Butchering Colony Rabbits in Winter?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by catcrazy37, Aug 22, 2017.

  1. catcrazy37

    catcrazy37 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you have a colony of rabbits breeding throughout the winter, do you butcher them? I'd think butchering below zero would be a bit difficult. But, if you take the buck out during the cold months, that's half the year lost, for me anyways. How does this work?
     
  2. Zoomie

    Zoomie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When I raised rabbits for food, I butchered whenever the kits were the right age. Right through the winter. I'd just wait for a relatively nice day, and then work fast.

    Where do you live, that the daytime temps are below 0? I would probably not butcher on a day when it's below 0, but in the Rocky Mountains, although it does get below 0, it is not that temp all the time. There are even days in the middle of winter where the temps are high enough we wear T-shirts... as long as the wind is not blowing, lol.
     
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  3. catcrazy37

    catcrazy37 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Heh, heh. Should've quoted. Toronto, ON Area. Dec-Feb is pretty cold the way through.
     
  4. catcrazy37

    catcrazy37 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh, sorry. These are estimates by the way. Do not live in that area right now. Would it be warm enough during the day? The temperatures I can find don't specify.
     
  5. Zoomie

    Zoomie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've never lived in Toronto, but I've lived in Montana in the winter. There are days when it's pretty good, really. Of course, in the summer, we all think it's "cold" when it gets down in the 50s F, but in the winter... 50F feels like it's super warm! Anything over freezing, and I'm taking off my coat. I would think Toronto would have days where it gets above freezing.

    As long as it's not snowing super hard, and the wind isn't blowing too bad, I can butcher a rabbit. Does not take long.
     
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  6. catcrazy37

    catcrazy37 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay, so it's doable with the ups and downs of weather. That's good to know. Thanks for the replies!

    I'm thinking of growing out the litters in a tractor, separate from the main colony. Any tips for overwintering a rabbit tractor? I'm thinking plenty of bedding, a tarp over it. Is there anything else I should do?
     
  7. Zoomie

    Zoomie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, I guess it depends how deep your snow gets. In some of the places I've lived, it gets way too deep, like, 3' of snow on the ground all the time and sometimes a lot deeper. I kept mine in a 3-sided shed or a barn because of that.

    One thing I did about water: I used small dishes that had sloping sides, so the ice would come out easy. Each morning and each night, I'd give them hot water, as hot as it came out of the tap. I know it sounds weird but they liked it. And think about it, when it's cold, we like hot tea, hot cocoa etc. By doing it twice a day the rabbits had two times a day to get a good drink of liquid water.
     
  8. catcrazy37

    catcrazy37 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've considered keeping them inside, certainly would be easier than prepping them all up outside. Especially if you have 3 feet of snow!

    And definitely bowls over bottles. Cracks and cracks and the ice never comes out. Do you reckon I should give them timothy tea lol

    Thanks a lot for the info!
     
  9. catcrazy37

    catcrazy37 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Do you reckon it's worth keeping them outside, or should I just move them in?
     
  10. Zoomie

    Zoomie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    To answer your last question: I can't really answer it, but this is my approach. I ask myself if what I'm doing is providing me any benefit, or if it's creating more work than benefit. If it's creating more work, I try and think of a different way to do it. Personally, I don't want to have to shovel snow off of and all around my rabbits to feed and water them every day, so I put them in a barn. Then I just have to shovel a path to get in there. I don't know your set up, your area, and I have never lived there so I don't know the weather. Hey, maybe it never snows in Toronto! (Kinda doubt it. LOL.) You'll have to figure out if you are just creating tedious work for yourself or if keeping them outside really has huge benefits that outweigh the work.
     

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