Could you post or describe your meat rabbit digg?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by obsessed, Oct 9, 2008.

  1. obsessed

    obsessed Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 3, 2008
    Slidell, LA
    So I found the rabbits and the feed place. I am ready to start my meat rabbit endeavor (I hope I don't end up with pets). I have a family of five and was thinking that a trio would be great to start with. Could you guys describe you habitats for me?

    How much room? etc..... etc.... and for anyone in the south how you deal with the heat.....
     
  2. obsessed

    obsessed Chillin' With My Peeps

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    1
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    Jan 3, 2008
    Slidell, LA
    Is there anybody out there?
     
  3. Maidservant

    Maidservant Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 20, 2008
    Norwich, Norfolk, UK
    My bucks stay in cages that are approximatly 2ftx3ft. My does stay in cages that are 5ftx4ft. When the does aren't nursing a litter, they are in the same size cages as the bucks. I have mine outside, but I live in NC, so it never gets too cold here. A few nights below freezing is all we ever have at most.

    A trio would be a great start. That would allow you to see if you are willing and able to butcher your rabbits and actually eat them. Do not feel bad if you get sick the first few times or if you can't eat the meat for the first few times. It took me about six months to be able to eat and enjoy rabbit meat again. My dad used to raise rabbits when I was around 5, and we ate them all the time then.

    Where are you located? If you live in an area that doesn't get hard freezes, water bottles are great. If you do get freezes, crocks will be the way to go during the winter. For feed, I do recommend using J-feeders. They allow you to fill the feeder (or give a measured amount of feed without needing to open the cage, and most will have screen in the bottom to sift the dust out so the rabbits don't inhale it and get upper respiratory infections from it. If they don't have a screen or small holes on the back side, you'll just have to empty it of the dust every few days.

    Get or build two nest boxes for the does for when they have babies. I can take pictures of mine tomorrow if you'd like.

    Always provide good hay for the rabbits, preferrably free fed (all they want). It doesn't need to be horse quality hay, but you want it to be fairly fresh (each years first cutting is better for rabbits because of the higher fiber content), and you want to make sure that there is absolutely no mold! Mold kills rabbits.

    I feed my rabbits standard rabbit pellets, and one or two days per week during the winter, I will crack some corn for them (I have a small grain mill, not a necessity, but nice) and give them some oats in addition to their pellets and hay. I choose not to feed alfalfa or timothy hay to my rabbits, just because of the fact I am highly allergic to both of them. Mine typically get fescue hay or oat grass that I have cut and dried. For treats, dry old fashoned oatmeal/rolled oats are the best. Don't feed iceburg lettuce, it has too much water in it. If you are going to feed greens and grasses, be sure to start out slowly, and remember, just because they may eat it doesn't mean you want to eat it. Anything that goes into them will ultimately go into you.

    One thing on the wire for the cages, for the sides and top, be sure to get one inch by two inch (maybe one by 1 1/2), and for the bottom, don't get anything bigger than 1 inch by 1/2 inch. Don't use hardware cloth for the bottom unless you feel like replacing the floor every year.

    I'm trying to think of other things that you'll need to know, but I've been taking care of my rabbits for so long it's just become second nature and I don't even think about what I do any more!

    If you'd like, check out the rabbit section of Homesteading Today (it's another great forum). www.homesteadingtoday.com

    I hope that I've helped at least a little, and if you have any questions, feel free to ask them!

    Emily in NC
     

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