Meat rabbit newbie here

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by LeslieG87, Dec 2, 2014.

  1. LeslieG87

    LeslieG87 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 6, 2014
    Virginia
    H I everyone,
    I moved this post from the rabbit thread below hoping for some answers. Guess I'm impatient ;)

    Just bought my first pair of meat rabbits. I already have two indoor diva bunnies (a lionhead and a mini lop)
    My buck I believe is a broken red New Zealand and my doe appears to be a NZ or cross. Honestly I wasn't too picky on pedigree since the meat from offspring will be for my family's own table. As a newbie I have a couple questions for the rabbit community....

    Do rabbits need free choice hay? I've talked to two well established breeders in my area now who don't offer it at all and never have. Both of these peoples' rabbits all are healthy and in excellent condition.

    Ok...now for the biggie...how did you do emotionally with your first rabbit dispatch/butchering? I have had no issue stewing a mean rooster or preparing venison my husband and I ethically kill while hunting, but I am a little nervous about how I'll do with this new adventure.

    Any input greatly appreciated :)
    Leslie
     
  2. N F C

    N F C dem crazy bones Premium Member

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    Dec 12, 2013
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    We started raising meat rabbits about 9 months ago. As far as hay, we usually put a good sized handful in their hutches when it's really cold. We figure it gives them a bit of comfort on cold nights and they do eat it in addition to their pelleted food.

    About the processing end of things, that's up to DH because I just can't do it. He did it for the first time about 3 months ago when we had 8 young ones to take care of. It wasn't something he enjoyed doing but he took care of them as quickly as possible and said a prayer of thanks when it was done.

    Hope that sort of gives you some idea of how we do it.
     
  3. LeslieG87

    LeslieG87 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 6, 2014
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    Thanks for the reply :)
    Do you have purebred bunnies or mixed/crosses? I'm realizing now I think I paid for rabbits that aren't "purebred" in the sense. Call it lack of extensive homework.
    I'm not too disappointed as long as the pair produce nice litters. This is why I guess it's called a hobby!
    The lady I got them from said the buck has proven to produce nice babies in the past. I paid $20 for each which in my area pedigreed rabbits go upwards of $50 to $65.
     
  4. N F C

    N F C dem crazy bones Premium Member

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    Dec 12, 2013
    Wyoming
    We have a pair of New Zealand and a pair of California. They are pure but not 'fancy' as in being show quality. We got all 4 from some friends so that may have affected what we paid for them, which was $30 for each pair.

    Funny story...about 2 weeks after we got the NZ's we noticed the doe acting funny. She was scampering all over her hutch with a mouthful of hay and being the newbie-numbskulls we were, it wasn't until she began pulling fur out that we realized she was preparing to have babies! We got her fixed up with a birthing box and got her in it about 30 minutes before she dropped a litter of 8. Of course we had to call our friends and tell them thanks for the bonus rabbits, lol. Turns out they had inadvertently sold us the wrong doe...we got the one they had mated, not the one they had not. We've all laughed over that one several times!
     
  5. LeslieG87

    LeslieG87 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 6, 2014
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    Too funny :lol:
     
  6. Lloydc

    Lloydc Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 7, 2015
    If you worry yourself about whether you will be able to kill them or not you will end up not being able to do it. However if you are desperate, hungry, need the rabbit killed and think of the burden it is financially you should be able to.
     

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