Need to Know About Rabbits

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by PotatoChicken, Sep 12, 2012.

  1. PotatoChicken

    PotatoChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I want to start a herd of Chanpanes for meat and Englishs lops for "pleasure and profit". If anybody has anything important i should know, lay it on me!(actually anything i should know-Like the extreme basics!)

    -Potato[​IMG]
     
  2. Kevin565

    Kevin565 Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    If your looking for pleasure and profit you are going to want to start out with quality stock. Even then there's a chance you will still be in the hole. There's lots of competition when it comes to selling rabbits lops are especially popular down here already.
     
  3. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

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    The last time I saw English Lops for sale at a rabbit show, they were like $75 apiece, and that was what the breeder wanted for the pet quality. Not many people want to pay that for a pet rabbit, let alone one that is going to tip the scales at 10 pounds or more. English are really cool-looking rabbits, but they are kind of a specialty breed, without a huge market. I would really expect them to wind up like most "pet" breeds - a lot more pleasure than profit. I suppose they do have the advantage that they are big enough to make slaughtering them worthwhile if they don't sell as pets.

    Expect a lot of frustration and disappointment at the outset. I have often joked that people who believe in the saying, "breed like rabbits" has never tried it. And while you might think that in more than 25 years of breeding rabbits I would have "seen it all," they still manage to pull things that leave me shaking my head and saying, "well, girl, that's a new one!"
     
  4. punk-a-doodle

    punk-a-doodle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Elops are generally not considered good for meat due to their meat to bone ratio (very boney breed). Like many who discover the breed, my husband and I will now always have Elops. I've owned and known many a breed of rabbit, but none have come anywhere close to the Elop in terms of being a quality pet. I know several people (myself included) who will travel several states away and pay 60 to 100 dollars for the right Elop...as a pet! I really wish they would become more popular, rather than the flighty rabbits I tend to see go out as pets...and then quickly rehomed. I do not know if they are profitable or not, just that they have been wonderful for us.

    Elops have some special care requirements. They often do not do well in standard cages (prone to bumble foot in standard wire bottom caging, ears can get frost bitten if too cold, increased heat loss from ears can lead to them getting easily chilled, ears can be punctured or torn if kept I certain caging types especially if nails are not properly cared for, etc). For this breed, you want to check for...will have to look it up, but I want to say entropian...a rolling in or out of the eyelid, and poorly formed ankles or chests.

    *Snort* Our big buck just did a head over tail somersault off the bed. One thing love about this breed is that they seem to be more solidly built and able to take more of a tumble than many other breeds. This is his one crazy time of the day, and it is whenever my husband or I gets home. Other than that, we've found them to be a very low energy and extremely calm breed, and even our doe will snuggle for hours in one's arms. Great potential for therapy rabbits. We've had three, and none of them have shown iny interest in chewing/ripping anything other than hay (even our current 1.8 month old), digging, or otherwise being destructive...it is one reason I find them to be *the* best rabbit breed for an indoor home. Another is because all three of our Elops have been excellent with dogs and cats, and are often said to have this trait. The are not scared or panicky around them, and even actively seek out the dog who they've learned will groom their ears. Oh...ears. Most of the Elops I've seen have issues with wax build up and/or ear infections. Our buck does, our current doe does not.


    I wold go to some shows and talk with some Elop breeders. They will be able to tell you if the breed sells well, what to look for, what husbandry systems they use, etc. :). But as for pleasure, I can't think of a more pleasurable breed!

    PS, and when I say cuddly...I really do mean cuddly.
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    Last edited: Sep 12, 2012
  5. punk-a-doodle

    punk-a-doodle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh, and for basic rabbit care, I'm a big believer in ad lib Timothy hay (will help avoid dental issues), orchard grass, etc (but not alfalfa), with either a small ammount of quality Timothy hay pellets, or a larger ammount of rabbit safe plants (of which, many plants are not rabbit safe. Rabbits do not all do well on the same foods either. For example, one rabbit may tolerate broccoli, collared greens, cabbage, or related plants, but others will bloat or get very bad gas issues). I can not stress getting a high quality pellet enough. We lost our last doe to mycotoxin poisoning by just continuing to feed her the brand her breeder did without researching it. We nearly lost our buck as well, and now he has chronic GI stasis and digestion issues we must nurse him through unfortunately often as mycotoxins can cause permanent damage to organs and tissues. Not a fun experience at all! Our doe went from mildly not as interested in food (but still eating) to dead within two hours. Our buck only lived because he was chubby and thus we fed him less pellets. He could not stand up, and was weaving and discoordinated immediately after eating his pellets, which is the only reason we knew to look into the pellets as the cause.

    GI stasis is a big killer, and a sign that someone is not right. Many people lose their rabbits to GI stasis, so research it well. Digestive issues in general are pretty common. Rabbits have fairly delicate digestive tracts, and need to eat fairly constantly. Abscesses are another issue. They are common in the mouth, and also happen behind the eye. If you see a rabbit with one eye sticking out more than the other, do it buy it. Bumblefoot was mentioned. We dont see many of the diseases (illegal to vaccinate against things like VHD in the US anyway) here as often as they do over in Europe.

    For breeding related issues, I strongly recommend talking at length with breeders. As I recall, there are some rabbit STDs that an interfere with litters, and other issues you'll want to be prepared for. :)
     
  6. PotatoChicken

    PotatoChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Im sorry.I didnt exlain myself enough. Im going to raise Champagnes for meat and Lops for pets and selling offspring. Thank you for the info nontheless!![​IMG]
    I do intend to spend a good amount of money for quality lops and d'argents. punk-a-doodle: About the cage and the bumble foot, i'm biulding a kind of coop, i geuss, that is on top of a run that they can freely go in and out of. The inside of the coop will be covered in soft barley hay. and will be properly ventilated and will have a biult in heat lamp for the winters and cold nights. Thanks everyone.
     

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