How to feed a market rabbit??

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by MaddyRabbits101, Jul 19, 2019.

  1. MaddyRabbits101

    MaddyRabbits101 In the Brooder

    4
    5
    11
    Jul 19, 2019
    My market rabbits for fair weigh only 2lbs each and need to be 3.5lbs for qualify. I have only 2 weeks til fair. How do I get them to gain more weight fast? They are standard Rex.
     
    mixedUPturk likes this.
  2. cassie

    cassie Crowing

    5,820
    1,822
    381
    Mar 19, 2009
    I fed my meat rabbits pellets, period. You might try adding a little Calf Manna. Can't hurt. I am no expert, but it seems to me that it is a tall order to put 1 1/2 pounds on a rabbit in two weeks.
     
    mixedUPturk likes this.
  3. MountainGaurdian

    MountainGaurdian Songster

    102
    327
    116
    Jul 17, 2019
    North Idaho
    Your not going to increase body weight by 75% in two weeks no matter what or how you feed them. Is there a different class you could enter them in?
     
    mixedUPturk and cassie like this.
  4. MaddyRabbits101

    MaddyRabbits101 In the Brooder

    4
    5
    11
    Jul 19, 2019
    I know they are not able to fully gain 1 1/2 in two weeks. I have great water, hay and pellets out 24/7. The pellets have a show supplement, calf manna, and black oil sunflower seeds.
     
    mixedUPturk likes this.
  5. MountainGaurdian

    MountainGaurdian Songster

    102
    327
    116
    Jul 17, 2019
    North Idaho
    Do you feed any greens or hay or alfalfa or anything? Nutrition is one thing but one also needs to keep in mind that bacterial flora and fauna in the digestive tract are also incredibly important. On it's own the rabbit would live primarily on greens and grasses, I had one escape in 2012 when the cage was attacked by a dog and she is till out hopping around the farm happy as a lark. It has been interesting watching her eat over the years since she escaped, and without any pellet feed or grain or anything she is healthier than she ever was in captivity.

    You might a slow introduction to some greens and hay, rabbits love alfalfa and you might try some different grains in small quantity. For fattening I have found with most everything corn or dried peas are good, they work awesome on rabbits, chickens, goats, hogs etc.

    P.S.. I have never raised rabbits for show, but we have had up to 100 to 150 at a time raised for meat. One thing I noticed right off with our rabbits is that they really didn't care much for pellets. I had small tuna fish cans as pellet dishes in their individual cages and they eat through a tuna fish can full in a week generally or some would never actually eat the pellets at all.

    The main feed they ate was the weeds and grass that we would pick and feed into the cages each day, with the fresh greens they really wouldn't hardly touch the pellets. They also seemed to prefer leafy hay and alfalfa over the pellets as well. As for grain it was about like the pellets I could get them to eat "some" but like the pellets not a lot. Rabbits seem to have a great natural instinct for what is best for them to eat. I don't know if you are constrained to any feeding rules on these rabbits but from my experience if you want them to eat more, fresh greens are the way to go. I would stay away from most store bought vegetables and also be wary of any greens that might have been sprayed with fertilizers, weed killers or insecticides. Not a problem for me as I own my farm but in a town or city setting that would be a concern.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2019
    mixedUPturk likes this.
  6. MaddyRabbits101

    MaddyRabbits101 In the Brooder

    4
    5
    11
    Jul 19, 2019
    Yes I feed green. As I said in the post above the get as much hay as they want. They also get daily bowl full of greens and grass. They get have alfalfa pellet I mix in. It is hard to feed the alfalfa as the mom was still in the cage.
     
    mixedUPturk likes this.
  7. Little Red Birds

    Little Red Birds Chirping

    97
    144
    91
    Jun 6, 2019
    I suggest for next year using a different breed. One girl at my fair had a Rex meat pen and literally JUST made it over 3.5 lbs at 12 weeks on the day of show. If you want to use the rexes, EXPERIMENT!!! You could go get yourself a really heavy boned doe and a buck the same and see what happens there, or you could put a NZ in there to kinda help with growth, but you would need a couples generations to get the rexing back in. I raise American blues for my meat rabbits and just cross them with a blue NZ and they grow bigger faster
     
  8. MaddyRabbits101

    MaddyRabbits101 In the Brooder

    4
    5
    11
    Jul 19, 2019
    Update: They are now over 3lbs each and will qualify. For the Market pen here the have to be 70 days old at the most. In my option they do not grow fast enough in that time. The Rex are not always the best market rabbit but I signed up for it last minute and that’s what I had at the moment. Thank you guys for your help!
     
    Little Red Birds and mixedUPturk like this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: