Homesteading Forum banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,427 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
When you are choosing replacement does from mutts, do you expect them to hit the same weights as well bred pure breds?
Are there any qualitys that mutts have that are suppirior to pure bred?

I am sure there are some that would not have mutts in their herd, Why is that?
I mean other than the suprise factor.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,388 Posts
SquashNut, the main reason I can think of for not having mutts in a herd is that purebreds can be shown and registered. That can command a better selling price.

We are now raising mutts and we select our replacement does (are about to select our first one, actually) based on
the mother's litter size and mothering ability
growth rate of the kit/replacement doe
temperament

We consider those factors in that order, pretty much. I don't really compare them to purebreds as far as hitting weights or anything. I just want them to do well as compared to the rest of my herd. That's because I'm painfully uneducated as to what else is "out there".

We are going to add a herd of American Chinchillas to our rabbitry. We won't want any mutts in that herd because AmChins are endangered and that's the reason we're going to raise them. To allow mutts would go counter to our goals.

However, I would certainly not be opposed to adding a good AmChin doe or buck to the mutt herd if I had one to spare and I thought it would benefit the mutt herd.

We'll be raising all of ours for meat, not for show or conformation.
 

·
Wait................what?
Joined
·
2,257 Posts
I tend to agree mostly with turtlehead. I don't have mutts (mostly) anymore, but I used to. If they are full sized mutts, weight shouldn't be much of a problem if you select the largest kits that also meet your other criteria. However, if they have dwarf or small breeds floating around there, they will most likely be a slightly smaller rabbit. And it doesn't take much. I had a doe that had 1/8 mini lop in her and she topped out at 6.75 pounds and none of her litters ever quite got as big as the others, even with being bred to a full size Cali buck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,427 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
If I could I would add American Chinchillas to my herd also. There were some at the show. But the owners only had 1 or 2 does in their litters, so were only selling bucks.
Looks like we will be raising NZW and Californians instead.
There is so much information of these 2 breeds, but no information on raising mutts, other than saying they are not preferable.
My mutt does will be bred to my papered NZW buck, because I don't have the space to keep a mutt buck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,427 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I have a couple of does that I don't know their back ground is, that I will be breeding to my nzw white buck just to keep meat on the table till I can get some replacements raised. They could easily have mini rabbit in them.
One doe at 5 pounds just grew her dewlap. I've been trying to find the average age that they get there dew lap, so I can put an age on this doe. I also just started weighing the rabbits to see if they stop growing.
We are also breeding for pets, so these smaller ones will be bred either way.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,103 Posts
Mutts are all I raise at present. My partner Brian "surprised" me with the original ones and although I had severe doubts about them in the beginning, they soon won me over. We have selected only the best from the offspring and achieved considerable improvement in the two years we have had them. I still have one of the original does plus her son and daughter by the smallish but chunky original buck. They produce nice litters of 7 to 9 nine kits.

I had a doe who always had around a dozen, but they did not do as well as the slightly smaller litters and they were inclined to be nervous and skittish like momma. We culled that whole line last fall. My criteria for replacement breeders places less emphasis on the mother's abilities and litter size because they are a given... I cull so hard in the first place that any does I have are good, calm mothers who raise 6 to 10 good strong kits. I study a litter looking for good growth rate and health, nice meaty shape and a friendly trusting personality. If more than one measures up, subjective likes and dislikes tend to come into play. Or I will keep both for a time and see how they shape. As I have only a small rabbitry, I do not save many potential breeders and if they don't shape as I would like we eat them as roasters. I LIKE my rabbits very much, but they are not pets.

My mutts are not quite as large as NZW or Cal purebreds but on the other hand they are easier for me to handle and they have a nice meaty shape. I have never weighed the adults, but estimate they are about 9 to 10 pounds... comparing to my cat who I know weighs 8 pounds.

I weigh kits from time to time if they look especially promising, but mostly I just guestimate. Last summer we had some that topped 5 pounds by 9 weeks, which is pretty good going for mutts. Unfortunately, they also had Angora fur and I quickly learned that I am not ready for the time investment that fibre rabbits require, so we ended up eating them as roasters. Most of our fryers are butchered at around 12 weeks and usually dress out between 2.5 and 2.75 pounds including giblets but not including head. I include the giblets because we eat them too. It's easier to weigh the meat after butchering than to weigh a bunch of squirming fryers... but now that we have a larger scale, I should start keeping better records.

I think mutts are just fine for the backyard rabbitry or homestead where a steady supply of meat for the table is the goal. Once you develop a strain that you like, they seem to be very consistent in their production. I enjoy the variety of colours and patterns in the litters and that chance of surprises each new kindling brings. If you are raising for a processor, bringing in at least some purebred blood is likely a good idea. Let's face it, if you are only getting $1+ a pound for the rabbits on the hoof, you need the best feed/meat conversion possible in order to be profitable. But for the backyard rabbitry, I think mutts are great.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,056 Posts
My son will be "designing" our meat rabbits starting after fair. We only raise them for fair meat pens and our own table anyways so it really doesn't matter. He is using a very large BEW mini rex buck, a very nice Cal doe and a Giant Chin doe. We will prob'ly be picking up a florida white at some point to mix in as well. He thinks he will be making a BEW meat rabbit however I don't believe the genetics will line up to do so with the breeds we are using. We had some excellent fryers that were Mini rex/Cal crosses but we also had dwarfs in the litter too. He is looking forward to starting this as the litters will be fun to see. We will cull for body type, growth rate and size at 8-10 weeks. As the does we are keeping are already proven in temperment, litter size and mothering skills we shouldn't need to worry about that. Of course, there is always a wrench thrown into the plan at some point :shrug:
Melissa
 

·
Suburban Homesteader
Joined
·
2,558 Posts
Although I was considering raising "mutt" rabbits for meat, I decided to go with American Blues and castor Standard Rex. Indeed, I am looking forward to showing again (used to raise & show Mini Rex 10+ years ago) but that isn't the only reason I want pure breds.

