Rabbit breeding for dual or tri purpose

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by SuseyQ, Feb 21, 2016.

  1. SuseyQ

    SuseyQ Chillin' With My Peeps

    196
    1
    59
    Feb 5, 2016
    I'm looking to begin breeding rabbits. This is something new I'm researching and investigating the possibilities of. I'd like to breed for meat primarily, then fur, then sale of bunnies. Can anyone tell me what type of rabbit would work well for these purposes? I plan to start small, maybe 4-5 rabbits. I know they repopulate quickly. Does anyone have any suggestions?

    Thank You,
    SuseyQ
     
  2. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

    17,265
    2,313
    421
    Nov 27, 2009
    Wilmington, NC
    If you are breeding for meat, there are of course the reliable standbys of the Californian and New Zealand. If you get good animals as breeders, they both have a good, meaty carcase and a dense pelt. There is a slight problem with breeding for meat and fur; namely, rabbits are usually slaughtered at somewhere between 8 and 12 weeks of age, and the pelts are junk at that age. Oh, they may be pretty, but it's baby hair, it's molting - the truly prime coat doesn't come in until later, and the meat of the older rabbit is tougher. If you intend to use the pelts yourself, the lack of density may not be a problem, but fur production is a pretty special niche market. If you are looking to sell what you produce, meat and pelts kind of cancel each other out.

    If you have good, healthy, productive breeders, selling their offspring as potential breeders (or for people to slaughter themselves, some will do that) shouldn't be difficult. However, if you are thinking of selling as pets, the pet market generally prefers animals that will remain small. And while you certainly can eat smaller rabbits, it takes longer for them to get big enough to make slaughtering them worthwhile, and of course the meat is tougher because the animals are older.
     
  3. SuseyQ

    SuseyQ Chillin' With My Peeps

    196
    1
    59
    Feb 5, 2016
    Bunnylady,
    Wow, this is a lot of good information. I guess in that case I will just go for the meat producing rabbit as that is my primary need/goal. I've heard a few breads are good for both, but does that mean you are getting tough meat in order to get a good pelt? Such breeds being the NZ, American Chinchilla, California, Silver Fox, the Angora is more for the fiber, and the American Rabbit. What qualities do good animals have? Yes, I would sell as breeders, not as pets. How do I ensure I get good healthy stock to begin with?

    Thank you for sharing so much knowledge,
    SuseyQ
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by