Wanting to get rabbits any tips???

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by chicken farmer, Feb 11, 2014.

  1. chicken farmer

    chicken farmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 7, 2012
    Southern,Ohio
    I'm wanting to get a hutch built and get a doe and buck and I'm thinking of getting new zealand whites,netherland dwarfs,and I'm thinking of a couple other breeds. I've read a lot on the internet and watched a few videos on Youtube so I know a lot about them but want to know if you have any tips or anything for a beginner to rabbits any info is appreciated...thanks!!
     
  2. GentFarmer

    GentFarmer Chillin' With My Peeps

    I own a rabbitry of New Zealand Whites, and I've learned a LOT. Chickens are my hobby. Rabbits are my business. I hope you aren't offended, but I do feel the need to slow a bit of your enthusiasm here.

    Rule 1: Don't get multiple breeds. Please. Stick with one breed, ideally. Two at the most. What you need to decide on first is the purpose for your rabbits. Are you wanting pets? If the answer is yes, I'd steer you clear of the New Zealands. If you are looking for meat rabbits, then the New Zealand is definitely the way to go.

    Rule 2: Even if you're planning on pets, you are buying breeders, so you'll end up having to process your fair share. I'd encourage you to turn off YouTube. :) There are some excellent videos on processing a rabbit (especially how to humanely dispatch one) that are good. But it's really quite difficult to get a read on them without actually visiting a rabbitry. Instead,

    Rule 3: Visit a rabbitry. If at all possible, purchase a litter (I know this approach runs contrary to what you're thinking) at 5-6 weeks of age, and raise them up to processing. Get yourself through that point, then buy your breeding stock.

    This approach scratches that itch of having them now. But it also gives you time to do more than get a hutch (I'm not a fan of hutches). I'm happy to share more, but I think this is enough for you to chew on for now.
     
  3. chicken farmer

    chicken farmer Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,505
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    Feb 7, 2012
    Southern,Ohio
    Thanks a lot! When I said new zealand whites,netherland dwarfs and thinking of a couple more breeds I meant I was gonna pick one breed out of those and get a buck and doe from one of those breeds,and I'm thinking of them being pets and selling kits
     
  4. GentFarmer

    GentFarmer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Ah! Well, yeah. That makes a huge difference. :)

    So, what you'll find is that you'll be hard pressed to sell kits unless you are an exhibitor winning show prizes, in which case people will search you out. You also do need to be careful about the selling of kits, as there are some odd regulations, both state and federal, that leave you open to a good deal of inspection and liability.

    No matter what you do, the one thing that is absolutely imperative: get pedigreed stock. Do NOT go on the cheap. Rabbits show faults easily, and you'll be amazed at how quickly flaws turn into full-blown issues when you're line breeding. As tempting as it might be to get a buck and a doe from Craigslist or swap meet, go to an ARBA-listed breeder who has winning breeding stock. You'll be thankful in the long run.

    Now knowing what you're after, I'd suggest you go with the New Zealand Whites. If you're looking to sell kits, the NZ is a great choice because they are so often crossed with others, and are often in demand. They're also a bit hardier, and their fur isn't quite as thick as some of the other breeds. Still, heat is the biggest issue for rabbits, so bear that in mind. I'm happy to help however I can. But I'd suggest you start here: https://www.arba.net/ and find a rabbitry near you and reach out. You'll find that rabbit folks are very friendly, but only after they know you're sincere. We get a lot of flack from activists, so don't be put off if you get the run around a bit at first.
     
  5. chicken farmer

    chicken farmer Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,505
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    Feb 7, 2012
    Southern,Ohio
    Thanks,yea I made up my mind and I'm 99% sure I'm gonna get new zealnd whites
     
  6. chicken farmer

    chicken farmer Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,505
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    Feb 7, 2012
    Southern,Ohio
    Cause you can sell them as pets,meat,other peoples breeding stock,4-h ect so theres a lot of ways to sell them for and I think I would do well with it
     
  7. GentFarmer

    GentFarmer Chillin' With My Peeps

    You'll want to avoid selling anything as "pets." There's more regulation for pet sales than there are for meat sales, believe it or not. You'll need to check your states laws. In California, I am allowed to produce meat and sell it directly (to friends, family members, etc.), but not to restaurants, markets, farmers markets, or wholesalers. Pets, though? Right out.

    Another option you might look into are Florida Whites. They're similar in growth rate to the NZ, but they top out at a smaller weight. I process at 5 pounds, which usually coincides with 8 weeks, or the time I'm taking them out of the doe's cage.
     
  8. chicken farmer

    chicken farmer Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,505
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    Feb 7, 2012
    Southern,Ohio
    Yea,that''s what they would usually sell for anyway is for meats abut than again I'm sure there is a lot of people wanting them as pets too. But I'm pretty sure you can sell them as pets in Ohio of course pet stores and other people sell them all the time.
     
  9. GentFarmer

    GentFarmer Chillin' With My Peeps

    It's not a state regulation, but a Federal USDA one. My rabbitry does not sell rabbits as pets or companion animals because of it. Just be aware that there are weird rules (and a lot of confusion) around rabbits and rabbitries.

    http://reason.com/blog/2011/05/25/usda-fines-family-90000-for-se
     
  10. chicken farmer

    chicken farmer Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,505
    74
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    Feb 7, 2012
    Southern,Ohio
    Wow I just read it,that's crazy and would suck. So it's fine to sell them as meat or not you think?
     

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