Meat rabbits - does a pedigree matter?

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by texastami, Dec 8, 2005.

  1. texastami

    texastami Zone 7B Supporter

    Messages:
    2,481
    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2002
    Location:
    beautiful Pacific Northwest
    We have been considering buying a couple more rabbits and found some Champagnes that I would love to have... they are the perfect age and pedigreed - We already have two NZ mixes but they are both bucks - got them from the feedstore.. so we have no idea what else they are....

    DH thinks it would be best for us to get a pedigreed doe AND buck and then raise meat rabbits - as the lines are EXCELLENT and we can get them for $60/pair.

    Raising them strictly for meat doesn't require a pedigree but selling pedigreed offspring (which I would consider doing after we move to KS and get established to 4Her's and homesteaders) would be more profitable, right? DH would like to learn to tan hides for craft purposes as well!

    What do the experienced rabbit breeders think? Pedigreed meat rabbits or just run of the mill crosses ok for meat purposes?

    TIA!!
     
  2. Tucker

    Tucker Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    321
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2005
    Location:
    NC
    Aim high :D get a quad of Champagnes ,, 3 (or 4 :clap: ) does 1 buck ,, keep 1 NZ buck to raise both ,, do crosses for meat for the freezer and purebreds when you want some to sell ,, (you could always cull the other NZ buck later on)

    If you are buying breeding age does ,, ask the breeder to breed the does you are buying to good bucks ,, I've been told most breeders will be flattered if you ask them to breed the does you are buying with bucks that will improve the rabbits with what you are buying ,, so you could keep offspring to increase your herd that would not be at all related to either the buck or the other does offspring ,,

    I think I explained that correctly ,, course when you buy a 'bred' doe there is always the chance she won't take ,, I've bought two 1 did other didn't :( ,,

    when breeding age does are available they range from $35 to $50 & up here near me in NC ,, with pedigree NZ & Cals I paid $35 for both does I bought ,, breeder offered to let me bring doe back to be rebred but I declined ,,

    course if you wanted to buy just does ,, breeding age ,, ask the breeder to breed them ,, say 3 does ,, each doe bred to a different buck ,, you could then keep the best 1 - 2 bucks from each doe's litter ,, let them get to about 7 - 9 months before you pick your herd sire(s) ,, keep any # of does from the litters you want ,,

    and while you are waiting the 7 - 9 months for the purebred champagnes to get mature ,, you could use the NZ buck to breed the does however often you decide to breed and use all the cross offspring for the freezer ,,,


    I liked my purebred WNZ stock ,, the does had great litters 9+ and were good moms ,, my best buck is a Californian ,, (never had much luck with Cal does :confused: ) ,, lol course my best doe is a flea market buy for $5 a 'english spot' doe ,, great mother and milker - fosters anything and her offspring are nice fryers

    I'll hush rambling now :nana:

    Tammy
     

  3. texastami

    texastami Zone 7B Supporter

    Messages:
    2,481
    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2002
    Location:
    beautiful Pacific Northwest
    Excellent Tammy! Thanks for the advice!!

    I just spoke with the breeder, and the buck is a littermate, so we'll pass on him - but she is willing to breed the doe before I get her!! HOORAY!!

    We will keep the NZ cross and do just what you suggested!! :) I am thinking that we will pick up another Champagne buck in March before we move to KS

    I am so excited!! This is my christmas present from DH!! HOORAY!! :)

    Edited to take out the "what age does the buck need to be..." need to read closer!! Sorry!!
     
  4. Tucker

    Tucker Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    321
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2005
    Location:
    NC

    LOL Hi Tami ,, Great ! they'll breed her for you ,, do you have extra cages ?? if she has a good litter you might could keep 1 buck kit and 2 does ,, later on when you get ,, say another pair ,, you'll have more does available for 'lines' of breeding ,,

    and as for age of maturity ,, seperate the sexes at the latest at 10 weeks ! :p ,, check and recheck to be sure the sex - change fairy didn't visit :p sure as you leave littermates together to 12+ weeks ,, ,, cause you didn't get to butcher when you planned ,,, you will find that an 'early' matureing buck got 'EVERY' one of his 'early' matureing sisters pregnant ,, :nono:

    never fails ,, when you 'want' them to breed the does don't take at first try at around 5 months ,, maybe 'miss' the 6 month test / try ,, and finally have a litter at 7 months , :viking: after being threatened of visiting a real cold climiate :p

    and the bucks !! sometimes I think they need to see an instruction visual for all the young ones that don't know which end is the right end ,, or that cower while being mounted by a doe ;)

    Tammy
     
  5. dlwelch

    dlwelch Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    831
    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2002
    Location:
    Central Texas
    It will to producers who are serious about their rabbits as a money
    making enterprise.

