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Hi Jennifer,

Get the best stock you can right off the bat. This will alleviate a lot of headaches with poor breeding stock not preforming.

You should house 1 rabbit per cage once they reach maturity and always put your doe into the bucks cage for breeding.

Butchering is a matter of choice but normally they should be about 5 lbs and that should be achieved at 10-12 weeks of age. My experience is that Californians grow a little slower then NZ.

For your own families use I think I would follow a 42 day breed back schedule so you dont need grow out cages. The young are housed with the doe and she is bred back at 42 days after kindle and then the fryers are butchered 2 weeks after that [56 days after they where born] This gives the doe a 2 week rest prior to her next litter being born.

For commercial purposes most breeders follow an 11 or 14 day breed back but have seperate grow out cages and wean at 4 weeks.

Pellets will be your major expense at the price varies from region to region. Some say you can get by with a 16% protein rabbit pellet but since I raise rabbits commercially and breed back at 11 days I get the 18% protein as the does stay in condition much better. I pay $13.25 per 100 lb bag but this is because I buy buy the ton and get a significant price break. Normally you are looking at $9.00-$10.00 per bag at that would be a 50 lb bag.

Keeping rabbits cool in the summer is a must. Depends on your set up. Your buck must be kept at temps below 85 degrees or he will become sterile for a couple months and you will not get any kits.

You can freeze 2 liter pop bottles filled with water and place the frozen bottles in the cages and that will help keep them cool.

Hope this helps. :D
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