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How to pick a good meat rabbit...

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

Hello!

 

I'm starting a new meat rabbit project and I am trying to figure out how to pick good breeding stock. I've looked around and I've discovered that, while it's easy to look at a grown rabbit and pick the right one it isn't so easy when looking over a litter of kits or youngsters and choosing.

 

I'm not looking for a specific breed, just certain things that will tell if a young rabbit is going to grow into a good sized rabbit. I already own a few buns from a few different meat breeds but I didn't choose my stock well and ended up with a hand full of mix rabbits that, while I like them, do not fit the standards of what I set out to find in the first place.

 

Any ideas on what to pick and what to avoid? Certain weights to expect at certain ages and things of that matter.  Any tips you could give at all would be more than helpful. big_smile.png

 

The breeds I currently own are Flemish giants, New Zealands, Chinchillas and Harliquins. I like all these breeds and would like to continue with them, but I really need some tips on finding better quality meat buns.

 

 

 

Please and thank you. :)


Edited by Duckchick2011 - 6/18/13 at 11:22am
post #2 of 18

I'm interested in the responses too, we are looking to start raising rabbits for meat in the next few months. Not sure what breed I want to go with yet either.

-- Jessica

 

My Flock: "Black Star", Black Australorp, Cream Legbar, Cuckoo Marans, EE

Babies: 2 Exchequer Leghorns, 2 Wellsummer, ??

RIP: Frittata my first ever chicken you will be missed. 

Reply

-- Jessica

 

My Flock: "Black Star", Black Australorp, Cream Legbar, Cuckoo Marans, EE

Babies: 2 Exchequer Leghorns, 2 Wellsummer, ??

RIP: Frittata my first ever chicken you will be missed. 

Reply
post #3 of 18
I used to raise rabbits for 4H and meat. Californians are nicely tempered, and you can produce a good heavy mixed rabbit if you cross a Californian with an English Lop.

Steny

A crazy lady engineer with 2 fat and happy cats (Luna & Stella), 5 black Australorps (Henry, Dumpling, Noodle, Fritter, and Nugget), 1 Silver Laced Wyandotte (Biscuit),  and one amazing hunny bunny!

 

"The meek will inherit the earth, but not it's mineral rights. " Getty

Reply

A crazy lady engineer with 2 fat and happy cats (Luna & Stella), 5 black Australorps (Henry, Dumpling, Noodle, Fritter, and Nugget), 1 Silver Laced Wyandotte (Biscuit),  and one amazing hunny bunny!

 

"The meek will inherit the earth, but not it's mineral rights. " Getty

Reply
post #4 of 18
I used to raise rabbits for 4H and meat. Californians are nicely tempered, and you can produce a good heavy mixed rabbit if you cross a Californian with an English Lop.

Steny

A crazy lady engineer with 2 fat and happy cats (Luna & Stella), 5 black Australorps (Henry, Dumpling, Noodle, Fritter, and Nugget), 1 Silver Laced Wyandotte (Biscuit),  and one amazing hunny bunny!

 

"The meek will inherit the earth, but not it's mineral rights. " Getty

Reply

A crazy lady engineer with 2 fat and happy cats (Luna & Stella), 5 black Australorps (Henry, Dumpling, Noodle, Fritter, and Nugget), 1 Silver Laced Wyandotte (Biscuit),  and one amazing hunny bunny!

 

"The meek will inherit the earth, but not it's mineral rights. " Getty

Reply
post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by steny03 View Post

I used to raise rabbits for 4H and meat. Californians are nicely tempered, and you can produce a good heavy mixed rabbit if you cross a Californian with an English Lop.

