Breeding Rabbits?? Does it make money?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by jackrooster, Sep 6, 2010.

  1. emvickrey

    emvickrey ChowDown Silkie Farm

    Mar 5, 2009
    Hornbeak, Tennessee
    Quote:The pen that the breeding ones are in is large. The smaller ones will run back and forth in the mornings and at night. It's the ones in the hutch that don't have alot of room. I'd like to let the 2 pregmant ones have the 2 with the runs to raise their babies but we don't have anywhere to put the ones in with them.
  2. TrystInn

    TrystInn Songster

    Sep 16, 2009
    Southern Arizona
    Given that rabbits are destroyed at a phenomenal rate due to overbreeding and most shelters won't take them, I think raising them for pure profit is incredibly shallow and irresponsible. We run a rabbit rescue and I cannot tell you how many poorly bred rabbits with grotesquely small heads, twisted teeth and broken feet we've taken in over the years from folks who backyard breed dwarf rabbits. Then there's the overbred mini-rex, mini-lop and attendant breeds who just don't have enough places to be homed. Large breed rabbits who are put in tiny cages to keep their meat tender and live short, torturous lives.
  3. cutechick2010

    cutechick2010 Songster

    The buck *probably* wouldn't try to kill the babies, he doesn't need to because the does will be willing to re-breed anyway. Keeping adult rabbits in pairs or groups is quite possible, I do it myself, BUT you cannot just throw them together and expect everything to be fine. Intact does will almost always fight, same for intact bucks. Obviously you can't keep intact bucks and does together or you will have tons of bunnies. The best pairs or groups are a) neutered buck and spayed doe b) sisters/brothers that HAVE NEVER BEEN SEPARATED, if they have been apart for any length of time they will fight when put back together.
    I have one small group that is a neutered buck and his 3 intact daughters. That has worked great for me because they all have Daddy's laid back temperament. A lot of what it boils down to is the temperament of the individual rabbits, some can get along and some can't.

    Please do keep in mind that once a pair has been together a while, whatever gender they are, they are bonded for life and will grieve terribly if they are separated. I have seen pairs here in my rescue where one will be ill or die, and the other will actually stop eating and simply huddle in a corner. I had one pair of neutered bucks, Max and Toby, that were my special house bunnies. Toby was seven years old and had suffered from severe neglect most of his life. When he became ill, he was too elderly and infirm to fight it. I brought his body home from the vet and set it down in the pen with Max so that he would know what had happened and be able to say goodbye. Max circled Toby for several minutes, pawing at him and grooming his fur, doing everything he could to get him to wake up. When Toby wouldn't get up, Max scooted into the corner and began to thump. (Stomping one hind foot in an alarm call.) Within a matter of days, Max stopped eating and went into a decline. He died within a week.

    Sorry, this got longer than I meant it to.
  4. cutechick2010

    cutechick2010 Songster

    Quote:AMEN!! I took in one who had lived in a 1 1/2 by 2 cage for all of his three years, I had to do some actual physical therapy with him to not only get him to move, but help to stretch his muscles so that he could move without hurting himself.
  5. txcarl1258

    txcarl1258 Songster

    Sep 11, 2010
    I to was a victim of the "cute" rabbit business when I was in high school. I had around 5 breeding does and a few bucks. I raised several litters a year and was able to sell them regularly. I did make a "little" money on the side, but not enough to make it worth my while. I do have a rabbit now and plan to get a doe or two for him. I am raising them solely for my family's consumption. Their manure is fantastic for gardening though. I have not found a better natural fertilizer than rabbit manure. I would suggest if you raise rabbits to use them for your own meat consumption or for your garden. I do know several breeders who have found a "niche" market for meat pens in the local livestock shows. They only breed for these shows and do breed a few more litters to put in their freezer.
  6. emvickrey

