The search for good meat rabbits

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by BantyHugger, Jul 7, 2008.

  1. BantyHugger

    BantyHugger Songster

    May 23, 2008
    My family (6) wants to try meat rabbits. We decided this a few months ago. Some of you may know, we bought a pair of mutt rabbits. They turned out too small and we are selling them. I am now on the hunt for good breeding stock to start with. We have many breeders around with Californians,Dutch,Cinnamons,NZ,ect. What should i look for in a good rabbit? I hear a lot about teeth. What am i looking for there?
    I have friends that will let me barrow their bucks. I plan to get only a pair of females. How many cages will i need? If i ween at 2 months and kill at 3, will the babies need separate cages? What breeds do you guys suggest? When should i swap my old does for new?
    Any info is appreciated!
  2. BantyHugger

    BantyHugger Songster

    May 23, 2008
    Nobody? I know some of you guys raise these. Please help [​IMG] I want to get good breeding stock.
  3. I'm waiting with ya Banty [​IMG]
  4. chickenannie

    chickenannie Songster

    Nov 19, 2007
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2008
  5. AussieSharon

    AussieSharon Songster

    Dec 18, 2007
    I'm very new to meat rabbits. Got my first rabbits 2 weeks ago. Californians and New Zealands seem to be the 2 most popular breeds. Mine are a mix of the 2.

    As far as what to look for in breeding rabbits I'm told a "block" shaped buck and a long bodied female produce good meat rabbits.

    You'll need a cage for each of your grown rabbits and if you're planning to raise them to 3 months for butchering they can all stay in the same cage, boys and girls.

    A great book that is available at most libraries is "Storey's guide to raising rabbits" Good luck!
  6. BantyHugger

    BantyHugger Songster

    May 23, 2008
    I'm leaning towards Californians. Thanks guys. I'll see about getting that book. Keep it coming!
  7. Southernbelle

    Southernbelle Gone Broody

    Mar 17, 2008
    New Zealands and Calafornians are the most common meat rabbits because they have a great meat:bone ratio (small bones for a lot of meat). Their pelts are white which is the most popular for fur trade, but you usually butcher at 8-12 weeks and a rabbit that young has a poor pelt anyway. They're fast growing and have been bred for generations for all the qualities you want in a good meat rabbit.

    I chose to go with quality purebreds instead of mutt rabbits because if I was going to make the emotional decision to process cute little bunnies I wanted to make sure I got as much meat for my trouble. I went with New Zealands because they're available in my area, they're good rabbits and all the babies will be somewhat boring and anonymous, so might be easier to look on objectively. I really like the look of Calafornians though and if it were available here, I might've gone that way.

    Good luck!
  8. penelope77

    penelope77 Songster

    May 6, 2008
    northeast oklahoma
    here's a nice list for you to give you some ideas. i like the meat mutts personally. hopefully when things calm down here i'll be able to play around more. my satin and nz/satin made beautiful babies. they make a nice compact meaty carcass. they aren't small when i say compact, they are just built different than the nz. whatever you decide i'm sure it will be a great time for you. best of luck.
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2008
  9. kiya4jah

    kiya4jah In the Brooder

    May 13, 2008
    We are just starting. We purchased a Rex buck and two NZ doe's. One will kindle in 2 weeks and the other is 3 month old. They will have about 10 to 15 young and we will butcher at 8 to 12 weeks then we will re breed the doe. I think you want to make sure that there arn't any genetic traits that will slow down the rabbits ability to gain good weight quickly. That is why teeth and health are important. If you buy bunnies you will want to go and look at the stock and the rabbitry you are purchasing from. Tooth problems will be passed down to the babies, so take a look.
  10. First To Hatch

    First To Hatch Songster

    Apr 30, 2008
    New York
    Some breeds you can go for:

    Champagne D'Argent
    New Zealand (any color)

    All medium weight rabbits. personally i like californians [​IMG]. Even if your breeding just for meat, you should try to get pedigreed registered/registerable rabbits. I mean with two does are you really going to eat all the meat they produce. If not then get pedigreed and registrable/registered rabbits, breed them according ARBA standerds. Maybe make some money off it if you have kids let them show in 4H have fun with it. Suggested to kill them at 8-9 weeks if fed right should be 4-6 pound fryers, the older the rabbit the tougher the meat, seperate them like a week before 3 months old, rabbits are very territorial animals I've even had some start breeding at that age too, the does from the same litter might be ok with eachother until you kill them, reccomended you start out a rabbitary with a senor bred doe, 2 junior bucks and a junior doe, after the senor doe weans her litter give her a week or 2 you'll have 2 nice doe ready to breed 2 bucks ready to show off there talent and a pen of fryers ready to be eaten. With two bucks not alot of inbreeding, they say once you inbreed you can never go back... keep your herds strong points and there flaws never outcross and bring in new flaws. I know alt of this stuff from Storey's Guide To Raising Rabbitis.... you should buy it very informational.... or if you wanna save some money can always hit me up with an email asking your question I practically memorized that book.

    Edited to say: when you wean them leave in one kit to let the doe dry up, you can wean basically as soon as 6 weeks id say 7 weeks is best and leave one for another week get them on solid foods and getting em to gain, got this thing aroung here on how to put fat on em I'll find it later if you want it.
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2008

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