Pony's Future Rabbits

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by Hilda, Dec 18, 2006.

  1. Hilda

    Hilda Well-Known Member

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    Hi Pony,

    Yes, the last thing I want to do is hijack a thread! You said,

    "I am leaning toward New Zealand or California, or a mix of the two. Something fast-growing with a fairly easy-going temperament, but not TOO easy-going, as I do not want to feel any worse than I will for butchering them.

    Do you have any recommendation?

    (Or should we move this to another thread -- don't want to hijack!)

    Pony!"

    I have absolutely no suggestions! I have had meat rabbits since last September and so far nary a litter so I'm the last person you want to ask.

    There's a couple of recent threads on the best meat rabbits, and New Zealands-California mixes seem to be reccomended.
     
  2. Jennifer L.

    Jennifer L. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I think you'd be very happy with that cross or those two individual breeds. If you want a little colour you could go with Satins--I have them and like them. Any of the larger meat type rabbits will do quite well.

    Jennifer
     

  3. turtlehead

    turtlehead Well-Known Member

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    Pony, I'm new to rabbits (got them this past summer) and we have one Californian buck and three New Zealand White does. We have had a few litters; lost a lot of kits due to our own stupidity and the does being new moms but I think things are improving. The litters have been 5-6 kits which I understand is fair but certainly not large. The does are pretty good moms - have stepped on some babies but haven't eaten them or abandoned them or anything.

    The kits grow quickly. They're friendly.

    You can usually get NZW and Cal. pretty cheap because they're so common. When I figure out what I'm doing I think I might switch to American Chinchilla because it's on the ALBC critical list and it's on the slow food ark of taste. I'd like to get into delicious endangered breeds but I'd rather make my mistakes on an inexpensive rabbit.
     
  4. rabbitgal

    rabbitgal Ex-homesteader

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    Silver Fox or Creme d'Argents! :D They're meat breeds, not as good as Cals/Nz of course, but you're helping save a rare breed. Silver Fox have a reputation for really nice temperaments...

    My Cremes are more high-strung than the Cals, but the temperament is still not bad. Mine like having something to do instead of just sitting in a cage all the time...toys, hay, etc.
     
  5. Pony

    Pony Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Oy! I completely missed this thread!

    Thanks so much for the input... Now to clear the table and start making serious plans...

    Pony!
     
  6. Laura Workman

    Laura Workman (formerly Laura Jensen) Supporter

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    I'm not so sure Silver Fox aren't as good as NZW or Cals. Actually, they are the very first American breed developed as a commercial meat rabbit, and they did really well until processors started demanding white fur. I know I"m very pleased with mine!

    The does are excellent mothers. My two does had first litters of seven and six, and second litters of eight and seven. In four litters, I've had one still born. They did it all perfectly the first time - very nice nests, no babies scattered or eaten. They weaned all the babies they gave birth to.

    Butcher weights were good on free choice grass hay and pellets, and a bit of concentrate each day - 4.5 to 6 pounds (4.25 to 5.25 average) depending on when I butchered, which was between 9 and 12 weeks. Carcasses are very nicely filled out.

    By 12 weeks, they're all silvered out, so the pelts should be decent once I tan them. I like the nice, long, fluffy fur, too. Haven't tried tanning yet, though, so can't say for sure. SF are very laid back rabbits, too. All in all, they're about perfect. The only reason they aren't "commercial" rabbits is because they aren't white, which is what processors demand.

    I really like the frosted gold look of the Cremes, too, so I got some of those recently as well. I had some help from a prominent breeder and got some super nice stock to start with. (Thank you Travis West!!) I bred my two first-timer does a couple weeks ago, so we'll see how that goes. If they do as well as the SF, I'll be ecstatic.
     
  7. Pony

    Pony Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Interesting!

    I googled "silver fox rabbits" and came up with quite a bit of information.

    Thanks! One more consideration into the process... good... :)

    Pony!
     
  8. Pony

    Pony Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Okay, once I decide on a breed, how do I find a breeder? I have tried the ARBA site, but can only find the link where you can check to see if a rabbitry name is in use...

    The more I read about them, the more intrigued I become by the silver fox... Scarce, but a good breeder; good temperament; nice pelts; good meat producer...

    Any information on how to acquire rabbits in my area (No. IL)? :help:

    Pony!
     
  9. Meg Z

    Meg Z winding down

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    Pony,
    You might want to try the American Rabbit Breeder's Association website for breeder's lists and show info.

    here: http://www.arba.net/

    Meg
     
  10. Pony

    Pony Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The only thing that came up was a search function to see if a rabbitry name was already spoken for. :(

    Maybe I'm missing something on there...

    I'll go back and try again.

    Pony!
     
  11. Meg Z

    Meg Z winding down

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  12. Terry W

    Terry W Duchess of Cynicism

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    i ALMOST had some American Chinchillas in hand-- They are HARD to find, especially in this area-- i am thinking of going with the easier to find Standard Chins, and then snagging any Americamns i can-- it would be nice if people were more willing tho ship---
     
  13. Pony

    Pony Well-Known Member Supporter

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  14. Meg Z

    Meg Z winding down

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    Weebles wobble, but they don't fall down..

    Rock and roll, huh? <looks behind herself> Gee, I guess I need to drop a few pounds!

    You're welcome, Pony!
     
  15. rabbitgal

    rabbitgal Ex-homesteader

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    That's not bad! Around 4.25 pounds at nine weeks? My Californians (show lines) mature at about the same rate. Some commercial folks I've talked to are getting 5 lb. NZW at nine weeks, but I don't know if it's "fair" to compare them to show lines...or heritage breeds. :shrug:

    Cremes? Woo hoo! You go girl! Aren't they awwwesome? :D Travis West has nice rabbits too...we got a pair from him almost a year ago. Both have nice temperaments, and "Tulip" is a great mom.

    Anyhow, didn't mean to hijack...The Rabbit and Cavy Directory is a great site to look at...they have breed profiles and breeder listings for all ARBA recognized breeds and then some. Another good site to look at for more info on individual breeds is the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy at www.albc-usa.org. They "rank" each rare breed, so you can get an idea of which ones need the most help.

    *If* you decide to go with a rare breed, there's also an e-group on Yahoo just for rare breeds: www.groups.yahoo.com/group/rarebreedrabbits. It's a good place to get in touch with breeders, because even if no one on there lives in your area, a lot of folks know other breeders who may be able to help you. There's also Yahoo groups for most individual breeds, although some get less traffic than others. There's a listing of groups at http://www.rabbitgeek.com/rarebreedgroups.html.