Meat rabbit question?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by stanglover2001, Aug 2, 2011.

  1. stanglover2001

    stanglover2001 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So, my husband and I stumbled into being rabbit owners (DH allows me to own whatever I want as long as we can eat it!) and we have a doe that had 7 babies and I havn't sexed them yet but I'd like to butcher all the bucks. Once the babies turn 8 weeks I know I need to move them outta momma bunnies cage, but I don't have a cage to put them in because we've been getting more rabbits to have several litters so we'll have a steady amount of rabbit meat to eat. My question is: Can I put the bucks in a chicken tractor and move them around until they're big enough to butcher? I was wondering if that would be harmful (mind you this is a well built heavy chicken tractor that I have never lost a single chicken to a predator) or is it ok to let your bunnies graze on the much cooler grass as opposed to going out and spending a but load of money on cages (most of my cages are fixer-upers from a friend who bought new cages, only 2 cages are new)? They'd have plenty of shade and I would probably put a fan next to them wherever they go. I'd love some feedback from someone who knows about rabbits and raising them to eat.
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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  3. stanglover2001

    stanglover2001 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks! That one is helpful!
     
  4. becky3086

    becky3086 Crested Crazy

    Oct 14, 2008
    Thomson, GA
    Unless the cage has wire on the bottom, I think it is likely they would dig themselves right out. I never tried it with my rabbits though. Mine were all caged.
     
  5. codymax2

    codymax2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My pet rabbits are always in moveable tractors. Thats the thing when they dig ya just move em and they can dig some more [​IMG] They love getting moved to new grass and I don't have to clean stinky cages.
     
  6. bagendhens

    bagendhens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    im planning on raising my meaties in rabbit arcs (as they are called in the UK) dont want them digging out just staple hardware cloth to the bottom, the only time they will actually be stood o n the wire enough to put pressure on the feet is the short time each day that you move the tractor.
     
  7. debilorrah

    debilorrah The Great Guru of Yap Premium Member

    My first bunnies as an adult were a pair of mini rex's and we left them in the coop for a couple weeks while we built them a cage. They dug out and we never saw them again. Make sure you have them enclosed and UP off the ground. Sneaky critters.
     
  8. AZ Rabbits

    AZ Rabbits Out Of The Brooder

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    What type of rabbits are they? Most meat rabbits (NZ, Californians, American Blues, etc) are ready to cull at 8 weeks for optimal meat/feed ratio.

    Personally, I'd recommend getting another cage for a holding area and wean them at 5 or 6 weeks and let them stay in there until 8 weeks and harvest them at that time. This will allow a quicker recovery for your does and allow breeding more often. Pregnancy is easier on a doe than nursing is.
     
  9. stanglover2001

    stanglover2001 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They're mixed, the momma is a californian/new zealand I think and the babies are mixed with either french lop, harlequin, or english spot.
     
  10. AZ Rabbits

    AZ Rabbits Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:Nice. I'd recommend my earlier suggestions then.
     

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