Dump it all on me

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by Oregon1986, Jun 28, 2017.

  1. Oregon1986

    Oregon1986 Well-Known Member

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    I am wanting to breed my rabbits to eat their offspring. In an attempt to start only eating meet off our land,it's something I need to do. Any tips or information anyone would like to share? How old does a rabbit need to be to be bred? Do they need a special diet while pregnant?
     
  2. Fire-Man

    Fire-Man Well-Known Member Supporter

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    This is the way I do Meat type rabbits! Californian, New Zealand or crossed.

    I wait till she is about 8 months before I breed her----sure some do it earlier but I choose Not. When the rabbit gets about 6 months I start control feeding. I feed a good factory feed and some hay. They Only get a premeasured amount of feed per day(enough they maintain their weight but not get fat). When I breed them I still feed the controlled amount for about 2 weeks then start giving a little extra---3 weeks I add a little more feed amount, when she has them I fill the feeder or just make sure she has food in the feeder 24/7. I wean at about 5 weeks if they are eating good and she seems to be trying to stay away from them. The way I wean is I remove about 1/2 of the babies, then about every couple days I remove one more, etc until they are all removed.

    I shoot for about 4 1/2 lbs for meat type rabbits if I want fryers, but we rarely deal with fryers so I let them go to about 6, 7 or even 8lbs then process, IF we were to choose to fry--we fry just the hind legs only and process the rest a different way.

    Once you process a few and get use to it---then if it takes you more than about 5 minutes each you are doing it the wrong way(unless you are saving the hides--which I don't). I am talking about from live in the cage to cleaned---1 piece in the cooler---I can do a litter of 8 in less than 40 minutes--less than that if I am on the clock. Once I get through processing, they then are taken to the kitchen sink re-looked over, re-washed and cut up if that's the way we plan to process---most of ours are frozen whole unless we were going to fry the hind legs.

    We do can/jar some and rabbit link sausage is the bomb---we Love it----just takes some time to make it.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2017
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  3. ChocolateMouse

    ChocolateMouse Well-Known Member

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    Fire-man gives good advice. He's a solid breeder. To answer your specific questions;

    How old does a rabbit need to be to be bred? 6-8 months, but they CAN breed as early as 3-4 (not a good idea, seriously, don't breed before 6 months). Try to get their first litter out before they are 1 year old. They do better long-term if you do.

    Do they need a special diet while pregnant?
    Only during the latter half and while nursing. Rabbits are 32 days to gestate, so a bit over 4 weeks. The first 2 weeks are normal food, then you start increasing the food slowly until you are free-feeding until they wean. I fully endorse haying your rabbits. It really helps with weight management. Feed should be 16-18% protein. Ideally you also give around 20%+ fiber. This can be a difficult balance to strike.

    Any tips or information anyone would like to share?
    Extra cages. Extra cages. Extra cages. Have extra cages! Rabbit algebra is far worse than chicken math.
    For a four rabbit operation (three does and a buck) and you breed one doe a month...
    One rabbit will be gestating, two rabbits will be nursing and doe 1's previous litter will be in grow out cages. You need four holes for your breeders and one big one for the growing rabbits, right?
    Unless you don't get to the kits in time or want them bigger than 10 weeks, so you need to separate them by gender around 10-12 weeks. Then you need two grow out cages. Unless you are an extra week late beyond 12 weeks. Then you need a third grow out for the next litter so they can wean on time. Unless one of them gets hurt. Then you need a quarantine cage for treating injuries or separating bullying/bullied kits. Unless that quarantine cage is already filled with a rabbit you are raising as a replacement breeder. Then you will need another cage. Unless that OTHER cage has that doe you found on craigslist that is a breed that you didn't think you could find in the area. Then you need another. Unless that cage is full too because you were hanging onto your favorite doe for juuuuust a few more litters while the newest doe gets established, and you just lover her personality and want her kits in your herd... Better have an extra cage for those kits too because you could have 4 litters at once for a bit...
    How many rabbits did you own again? Oh. Right. "Just four".... Or thirty sometimes. But really, just four.
     
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  4. haypoint

    haypoint Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Some rabbits eat their offspring and it is thought of as poor mothering and eating their litter is widely discouraged. You are the first to breed them expressly to eat their offspring. I would think that is a trait that would be difficult to breed towards. I mean once you get a few rabbits that eat their young, how would you ever come up with a strain of young eating breeders?
     
  5. Fire-Man

    Fire-Man Well-Known Member Supporter

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    ???????????????????? am I reading this right??? I got my first rabbits in 1977, for a while between then and 1995 I did not have rabbits. From 1995 to Date I have always had them. I am thinking hard here------I do not remember having a rabbit that eat her young----maybe I had one but am just not recalling it, but if I did----I assure you she was culled. I have raised a lot of rabbits in the last 20+ years---for SURE No eating their young problems-----really not a lot of infant deaths but it does happen.

    Maybe I am behind times, but I think its a very low % of rabbits that might eat their young??
     
  6. ChocolateMouse

    ChocolateMouse Well-Known Member

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    Fireman. He's trying to make a joke by mocking the OP's grammar, as the OP said "I am wanting to breed my rabbits to eat their offspring.". I can understand your confusion. Most people leave grammar policing behind when they realize there's more important things in the world to be worried about.
     
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  7. chaossmurf

    chaossmurf Well-Known Member

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    cannibal bunnies :) I love it :) itd make an interesting movie :)
    they wouldn't eat a smurf would they ???
    "RED FUR"
     
  8. Fire-Man

    Fire-Man Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Yea---I went to what the poster was asking----But a Good joke I guess is OK.
     
  9. Oregon1986

    Oregon1986 Well-Known Member

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    Thank you that helps a lot
     
  10. Oregon1986

    Oregon1986 Well-Known Member

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    Oops didn't catch that
     
  11. Back2Basix

    Back2Basix Well-Known Member

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    Hey Fire-Man, is that sausage recipe something you'd be willing to share cause those look AMAZING!!!

    I'm planning on buying the casings and attachment for my old meat grinder soon and would love to try different rabbit recipes.

    Are those more of bratwurst type sausages for sandwiches or breakfast link type sausage?? I'm a sucker for breakfast sausage and my venison breakfast sausage is running low
     
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  12. Fire-Man

    Fire-Man Well-Known Member Supporter

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    No secret at all, we found a sausage seasoning we like---we use when we make pork sausage as well as deer sausage-----Leggs Old Plantation Seasoning for pork sausage(we butcher/process our hogs). We debone the rabbits, weigh then add 15% pork fat(we save from the hogs) by weight. We add some dried ground peppers for flavor/seasoning----we have several different kinds of dried pepper we dry and grind---and we mix a little in from a few of those with enough dried hot---like red cayenne to give it a little kick but we do not like it hot. Mix and stuff. The breakfast sausage size links are good, but we decided we like the bigger links like in the picture the best. We usually vac seal 5 links like you see in the pic that we had already twisted before the pic was taken(we twisted the rest after the pic) in each bag. We do cook some for breakfast/grits/eggs/etc but our "main" way of eating is take them frozen out the bag and place on the George Forman grill---when done we wrap a piece of bread around them and eat.
     
  13. Back2Basix

    Back2Basix Well-Known Member

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    Hey Fire-Man, ever try any other of Leggs Seasonings?? I'm on Amazon about to buy all my sausage making equipment and found "AC Legg Inc Old Plantation Seasoning" $7.40 for an 8oz bag. How much does 8oz of seasoning usually make in lbs of finished product??

    So many flavors!!!!! Hot, regular, Cajun, smoked, Italian, maple, sweet, polish, mild, braut, kielbassa, chorizo..... And that's only page 1 of 4.

    My credit cards going to hate me when I'm done, i want them all!!!
     
  14. Back2Basix

    Back2Basix Well-Known Member

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    Edit: answered my question of how many lbs, looks like 8oz seasoning makes 25lbs of sausage
     
  15. Fire-Man

    Fire-Man Well-Known Member Supporter

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    8
    8oz is usually for 25lbs!

    Have I tried different??? A lot of different, all kinds of premixed for deer. I went and bought probably $150 in seasoning---containers of just ground this or that, salts, etc, etc to try and mix my own-----had some that taste decent but was just not perfect. Then a friend had a deer processed at a local processing place and gave me a pack of the deer sausage. It was Awesome-----perfect flavor. I went to this place to see if they sold their seasoning mix and found that one of my regular Customers works there. Got him to the side and asked----he sent me to another meat processing business to buy this Leggs----said that's what they use. I went and bought some, processed some deer sausage----It was good---better than any I had mixed. I modified the seasoning a little----mainly with the dried peppers I had grown/ground and a touch more salt. I do not want any other seasoning----this is Great to me----LOL. I do not like hickory taste, or other wood taste---lol. Get you a good seasoning and try it----adjust to how you want it. I have a good Jewelry scale and I weigh grams of what ever I add so I can duplicate or change.