Steny

Thank you :)

 

I've heard good things about the californians big_smile.png But I wasn't really looking for a good breed per say, just good all around standards to look for in choosing new stock. I went back and edited my post, I really wasn't being very clear in what I was looking for. smile.png

post #6 of 18

Sorry, I did not interpret your post correctly barnie.gif

 

It's been ages since I've shown rabbits, so I don't think I'm much help to you. When we raised meat rabbits, we were just concerned with if they had a good body size, etc. I don't beleive we kept records, or expected our rabbits to meet certain weights, etc. We were very unscientific about it. smile.png

 

In fact, whenever my Californians were being shown, I was always reprimanded by the judges about them being overweight...so I doubt mine were the very best breed representative.....

 

steny

A crazy lady engineer with 2 fat and happy cats (Luna & Stella), 5 black Australorps (Henry, Dumpling, Noodle, Fritter, and Nugget), 1 Silver Laced Wyandotte (Biscuit),  and one amazing hunny bunny!

 

"The meek will inherit the earth, but not it's mineral rights. " Getty

Reply

A crazy lady engineer with 2 fat and happy cats (Luna & Stella), 5 black Australorps (Henry, Dumpling, Noodle, Fritter, and Nugget), 1 Silver Laced Wyandotte (Biscuit),  and one amazing hunny bunny!

 

"The meek will inherit the earth, but not it's mineral rights. " Getty

Reply
post #7 of 18

I am still figuring this out.  Someone told me that good meat on the shoulders is important and you want them to hit 5 lbs or so around 10 weeks.  Does that help?

Mama of soon to be 4 children, 1 Easter Egger roosters, 21 adult hens (5 Black Stars, 3 Buff Orpingtons, 3 Plymouth Barred Rocks, 3 Rhode Island Reds, 3 Partridge Rocks, 2 Easter Egger and 2 Buff Brahma mix), 2 cats, and 4 rabbits with a varying amount of babies ... so far ...
Reply
Mama of soon to be 4 children, 1 Easter Egger roosters, 21 adult hens (5 Black Stars, 3 Buff Orpingtons, 3 Plymouth Barred Rocks, 3 Rhode Island Reds, 3 Partridge Rocks, 2 Easter Egger and 2 Buff Brahma mix), 2 cats, and 4 rabbits with a varying amount of babies ... so far ...
Reply
post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by UnlabeledMama View Post

I am still figuring this out.  Someone told me that good meat on the shoulders is important and you want them to hit 5 lbs or so around 10 weeks.  Does that help?

Thank you smile.png

 

I think maybe I was being too technical about all of this. So I just stopped being picky an ordered a young doe from a fellow who breeds Californians. I'm going to pick her up tomorrow. From the look of the pictures she is just what I'm looking for so I'm a little excited.  I've also chosen a buck. He was born from one of my own does and was the pick of the litter. He was far bigger than his siblings, handsome, and well mannered. He is 8 weeks old now and about 3 1/2 lbs so I feel optimistic about him reaching the 5 lb mark. He is not a Californian but he is the spitting image of one.
 

post #9 of 18

That's great!

Mama of soon to be 4 children, 1 Easter Egger roosters, 21 adult hens (5 Black Stars, 3 Buff Orpingtons, 3 Plymouth Barred Rocks, 3 Rhode Island Reds, 3 Partridge Rocks, 2 Easter Egger and 2 Buff Brahma mix), 2 cats, and 4 rabbits with a varying amount of babies ... so far ...
Reply
Mama of soon to be 4 children, 1 Easter Egger roosters, 21 adult hens (5 Black Stars, 3 Buff Orpingtons, 3 Plymouth Barred Rocks, 3 Rhode Island Reds, 3 Partridge Rocks, 2 Easter Egger and 2 Buff Brahma mix), 2 cats, and 4 rabbits with a varying amount of babies ... so far ...
Reply
post #10 of 18
I have been researching. I don't own rabbits yet but want to. As a child I had new Zealand whites. I breed them for meat after my plans of showing them in 4h failed.I liked the whites but iv been thinking about some flemish giants but iv gotten alot of mix reviews on them. Iv heard that breeding standard chinchillas with flemishes gives you giant chinchillas and better meat rabbits? And body here do that? Or raise just giants for meat? If so is are they good meat rabbits. Any advise would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
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