    Crossbred breeding stock doesn't even begin to sell for what
    a nice typed purebred with a pedigree will in this area of the country.
    Even for commercial meat breeders, it should be important to maintain
    pedigrees. Otherwise, how do we know where the good/bad
    genetics come from in the herd?


    **************************************
    Linda Welch
    http://www.texasrabbitconnection.com
    http://www.texasrabbitconnection.com/forums/


    [​IMG]
     
  6. texastami

    texastami Zone 7B Supporter

    Messages:
    2,481
    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2002
    Location:
    beautiful Pacific Northwest
    thanks for all the advice and help! We are eager to get started!!

    Our decision is to raise pedigreed Champagnes!! :)
     
  7. Reauxman

    Reauxman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,535
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2002
    Location:
    Louisiana
    I hope you have the ethics not to breed and sell every sinalge rabbit you have born for $30 as a "Pedigreed" show rabbit. In reality, only about 10% of rabbits born are worthy of being shown. Breed to standard if you want to sell a few as breeders or show rabbits. If you want good pelts, breed for that. If you want a copy of the standard for your breed, but don't want to buy the book, pm me your address and I'll send you a copy of the standard for your breed. Good breeders in quality, show animals earn their reputation through showing. A good rabbitry has it's breeders registered. Rarely will I buy a rabbit without at least both parents being registered.

    If you are breeding for meat, you have to make your own standard. What is important to you? Do you want good pelts? Large dress out weights? Fine bone? Long loins?
     
  8. texastami

    texastami Zone 7B Supporter

    Messages:
    2,481
    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2002
    Location:
    beautiful Pacific Northwest
    showing rabbits personally or selling "show" rabbits isn't something that remotely interests me... We are looking for a meat breed - after much research and reading we decided on Champagnes and NZ - the pedigree was secondary to that (and our NZ are just NZ crosses anyway) ... Not to worry, I have no intentions of running a "bunny mill".... if any were sold, I would sell to other homesteaders looking for GOOD breeder stock.. nothing more - or the occassional 4-Her who needed a dual purpose (meat pen or breeder class) rabbit.. thats all.. my interest in "pedigreed" rabbits stops there.... I figured why not start out RIGHT rather than having to start all over if I EVENTUALLY decide to expand. I will stick with raising them strictly for myself for a good long time before I would even consider selling ANYTHING to ANYONE!

    This was strictly an "I don't know if it mattered question," about meat breeders being pedigreed.... nothing more.... We wanted to start our rabbitry off on the right foot with the best stock possible. Thats why I asked here...

    Will make our own standards for the meat breed - but perhaps the standards would be good to have on hand for future reference - on both Champagnes and NZ - I appreciate your offer...
     
  9. Reauxman

    Reauxman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,535
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2002
    Location:
    Louisiana
    Your copies will go out tomorrow if I have time to do everything tonight. I will also include an application to ARBA. ARBA is a good organization to be in, even if you don't show. For example, if you are in an area hit by disaster, like hurricane Katrina, ARBA will hel you get back on your feet, wether it mens sending down a trailer of feed, cages, etc or helping find replacement stock. After the Hurricane, I got a personal Email from Glen Carr, Sec ARBA, asking if there was anything I needed, and if so, what it was I needed, and stated that all costs would be paid for by ARBA.
     
  10. rabbitgal

    rabbitgal Ex-homesteader

    Messages:
    1,508
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2005
    Location:
    Virginia
    :goodjob: I'm happy that you decided to get some good quality rabbits! This guy I met started with mutt rabbits and spent 20 years building up a herd and culling like crazy. Would have been a lot easier for him to get good rabbits in the first place!

    Still, even if you are only raising for meat, you should have some minimum standards for body structure. In our area, most of the shows for 4-H kids are ARBA-sanctioned, so the rabbits are judged according to the ARBA Standard of Perfection anyway. The ARBA does have a "standard" for meat pens and single fryers or roasters...pretty similar to the "normal" breed standards.

    Good luck with your new rabbits!