some say that they should be big enough to market at 8 - 10 weeks and others say wait until 14 - 16. At what point does it cost more to keep/feed them than their growth rate??

    Thanks!
     
  2. dlwelch

    dlwelch Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    831
    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2002
    Location:
    Central Texas
    Fryers are usually marketed by *weight* and not age. My processor
    buys from 4 3/4 # to 5 3/4 #. My local customers like a 4 to 5 pound fryer
    depending upon the number of people in the family. My NZ's are usually
    at 4 pounds before 7 weeks. My average sale weight is 5.4 pounds because
    I only sale every two weeks to the processor. I do have rabbits
    at 5 pounds at 56 days although they may not be sold until the
    regular sale day on the following week.

    It also would be difficult to say what your breakeven or loss point would
    be. Feed costs vary. I have some data from Purina Mills which indicates
    that feed consumption greatly increases at 5 1/2 pounds compared with
    the weight gain. Feed consumption increases but growth/weight gain
    is decreased which makes the profit less. In other words, the feed to
    gain ratio is not very profitable!

    Some breeders wean the litter when it is time for nest box placement.
    Others will wean at 28 days and rebreed at the same time also.
    I allow the doe a rest (from weaning to kindling) of 5 to 28 days
    depending upon the condition of the doe. Everything in my barn is
    predicated on the condition of the doe.
    The summer heat and humidity is really tough on a commercial rabbitry
    in Texas. We see more problems with proper doe condition in the summer
    than in the winter. I would *guess* that an average time for the doe to be
    alone (from weaning to kindling) would be 14 days for most commercial breeders.

    I'm not sure what that means. Preparing the kindle? Are you thinking
    about a very intensive rebreed system?

    **************************************
    Linda Welch
    http://www.texasrabbitconnection.com
    http://www.texasrabbitconnection.com/forums/
    One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown
    is the belief that one's work is terribly important
    .
    Bertrand Russell, (1872 - 1970)
     

  3. furkidzfarm

    furkidzfarm New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2005
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Thanks so much!!

    You are right... I think that that would be talking about a very intensive breeding program. It would have to be, wouldn't it, or the young ones would be hitting their age of maturity and they can't be still with the mother then! I guess reading too many books gave me a "blond" moment. :)

    Thanks so much for the info! Very appreciated. Sometimes when you read so many different books and different advice, it helps to just hear what its REALLY like from a real person!! Especially when many of the books are over a decade old!!