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Getting Free Rabbits?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by UnlabeledMama, Mar 22, 2013.

  1. UnlabeledMama

    UnlabeledMama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We only have one rabbit (a doe given to us by a friend) so we have been looking for a buck and another doe. I saw an ad on Craigslist for free rabbits and called. The lady said she had one bunny and got another "female" for company and it wasn't a female. [​IMG] She now has 5 baby rabbits. When I told her that I wanted to breed she offered me the parents. I have a couple of thoughts.

    1. She had no clue what kind of rabbits they were - does that matter?
    2. She wants a "good home" for them. Should I tell her that I plan on raising their children for meat? Or just not mention it? I would not plan on eating my breeders.
    3. She said this litter was actually the second. She lost the first kits (stillborn, etc they all died within a week she said). She has now raised a litter, Should I assume she will be a good mother and that first loss was because she was young and didn't know what she was doing?
    4. Should I get any of the babies as well? I know she probably has no clue if they are male or female and I am not experienced enough to know for sure. I don;t see why I would need more then one buck ....

    I appreciate your wisdom!
     
  2. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

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    Whether you tell her what your plans are is entirely up to you, but know that some people are rather touchy on the subject of eating rabbits. [​IMG]

    The kind of rabbit isn't critical; they all taste the same. That said, most people prefer to work with larger breeds when consumption is the goal. You generally see better meat-to-waste ratios with the larger breeds, and you simply have a larger carcass to work with. It isn't as simple as "bigger is better," because the giant breeds actually have more bone and therefore poorer dress out ratios. What you are looking for is what is known as "commercial" type, the precise breed or combination of breeds is less important.

    Most does make a mess the first time out, but if she has now raised a litter, you at least know that this doe isn't hopeless. How well she works for you is one of those things that you can't altogether predict.

    I don't think I'd get any of the babies. A trio is enough to start with; if you are starting with mature animals, you'll have babies in a month or two. They'll need grow out space in surprisingly short order - be warned, "chicken math" kinda applies to rabbits, too!

    Good luck and have fun!
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2013
  3. UnlabeledMama

    UnlabeledMama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you! That's very helpful! Sometimes talking with someone helps clarify your thoughts. My mom is doing this with me and she wanted to get the breeding pair and a couple babies (the ladies said they were 3 months old so not much of babies really), but I just think that would be too much for now. I figure if we start slow it will be easier. Besides, we don't have cages for all of them!
     
  4. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

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    I wonder why my previous post wound up with that huge empty space after it? Strange.[​IMG]

    A lot of young rabbits become reproductively viable around 3 months of age, though most don't consider it a good idea to breed them until they get around 6 months old.If this lady hasn't separated the young rabbits by gender, she may soon have more rabbits on the way![​IMG]
     
  5. UnlabeledMama

    UnlabeledMama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was thinking the same thing!
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2013

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