RABBIT help and advice needed!

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by OPIE, Oct 28, 2008.

  1. OPIE

    OPIE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Freeman Mo.
    Well I went and did it. I made a deal on 6 does and 1 New Zealand buck, 6 months old. .[​IMG] The does are 3 new zealands and 3 new zealand mix's. How old do they have to be before I can start breeding them? What is a good bedding to put in the nesting boxes? What is a good diet for them? Can I take there droppings and put them directly on my garden ? [​IMG] I know, lots of questions but your help is greatly needed.[​IMG]
     
  2. ChickenTender63

    ChickenTender63 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    if they are 6 mos, then they are old enough to breed. I used to use straw for their bedding, only when they were getting ready to have bunnies, and then they also line their nesting boxes with fur.

    Their droppings can go directly on the garden. It is not "Hot" like chicken manure is.

    We used to raise them and dress out about 300 a week. Most of those were New Zealands.

    We used to feed strictly rabbit pellets that we bought by 50# bag at the feed elevator.

    Good Luck!
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2008
  3. OPIE

    OPIE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Freeman Mo.
    Thanks cChickentender, this helps me greatly, how big where they when you butchered?
     
  4. ChickenTender63

    ChickenTender63 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    they were about 5-6 lbs and would dress out at 3-4lbs. You will loose a couple of pounds when you dress them.
     
  5. ChickenTender63

    ChickenTender63 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Where are you located?
     
  6. OPIE

    OPIE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Freeman Mo.
    Im in Freeman Mo. 40 miles south of Kansas City.
    When you said you lined the nesting boxes with fur, what kind?
     
  7. Maidservant

    Maidservant Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Norwich, Norfolk, UK
    First off, welcome to the wonderful (and furry) world of raising rabbits.

    Now, for your questions.

    ---How old do they have to be before I can start breeding them?

    I shoot for six months old for the larger breeds. You said that they were six months old already, so I would give them a week or two to get into a routine and get accustomed to you and a new place. One bit of advice, don't breed more does than you have #1 nestboxes, #2 kit safe cages, and #3 grow out cages!

    ---What is a good bedding to put in the nesting boxes?

    I don't use nestboxes until 3-4 days before a doe is due to kindle. I will put a handful of shredded newspaper (shredded by hand) and some hay in the cage. Let the doe do her thing for a nest. It may take a time or two to get the hang of it, but I've had does build nests completely out of fur instead of the things I've provided. You can also use a good clean straw. I prefer hay because the does are less apt to urinate on it and when the kits begin nibbling on stuff, they can eat hay.

    ---What is a good diet for them?

    This is a big question. Are you wanting to go as natural as possible or mostly pellets? I do what I can afford, but I typically do half natural and half "commercial." When there are greens in the garden, they get a good mix every day. They also get a feed mix (3 parts rabbit pellets, 1 part whole oats, 1 part whole wheat, sometimes 1/2 part cracked corn, but only if it's cold out) and unlimited hay. I free feed all of my rabbits, including the bucks. I've never had a problem with rabbits being too fat to breed, but some have. The main thing is to never let them run out of water, especially pregnant and nursing does.

    ---Can I take there droppings and put them directly on my garden?

    Yes. I rake under my cages once per week and give everything to the chickens, but that's because most of what is under the cage is hay, and my chickens love hay!

    If you ever have any other questions, feel free to ask them, either by posting here, pm'ing me, or e-mailing me. There are others on this group that will (and should) share their experiences with you, which is great since everyone has different experiences, tips and tricks to share!

    Hope this helps a little!
    Emily in NC
     
  8. Maidservant

    Maidservant Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:The mom will pull fur from her dewlap (flap under her chin) and her belly to line the nest with.

    Emily in NC
     
  9. ChickenTender63

    ChickenTender63 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    when we put the nesting boxes in the cage shortly before the doe was due, we would add straw to the nesting box and then the doe will pull fur from under her chin and build her nest mixed in with the straw
     
  10. OPIE

    OPIE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Freeman Mo.
    Man thanks SOOO much for all the advice, I will be posting regularly here about them.[​IMG] Wish me luck:fl!
     

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