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... I owned rabbits as pets as a child but that was a while ago. So, anything in particular I should watch out for? This lady is someone I trust, whom I met at church, and she does seem interested in mentoring me some and teaching me processing. (I've only done chickens until now) Moving stress issues? What mineral brands do people use? I live in Florida if that matters.

I am hanging cages, I have feeders and water bottles and nesting boxes. They are used but I bought them a while back and have bleached them and they have sat for a goodly time unused after that. There is a Satin pair and the doe is pregnant, due the 11th--- any special concerns about moving her while pregnant?

The others are various meat breed mixes and a pedigreed Rex buck. The Satins are beautiful, I plan to let the babies grow out a little longer so I can harvest the pelts as well as the meat. I don't mind having mostly broilers instead of fryers if I can have those beautiful pelts!

I am predator proofing a stall in my barn with hardware cloth and a wooden door and patching the walls to prevent drafts directly on the rabbits--- contrary to what I thought Florida actually gets pretty doggone cold for the first couple of months of the year. Since we are solidly in Autumn weather I figure fans and cooling can wait a little while.

I always have good quality hay around for my dairy goats, but what is the consensus here about what feed is best for growing out nice meaties? And, am I missing anything really apparent?

After this deal I will have offloaded the last animal that ate but had no real contribution from my farm. No more luxury animals!
 

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Move pregnant does no later than 2wks away from kindling and no earlier than 2wks afterwards. Give her a cage on the end where it's quiet and she can stay the most calm.

Rabbits do far better in the cold, it's the humid hot summers you need to worry about. Pregnant rabbits can easily die anytime after breeding to a couple weeks afterwards! Kits can cook in the nest if there is too much hay and fur, so keep them limited and even use nests with holes in the walls to circulate air. In winter, plenty of hay and fur is needed. So keep all extra and clean fur. You can pull fur from a butcher rabbit and save the fur for any nest, the moms won't mind. Kits cannot regulate body temps for a few weeks, so checking on them often is a good idea.
New moms sometimes like to fail, terribly. But as long as they progressively get better with the next litters, they should figure it out and be worth the effort.

Feed is up to you. No one feed is the best, it can vary drastically by what is available in your area and experiences people have.

If the feed is high in fiber, you should be able to only feed the pellet and no hay for meat kits. Does and breeding bucks should have hay, they end up eating fur while breeding, kindling and grooming. So the extra roughage is a good thing. High protein doesn't always equal faster growth, it will be a trial and error thing. Genetics also play a huge part in how they grow and how well they turn food into meat.
 

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Thanks for the advice, I appreciate it greatly. The weather has cooled significantly over the past two weeks down here. So, I am hoping (keeping fingers crossed and knocking on wood) that I will have the autumn and winter to get the cooling right. I am currently looking at installing misters and fans for summer time. One mister per cage, so they can choose to be near it or not. There should be really good air circulation through the stalls especially with some fans.

I suppose, eventually, if I plan properly, I can skip trying to breed during the hottest parts of the year. Just make sure I gather as much meat as we'll need during the colder months or rely on the chickens for summer?

I will keep in mind that perhaps I should make different nest boxes for when it gets warmer down here... maybe using plastic milk cartons for the sides?Or just perforating for air circulation?

In addition to re-reading the rabbit books I've bought I've been searching this forum for anything I can think of.
 
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