Another reason is that I will have a better idea of how they will perform as far as feed conversion and yield are concerned. I'm a bit picky that way; I want to know, as much it is possible TO know, what will be in the nest box and how it will perform. I want to reduce meat-related variables in my bloodline as much as possible. I've done a bit of research on the lines I'm interested in getting and have a certain level of satisfaction that they will do OK in our heat and that they will produce nice-sized fryers with a good meat-to-bone ratio on a fairly consistent basis.

I admit I am STILL interested in playing around with mixed breeds to see if I could develop my own line of heat tolerant, good producing rabbits, but for me it is more logical to simply purchase stock that is already what I want. And that is what I feel I will get from pure breed stock.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,427 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
MariaAZ said:
Although I was considering raising "mutt" rabbits for meat, I decided to go with American Blues and castor Standard Rex. Indeed, I am looking forward to showing again (used to raise & show Mini Rex 10+ years ago) but that isn't the only reason I want pure breds.

Another reason is that I will have a better idea of how they will perform as far as feed conversion and yield are concerned. I'm a bit picky that way; I want to know, as much it is possible TO know, what will be in the nest box and how it will perform. I want to reduce meat-related variables in my bloodline as much as possible. I've done a bit of research on the lines I'm interested in getting and have a certain level of satisfaction that they will do OK in our heat and that they will produce nice-sized fryers with a good meat-to-bone ratio on a fairly consistent basis.

I admit I am STILL interested in playing around with mixed breeds to see if I could develop my own line of heat tolerant, good producing rabbits, but for me it is more logical to simply purchase stock that is already what I want. And that is what I feel I will get from pure breed stock.
Aren't you concerned that the rex's plush coat will cause problems in you AZ heat?
 

·
Enjoying Polish Rabbits
Joined
·
1,219 Posts
The lady that I get my rabbits from keeps purebred bucks, mostly NZW and Cals, occasionally an English Spot or a Champagne d'Argent. Only rarely does she keep a mutt buck. She has a mixture of does (70), some purebred Cals, NZWs, Champagnes, and a good selection of mutts produced by her own crosses. One of the young does I bought from her this spring weighed nine pound at 13 weeks. I bred her to my Blue New Zealand, and she kindled July 25. I'll be watching those kits quite closely.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,103 Posts
Wow, Bernadette, 9 pounds at 13 weeks is amazing. I hope she's a good breeder and that her kits take after her! Which doe was that? Was it one of those I saw when you dropped in here?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
281 Posts
SquashNut said:
When you are choosing replacement does from mutts, do you expect them to hit the same weights as well bred pure breds?
Are there any qualitys that mutts have that are suppirior to pure bred?

I am sure there are some that would not have mutts in their herd, Why is that?
I mean other than the suprise factor.
We have pure Cal's and crosses. All our crosses are of meat breed/commercial type rabbits. ( S.F. & Champ.) We cull/select replacements using the same criteria, regardless of the breed/cross. We are selecting for Cal markings by the third generation. We hope to end up with an improved version of the Cal rabbit. By that I mean milking ability, mothering instincts, dress out, meat/bone ratio, growth rate, weight gain/feed intake ratio, heat tolerance and temperament. We are having good success with this so far. We have found crossbreds to be hardier.

Some folks compete in rabbit shows where only pure breeds are allowed. Others sell to a processor that only accepts pure breeds, ie: NZW.

For the home producer pure breeds are not strictly necessary. My advice is to cover your cross bred does with a pure bred buck of commercial type and develop from there. Provided your does are not mini's/dwarfs.

MikeL
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
387 Posts
Squashnut I think you have to decide what you want out of your rabbits. Then go from there. Some people want a good carcus weight. Some people want a good coat. Some people breed for color. Some breed for all. Mutts or purebred makes no difference it you are breeding for what you want. I have several rabbits with nice pedigrees. I use them to breed my mutts because they produce a nice roasting rabbit. I have mini rex that I breed for color and size. I have some that I breed for cute. We can all tell you what we do and it may help but in the end trial and error will get you where you want to go. You do it one way, if it doesn't work invite the neighbors and have a rabbit roast. In the end you will have what you want. Hopefully, if not you can say you had fun getting there. Sometimes the journey is the best part. Either mutts or purebred or both, the decision is yours in the end.
 

·
Enjoying Polish Rabbits
Joined
·
1,219 Posts
Well said Orphy.

My primary goal is good sized fryers. But that's not my only goal. I enjoy colours - so why not play with and learn about colours on my way to my main goal. It's fun!

And yes, Maggie, that doe was the foxy coloured one. She father was the same Giant Chinchilla that fathered my bottle babies. So, no surprise that she threw some blue kits!
 

·
Suburban Homesteader
Joined
·
2,558 Posts
SquashNut said:
Aren't you concerned that the rex's plush coat will cause problems in you AZ heat?
Not particularly, the Mini Rex did fine here, and we raised them outside for a few years in a well-protected cool part of the yard (north east exposure under a huge tree with a misting system and frozen bottles in the summer.) When we got seriously into exhibition, we moved them to an evap-cooled room which can still be used for the same purpose.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,851 Posts
We are going from mutts to satins because we want them to get to a good meat size sooner rather than feeding them out so long and for the furs
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top