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Newbie meat Rabbit breed selection?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by kentuckychicks, Oct 10, 2013.

  1. kentuckychicks

    kentuckychicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We are getting set to get chickens and rabbits in the spring. That's to this site and internet research we had no trouble picking a breed. Rabbits are a different story! We are looking for a rabbit breed that has a few qualities....good meat to bone ratio, decent hides (not sure we will tan much but want to be able too), friendly personality and doesn't require a huge amount of space think calm rabbits. Doing internet searches you seem to come up with more pet rabbits that's fine for some people but we want them for meat. I wish you guys had a backyardrabbits.com site!

    I have looked at several breeds like the American chinchilla, silver fox and the Netherlands. But can't really seem to find a lot of info from people who keep rabbits. My husband is kind of against getting the white rabbits with the red eyes the California i think. Something about those freaky red eyes lol.

    Feel free to give my any advice! Im not locked into any of those breeds so any you know of that have the above things we are looking for im all ears.

    Plus we have been working on our coop for chickens and haven't started the hutch yet so really any advice i won't turn my nose up at. Thanks!
     
  2. kentuckychicks

    kentuckychicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Any advice on the rabbit breeds?
     
  3. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    I have raised rabbits commercially. For a profit you need good mothers that raise the large litters of bunnies with good feed/meat ratios. To accomplish this you need New Zealand Whites and Californians.

    Of course if you are just producing meat for the table you could use any breed.
     
  4. kentuckychicks

    kentuckychicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We aren't really looking to make a profit....yet. Just trying to get our feet wet. Do you sell the meat, hides or live rabbits? Are you making much of a profit? Are you doing pure breed or a mix of both? Are your rabbits friendly? I have two small girls who are animal people more than people people lol. Sorry wasn't meaning to play 20 questions ;-)
     
  5. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    My kids had pet rabbits. Mine were strictly commercial. I don't have my books in front of me.....

    But, yes I made money. I sold breeding stock and friers. A man came around every week and picked up about 200 friers. He hauled them from WV to a processor in NJ. I was a member if a co-op. He paid 90 cents a pound I think I had about 60 ents in every pound. A tidy profit.

    Most of my breeding does were california/new zealand crosses.
     
  6. onehorse_2000

    onehorse_2000 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have heard that the Californian/Zealand cross is a good meat rabbit also. We started with Zealand/Fox crosses, they are a nice rabbit, ours are friendly, and gain well. Our new buck is a Californian/Zealand cross and we have NZRs that I really like the personality on (very calm), that we are planning to mix in also, because I do want a very calm, but meaty butchering rabbit, not a pet.
     
  7. kentuckychicks

    kentuckychicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wow go you! Im not looking at anywhere near that many! Lol Im thinking two does and one buck to start and just breeding my own stock from there. Im a stay at home mom and with a garden, laying chickens, meat chickens a five year old and a two year old (that one is more work than all the rest together haha) I don't want to overwhelm myself. My five year old calls me magic mama because she says i see everything (strategicly placed wall mirrors hehe) but Im can't be everywhere at once!
     
  8. kentuckychicks

    kentuckychicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nzrs? Do your mixes have the dreaded red eyes? My hubby can be so weird! Seems you are looking for the same things I am, calm but still a source of food. That's very important with small kids. Is that a silver fox mix you have? Sorry I don't know near enough about rabbit breeds hence this post ;-)
     
  9. onehorse_2000

    onehorse_2000 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    NZR - New Zealand Reds. NZW - New Zealand White

    LOL, I don't call them dreaded, plus it is a meat product, I am not looking to make friends with them, I am looking for a healthy rabbit with good meat quality, don't really care how it looks. You may want to think about that, it is a whole lot easier to butcher something you are not attached to then something that looks like a cute fluffy, loveable bunny. New Zealand whites can/do have the albino eyes, but our crosses don't, but we crossed a cross to a cross and did get an albino doe this past breeding. Our Californian cross buck does have albino eyes, but that would have come from the New Zealand in him, as the Californians have brown eyes.
     
  10. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    Both NZW and Californians have pink eyes. Either breed with a dark eye is probably cross bred.
     

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