    emvickrey ChowDown Silkie Farm

    Mar 5, 2009
    Hornbeak, Tennessee
    You all have convinced me that this is a bad idea. Although it didn't take much. He wants to breed them for meat and for Easter. I am all against the Easter Bunnies. Mos of them if not all will end up dead with just a short miserable life to speak of. I have gotten 3 more t let me pet them tonight. One will push my hand away fron the others for me to pet her.
    And no wonder the buck I took out is all deperessed acting. He is in the hutch right next to his does and he can see them but not be with them. So it's probably torture for him. I should put him back I reckon so he will be happy. I didn't know they mated for life. DH had planned to rotate does so they don't get over bred. There are 7 does for the 2 bucks of the breed I have no idea what they are and then there are 4 does to the 1 buck of lion heads. There is one of them that has really long hair and is almost white. She's a light smoky color. She won't let me near her and she desperately needs to be groomed. Her hair is getting matted.

    I've got to make sure to talk DH out of selling the bunnies.
  7. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

    Nov 27, 2009
    Wilmington, NC
    Quote:They don't. Most rabbits are perfectly contented to have a cage to themselves. From what I have heard and read, the rabbits that savage any animal that enters their space are normal, the ones that are "bonded" are an unnatural product of our recent interest in making cuddly pets of them. The domestic rabbit's wild relatives may sometimes live in groups, but they are still fiercely posessive of their individual space (their burrows), and will attack any rabbit that enters it. There are no friends among the wild rabbits, they generally live short, brutal lives. We want our bunnies to be sociable with us, so we are creating a sociability where none existed before. If I can keep rabbits together for extended periods, I consider myself lucky, but I don't count on it.

    I once had a litter of 5 bucks that was born to a Jersey Wooly doe. I weaned them by removing the doe, leaving the boys together in their 2' x 4' "home" cage. They were squabbling a bit amongst themselves, but I didn't take it too seriously. I should have. By the time they were 10 weeks old, the most dominant one had mutilated the others to the point that I had to sell them all as snake food. This was the most extreme case, but I have had many animals, both bucks and does, that had to be caged by themselves once they reached puberty. Some animals may continue with the juvenile behavior of sociability as adults, but many do not.

    I thought that the buck would kill the babies if he was still in with them. Is that not true?

    I can't say about every buck, but I can tell you what I've observed. I have done some "colony breeding" with older rabbits on occasion, and haven't always gotten the bucks out before the babies began arriving. I have never seen a buck show any interest in the babies at all, of any kind. I have seen him pursue the newly kindled doe with obsessive vigor, and I have seen the doe running, and stomping, and jumping in and out of her box, as the buck chased her. I have also seen multiple does trying to use the same nest box, and seen babies dug out of the box and scattered around the cage by another doe preparing to kindle. I suspect that the buck is getting blamed for damage that is actually being done by does.

    I have also had to wean 4 1/2 week old litters because their mothers kindled a second litter after one of these fiascos. My advice to anyone who wants to do colony breeding, is to keep very good records, and separate them before they kindle. Convenience isn't the only reason that most rabbit breeders keep rabbits in individual cages!​
  8. cassie

    cassie Crowing

    Mar 19, 2009
    The question was, can you make money breeding rabbits. Yes you can. I did. Not a lot but enough to make it worthwhile. I raised meat rabbits for a number of years. New Zealands. I had a market for my fryers and I had good stock. Does that bred readily, had good sized litters and cared for same. Someone said something about keeping large rabbits in small cages so their meat would be tender. Never heard of such a thing. Meat rabbits are generally fryers and they are marketed at about 8 weeks. People who keep rabbits in too small cages are usually people who don't know any better and have them for pets. Not because they want to keep the meat tender. Which is why I got so I refused to sell rabbits or baby goats for pets.

    To me rabbits are meat. This whole neutering rescue thing is completely foreign to me. I feel kind of like the southeastern Asians I would see at the fair looking at the potbellied pigs all done up with pink collars and leashes.
  9. cutechick2010

    cutechick2010 Songster

  10. cutechick2010

    cutechick2010 Songster


BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: