Meat rabbit cage sizes and rabbitry plans? (Cold Weather)

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Jennings, Jan 4, 2015.

  1. New Zealand

    3 vote(s)
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  2. Californian

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  3. Florida White

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  4. Other (Comment)

    1 vote(s)
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  1. Jennings

    Jennings New Egg

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    Nov 13, 2014

    Hey guys, Im not new to raising and breeding rabbits. But i want to start breeding meat type rabbits for personal consumption. I love the all wire cages, they are so convenient and i can make them fast, but i live in Michigan. Is there anyone out there whom also live in a cold place want to share with me how they set up their rabbitry to survive the cold? Preferably with an all wire hanging cage construction of some type? An actual building of some sort i know would work the best, but after just constructing an insulated building for a serama breeding coop, money dictates it not feasible right now. I know adult rabbits can take a considerable amount of cold just fine,mine have always done fine, but is there a way to construct the rabbitry so i can have does kindling year round? Thanks :) (i have yet to choose between New Zealand, Californians, or Florida Whites so here's a little poll to on which breeds you guys like or have raised with the most success.)
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2015
  2. cityfarmer12

    cityfarmer12 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 18, 2014
    Missouri
    the rabbits will do just fine in wire cages outside, but kindling can be an issue in winter. heat lamps will help, as will insulated nest boxes with a bottom for winter ( removable bottoms so they can be cool in the summer and warm in the winter). Also, putting cardboard or wood around the cage to keep drafts off also helps. These are they ways you can have babies in the winter.

    After losing a few litters to the cold, i've started bringing a pregnant doe into the house about a week before her due date so she can get settled and have her babies where its warm (also means no extra electric). This works fine for me as i breed a lot in the warmer months, and only do 0-2 litters during the winter, depending on how many fryers i got i the freezer the past year. :)

    BTW, i choose New Zealand because they are large, have good carcasses, and are pretty hardy. Californians are about the same, but NZ's are cheaper to get (at least where i am. :)

    Good luck on breeding meat rabbits!
     
  3. hardscaper87

    hardscaper87 Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 25, 2014
    I agree city farmer, I'm in Kansas with the lows getting into the single digits the past few nights and have two does with kits outside. As long as you keep the wind and wet weather off of them the only electricity I need is the heated water bowls, as for my set up I will attempt to post some pics tomorrow for reference
     
  4. VKat

    VKat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 10, 2014
    If you go on youtube and search for Canadian rabbit hutch, you may enjoy the guys's ideas. They are outdoor, mostly wire, but with a wind break and housebox. I took a lot of inspiration from his plans when I built my hutch.

    Edited to add: I have a New Zealand doe and a NZ/California cross buck. She had her first litter in the cold and I worried at first. They are 8 weeks old now, and doing great. No supplemental heat. Just a next box made of wood inside their house box, also wood, gave insulation enough.
    For water, I switched from bottles to fortiflex dishes and just change the water twice a day.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2015
  5. Lloydc

    Lloydc Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 7, 2015
    Standard Rex are the best as you get fur and meat. But if you focus to much on meat quality you lose fur quality. Followed by the Flemish Giant who is better for slow grow out of a long period of time (20-30 weeks) then butchering for fur quality. The only difference if grown out to this age is then fur length. This is followed by the New Zealand White which is a good all round friendly rabbit that has fur, meat and pet/show qualities. NZ Whites don't look as good as Rexes when they are babies. This is followed by New Zealand Red and Black
     
  6. Lloydc

    Lloydc Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 7, 2015
    Florida Whites are good for a smaller meal.
     
  7. hardscaper87

    hardscaper87 Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 25, 2014
    I have researched the Florida white breed and really wanted them but had a very hard time finding any breeders close enough
     
  8. Lloydc

    Lloydc Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 7, 2015
    You could go with a Standard Rex that is white.
     

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