Raising rabbits for meat...how many cages to expect?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by fiddleblue, Nov 9, 2009.

  1. fiddleblue

    fiddleblue Songster

    Jul 19, 2009
    I'm considering raising rabbits for meat and want to start with 1 or 2 bucks and 2 does. So that is 4 cages to start. Does anyone have an idea, to keep a year-round rabbits for meat operation going, about how many rabbits would I be likely to have at any one time, after culling some of each litter to eat, and keeping some to breed? (Maybe based on what you have if you raise rabbits for meat...)

  2. duck walk

    duck walk Songster

    Jun 13, 2009
    white springs, fl
    at the time I had the bunnies I had 4 people to feed so I kept 8 does and 2 bucks...kept bunnies regularly in the diet/freezers...sure are easier to dress than a chicken/goose/duck...
  3. Wolf-Kim

    Wolf-Kim Songster

    Jan 25, 2008
    I asked about this not too long ago.

    You are going to want 1 buck and 2-3 does. Unless you have more than one breed in mind, 2 bucks for 2 does is overkill. I have 3 does and my buck still gets extended breaks between "business".

    Since I have 3 does and a buck, I have 4 cages. I do have a large spare that I'll boot the babies to, in order to grow them out. I'm only a week into my first two litters, so not sure how well my system will work.
  4. duck walk

    duck walk Songster

    Jun 13, 2009
    white springs, fl
    yeah...I had a large seperate pen to toss the babies in at weaning time to grow them out...one cage per doe and one cage per buck...I had lots of room to hang them under shelter and it worked very well...lots of good fertilizer for the garden...if I ever decide to stop with the chickens, I will turn the coop into a rabbitry...I had several different kinds...New Zealands and Californians mostly...and some mutts but they were just for meat and fertilizer so they did not have to be purebreds...I even belonged to the ARBA and went to MEETINGS for petessake...it was fun...now I am just an old grump and just like to sit on my butt and watch the ducks and the geese play and chase bugs...and the chickens, well, that is another story...I enjoy them and the eggs are great, but the ducks and geese have so much more personality and silliness...
    The bunnies are so cute...I enjoyed having them and have thought about brining a few in...but them I think of the cost of cages and feed on top of everything else...I ended up with another dog today that I was not planning for...poor guy is so thin...I am rambling...sorry...[​IMG]

  5. chinbunny

    chinbunny In a hutch

    Aug 24, 2009
    It doesn't hurt to get an extra buck in case something happens to the first one.

    As for cages, it really depends on how many you want to keep back for breeding purposes. I would say at least four extra cages. Because if yo get large breeds, its not always wise to throw several different litters in the same cage together. They do best in their own cages after they are weaned.
  6. AK-Bird-brain

    AK-Bird-brain I gots Duckies!

    May 7, 2007
    Sterling, Alaska
    I second having extra cages. With rabbits you can never have to many cages. I keep each adult rabbit in it's own cage, plus 4 cages for growing out the young. I get anywhere from 6-13 per litter no way can that many be raised in a single cage so every couple weeks I split them into smaller groups untill it's butcher time.
  7. gaited horse

    gaited horse Merry Christmas!

    Aug 14, 2008
    Fernley, NV
    You will take the biggest baby from the liter and put him in the new cage when you go to wean them and about two days later you will take the next biggest out ect.

  8. We have 4 cages for our main breeders and 4 grow out pens. Sharon has been after me to build another 2 grow out pens for overflow. The holding pens don't need to be super big but the grow out pens should have enough room for about 5 or 6 rabbits up to processing age. After the kits have their eyes open and are moving around good we take the doe and kits and put them all in one grow out cage, once they are weaned we seperate them into male and female cages. The extra cages do come handy since we grow out more in the spring and summer and much less in the late fall and winter, new born kits are a pain in cold weather.

    Steve in NC
  9. Overeasyplz

    Overeasyplz Songster

    Nov 8, 2009
    I raise angora rabbits for wool, and when I do breed i have to cull quite a few. I have to keep them for at leat 3-4 months before I start to butcher to allow for size and to see what their fiber production will be like. However the kids have named them all by that time and it is a tearful process. deciding who goes in the freezer, so i bought a pair of meat rabbis recently. I plan on having as many cages as possible. I keep 11-20 rabbits but only one litter at a time so I have two extra big cages to seperate the male/female fryers.

  10. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

    Jan 12, 2007
    Land of Lincoln
    I dont like to have "breeding animals", nor do I want to risk the does eating their babies, and so forth. (I've done it and it was not too bad but rather avoid feeding them all strictly for meat)

    Is it ok for me to ask around or buy "started" meat rabbits? How old would they be so I can just feed them meat rabbit ration and finish them when they are ready to be butchered. It has been a long time ago since I've raised rabbits. I am guessing from weaning to butcher would take me about two to three months???? I know Purina rabbit feed and green hay is to be used in front of them at all times with an occasional carrot or two. How many rabbits can I feed for myself and my five year old daughter? Do they need cages of their own or two rabbits in one cage???????

    We used to have Californians and mutt heavy breeds or Calif mix offsprings and they are great meat rabbits.

    Darn, I am HUNGRY for some BBQ rabbits!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by