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Great example of a Bad Example

904 Views 2 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  jessandcody
I think I have completed the entire list of things NOT to do when starting/running a rabbitry. I started out about 3 years ago with the rabbits for commercial meat after researching for a few years. I bought three does and a buck from a show breeder (wrong) and they were young, so I fed them until they produced two whole kits! I got rid of those and went to a commercial breeder. I bought six does and a buck again young so I fed them for many months until breeding age. I never kept good records and didn’t breed on a regular basis so I didn’t get many kits from them. All together, I think about maybe a dozen kits throughout the entire time. I kept feeding these rabbits and didn’t butcher them after they ate their third, fourth, fifth litters. I even brought in a mini-rex buck and cross bred some! I just built my new barn. After my DW tries to sell some rabbits, I will butcher the rest. The old barn has 16 holes. The new barn will hold 4 (6 if things work out). The rest will be used for other things. I am keeping the buck because I know he produces nice litters if the does stop eating them! I will keep the two NZW does that have produced live litters and a California doe the I just picked up. I will keep accurate records and breed, palpate, nest box on the needed times. If they don’t provide me with live large litters, I will cull them and find more that will. I will no longer feed rabbits for 3 years that have given me nothing but a feed bill. If I get the 4 hole rabbitry under control and things look good, then maybe I will expand again.

Please, if you are just starting out, DON’T BE LIKE ME! When people tell you (and they will), “start small and expand as you learn,” follow their advice. It will be a lot cheaper and quicker to get further along.

Sorry this was so long….just building up a rant like this for a few years. I should be good until 2008 or so!
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Sorry about your situation. I too raise California/NZW. I read somewhere online that does will eat their young due to a lack of an easy water source. After our first doe ate most of her litter, we figured why not try it? We put a crock of water in the cage besides the normal water bottle for our second doe. (She was also a first time breeder and has a clear view of the outside of the barn). She had 9 healthy kits.

Another thing we do is try to "break in" our rabbits by not giving them complete peace and quiet. This made them less skittish during storms or when they finally had their litters. Occassionally, one of the dogs will slip in during chore time. They don't enjoy dogs, but our rabbits have turned from wild, young pains to handle to docile, relaxed adults.

We started with 2 does and a buck. In June, our bunny operation expanded from 3 rabbits to 14. So we must be doing something right... :haha:
- Jess
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