How large and how to get started?

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by ONThorsegirl, Jun 30, 2005.

  1. ONThorsegirl

    ONThorsegirl Fergusons Family Farm

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    Eastern Ontario
    I have 3 bucks right now, 2 rexes and another mutt running around. in a large dog kennel, 7' by 13' it is 7' tall. I have 3 houses in it with 2 water bowls and 2 feeders for feed. I was wondering for anyone else who keeps rabbits outside, (mine are out all year) how big of a run do they have?

    Also how did everyone get started in Meat Rabbits. This is a meat rabbit discussion so I hope no one is offended, but do you slaughter then your self, or where do you take them. How did you know there was a market for them?

    Meat rabbits have always interested my but I just need to convice my parents, I got into hens last year and have been doing great with them, any help would be great. I wouldn't get to many to start only a female or 2 with my bucks.

    Thanks, Melissa
     
  2. moonkitten

    moonkitten Well-Known Member

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    Hi Melissa!

    How many rabbits you start with will depend on what you are going to do with the offspring (how many you need/sell). If you're just looking to feed the family, 2 does and a buck will get you started. Since you already have 3 bucks, all you need are a couple of does. I would be careful about keeping too many bucks in with the does though, if you intend to keep them all in one pen. There's some good posts on colony raising here if you do a search.

    Myself, I keep mine in separate hanging cages to avoid fights. They are outside and don't seem to have any problem with Ontario winters. It's more the recent heat wave that has them stressed :(

    I did slaughter when I started, altho that was just for home use. Now I sell to the reptile/canine feeder market and find that I never have enough left to butcher for the table!

    good luck with your parents!
    Kat
    http://www.downtherabbithole.ca
     

  3. smokie

    smokie Well-Known Member

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    michigan
    i would start small, keep your best buck or 2 and get about 3 does. plenty for the table and to sell. if your not careful they can get out of hand before you realize it. good luck.
     
  4. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    You must be southern Ontario where winters are very mild compared to the Northwestern part of Ontario.
    I'm wondering how one would handle marketing from remote areas farther away from population centers? Toronto is more than 1000 miles away.
    One could produce rabbits theoretically here we have summers that are tolerable for rabbits, except for the high mosquito populations am not sure how that could be a problem for them or not?
     
  5. rabbitgal

    rabbitgal Ex-homesteader

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    Hi, it's great to see another young person interested in meat rabbits. Have you ever slaughtered a rabbit before?

    I got started with a pair of mutts, but now raise Californian and Creme D'Argent rabbits for show and meat. Up to now, I've been slaughtering them for our own use (7 siblings eat a LOT). In our area, there's still a lot of folks who grew up eating wild rabbits, so they have no problem eating domestic ones. Want to target the gourmet health food market though.

    Home raised meat is a LOT healthier and *possibly* cheaper than store bought, so that may help convince your parents. It COSTS us about US$1.52 in FEED to produce a pound of DRESSED rabbit meat and that's using a good quality name-brand feed. (You'll also need to add in the cost of equipment and good breeding stock but feed is probably the highest expense long-term.) Rabbit is lower in fat and cholesterol, and higher in protein than many other meats. The whole carcass is white meat, so a fryer rabbit is kind of equivalent to chicken breast. Good meat rabbits also have fine bones, so you get quite a bit of meat.

    Best of luck,
    Hannah
     
  6. ONThorsegirl

    ONThorsegirl Fergusons Family Farm

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    Location:
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    Hi Everyone, I live near Ottawa and the winters here get pretty darn cold it was -41 this winter at the coldest temperature. The rabbits were jsut running around in their dog kennel like the temperature didn't even matter. Why do you ask? it doesn't bother my I was jsut wondering if it was the temperature you were refering too. The weather is really nasty in the winter and blazing hot in the summer it was a high of 40 a few weeks ago with the humidex. Gross weather but the rabbits weren't to happy with it but I haven't ever lost one to the cold or heat.

    I have not slaughtered a rabbit before. I just think it is a neat project to do but I think I might have to wait. I still like reading about it though.

    Thanks everyone, Melissa