Any bunny advice appriciated.

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by chicknduck, Jan 23, 2011.

  1. chicknduck

    chicknduck Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 21, 2010
    I have been thinking about getting a male and female bunny to breed but I know nothing about them. Is there anyone who can answer any questions.
    I would like to find an approch to talking my hubby into allowing me to get them. Here are my questions.....

    What breed would be ok outside in the winter?
    What are the different breeds that I could use for meat? (This will be a big one t sell him on)
    Are the expencive to keep?
    Is it easy to breed them?

    I do have a rabbit cage what else would I need to get started?

    Thank you for helping.
  2. chicknduck

    chicknduck Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 21, 2010
    Anyone? I want to make a case soon to ask for theese.
  3. dewey

    dewey Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 9, 2010
    north of eternity
    Including here and lots of other info sources, Rudolph's Rabbit Ranch website has lots of info and a pretty good short primer on breeding meat rabbits with some pros & cons and some processing info. Also, the Raising-rabbits website has good starter info. The ARBA Guidebook and Story's book are both good sources of info, and Merck vet manual online has a decent rabbit section on common issues. The reading on just those sites can answer startup questions in depth about best meat breeds, proper housing, care & nutrition, list of things good to have on hand, making cages & nest boxes, and so forth.

    I would say raising meat rabbits is simple [​IMG] but not always easy, and surely not as easy as a lot of people might think. Education about their needs and having the proper equipment beforehand is key, as is starting out with the best stock one can find, and then good management for overall success.

    Happy reading and all the best!
  4. MrsPinkKitty

    MrsPinkKitty Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 25, 2010
    Ok i just got into bunnys myself about a year ago ..We got new zeland breed they are huge and white and are used in the rabbit meat market.They do great in winter but you are really going to want to keep them out of the wind and snow in winter .We put them in the barn. Also we tryed to feed them so many types of feed .First we tryed a mixture of grain we grow on our farm.It didnt work out good even with the protein value of about 21% protien in our grains. They didnt have any babys untell we switched to this 50 ound bag from the feed store its medicated like proabotics and stiff like that but once they got on that they started haveing babys like crazy.I really think it was becasue of the switch in feeding.I hope this helps .It is really fun you will be amazed on how fast the babys grow
  5. equine623

    equine623 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 17, 2009
    NE PA
    Where are you and how severe are the winters?
    What are your summers like, too much heat will kill a rabbit faster than cold.
    They can go together to breed when the doe is in heat but to keep a buck with a pregnant doe is inviting disaster. It takes more than just a rabbit cage and two rabbits to make successful bunnies.

    Definitely research this a lot more before deciding if you really want to get involved in this. Its not as easy as you might think. You may also want to look in the meat animal section of BYC as I've seen meat rabbit threads there.

    Good luck
  6. chicknduck

    chicknduck Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 21, 2010
    Quote:I live in weastern pa.
    I have been doing alot of research. I also did months of research before i got my first chickens. I am just looking for a bit of avice to see if this would be a good adventure for me.
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2011
  7. chicknduck

    chicknduck Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 21, 2010
    Quote:Thank you for the info. I will be sure to look at all of it.
  8. countryluvbunny

    countryluvbunny Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 28, 2007
    Suburbs of Pittsburgh,PA
    We are in Western Pa too, near Cranberry and raise rabbits. We have the smaller cutesy pet breeds as they take up less room and eat less also. If you want to get a pair of rabbits, you definately want to keep them seperate and control how often you breed them. If not you will be overrun with too many fast and the babies eat alot of food, especially since the meat rabbits have very large litters. You will want to make sure that you have an outlet for the babies that you are creating.
    We raise the cute pets so our overflow goes to the local petstores, which actually pay us as much as we would get selling ourselves to an individual. We have had alot of fun raising bunnies. Most any breed can be kept outside all year round, just be sure that they have a wooden box to go into, that there aren't any drafts and use plenty of straw/hay.
    If you have any other questions, just ask [​IMG]
  9. ScissorChick

    ScissorChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 17, 2010
    Under Your bed
    I really don't know much about breeding rabbits, or raising meat rabbits, as my bunny is just a pet.

    Rabbits actually do great in the winter. As long as they have shelter from wind and snow, and

    somthing on the roof to keep rain out. Summers are what you should worry about. Rabbits cannot

    sweat, and therefore need help staying cool in the summer. You could hook a fan up and put it

    facing the cage, along with frozen water bottles with a blanket laying over them for the rabbit to lay


    Rabbits ARE expensive. You cannot just feed them pellets. It's not a healthy diet. They need fresh

    leafy greens <Daily> Along with UNLIMITED timothy hay <Daily> And pellets. Which, in

    all, gets expensive.

    A rabbit's teeth are much like a rodents and never stop growing, so you need a

    few toys for them to chew on to grind them down, or else you'll be making vet visits,

    as their teeth can get so overgrown, & makes it impossible for them to eat, and they die of

    starvation. Timothy hay not only keeps their sensitive digestive track clean and free of

    blockages, but it also grinds down their back teeth. They do need grooming, because

    of the fact they are like cats, and clean themselves, if they ingest enough hair, it can

    cause blockages in the digestive system.

    Bedding, as well gets expensive. Pine and cedar can cause problems. The glossy sales

    paper you find in newspaper has toxic ink. I use the black and white newspaper, which from

    what I've learned is OK. I'd also recommend aspen or carefresh for beddings. I'd imagine you

    will have them on wire, which is OK, as long as they have a solid spot to get away from the wire.

    Their feet need a break every now and then. You can get small carpet sqaures for this or a simple

    peice of cardboard, which will be chewed, But is easily replacable. You need to predator proof

    your cage. Locks on the doors work well, sturdy FiNE wire helps. Rabbits chew like all get out,

    so if they can get their teeth around the wire - It will be chewed into sooner or later.

    Good luck With your Rabbits [​IMG]

    Last edited: Apr 6, 2011
  10. countryluvbunny

    countryluvbunny Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 28, 2007
    Suburbs of Pittsburgh,PA
    Rabbits are actually perfectly fine being raised on pellets alone and at adulthood they may only eat 1/2-3/4 cup (depending on size of course), so they aren't very expensive at all. They don't need to have any supplements at all, although a treat whenever they can get it will make them happy. We have been raising rabbits for over 20 years and are friends with lots of breeders who all feel the same way.

    Also all that is needed for their teeth is a board, which is good to have in their cage anyway to prevent sore hocks. They will knaw on the wood and their teeth will be great. Our rabbits actually don't have anything to knaw on right now and they have perfect teeth. There is a condition called maloclussion and the teeth will keep growing and grow crooked. You have to cut them off periodically and file down, but without that condition rabbits are fine.

    As far as bedding regular newspaper works fine, we sprinkle a little bit of shavings on top to soak up the urine, but a bag of shavings if used sparingly really go a long way.

    As far as the hair blockage, we HAVE never had a problem with that in our short hair breeds. Wool blockage is most common in long hair rabbits and those you wouldn't be breeding for meat anyway. A little bit of alfafa or regular clean hay will do the job.

    Our rabbits have never had to see a vet during all of these years for anything, so they are extremely healthy.
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2011

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