Whats a good bunnie for a beginner-for dogfood

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by bwebb7, Dec 31, 2008.

  1. bwebb7

    bwebb7 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 16, 2008
    Brooksville, Fl
    My dog is a 208lb (and still growing) Mastiff and he is Raw-fed.
    His diet consists mostly of chicken backs and quarters and beef liver and ground beef. To give him more than chick (which I can afford) I thought I would try raising meat rabbits and then I could feed the whole rabbit (less the entrails) and enrich his diet while staying kind to my checkbook.
    What is a good meat bunny? how easy is cleaning? can you do anything with the fur?

    Over the years, I have had horses and dogs and cats and chickens.
    I have never raised bunnies!
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2008
  2. Omniskies

    Omniskies Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 7, 2008
    Try New Zealand Whites or Californians. They're much easier to clean than chickens - you just skin them. The skin can be tanned and made into whatever you want.

    Getting started in rabbits is just as expensive as getting started in chickens. If you plan on feeding him one 4lb rabbit a day you'll end up needing around a dozen does and a buck or two.

    Here's the math:

    30 day gestation period with 12-14 weeks growth means you're waiting about four months from start to finish with a litter of eight (average size).

    The doe can be rebred 4-6 weeks after the babies are born, so once every two months you'll be getting eight babies from a doe. In order to get 60 offspring you'll need around ten does (I'm rounding to a dozen in case a doe doesn't take one month or a litter is lost). Does have to be kept in their own pens and each litter will need 1-2 growing pens separate from her. So just for your breeding stock you'll need to build 12-14 cages, then another cage or two per litter as its growing.

    If you don't mind the initial start up then it could work out. Rabbit food is usually just as expensvie as chicken feed, if not a little moreso.
  3. Cetawin

    Cetawin Chicken Beader

    Mar 20, 2008
    NW Kentucky
    Well For starters...bunnies are hard to kill...at least for me. they scream like a baby and it is horrifying for me, so consider that if you have children.

    Secondly, the rabbit hides can be tanned and make nice soft fur that can be used for blankets, bags, decorative pieces under candleholders and etc. etc. Just save the brains from the rabbit and brain tan the hides.

    Third, cleaning a rabbit is not a big deal. Simple skinning from feet up and split down the belly is the easiest way I have found. The rabbit feet can be dried in borax and made into key chains and such.

    For meat, I always enjoyed the Dutch rabbits and the New Zealand standard whites. But that is really personal preference as long as it is standard sized and not a dwarf you are really good with most common breeds.

    Good luck.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2008
  4. Jenski

    Jenski Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 17, 2008
    Middle Tennessee
    Sounds like a good plan, but won't he need a small amount of "green" to even out his nutritional requirements? For my two pups I chop a bit of fresh greens and mix it into the meat; it somewhat replicates the stomach contents they might consume from wild game.

    There are also other vitamin supplements that might be worth investigating as well, depending on how far you want to complicate things. [​IMG]

    Good luck!
  5. bwebb7

    bwebb7 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 16, 2008
    Brooksville, Fl
    I do supplement with: Vit C, E and fish oil capsules I also feed him "raw green tripe" and cook brown rice and mix it with raw ground beef and he gets canned mackeral 1-2 times a week
    I do plan to add canned pumpkin but haven't yet:(

    Isn't that plenty complicated?

    I was just hoping to up his red meat?
    is rabbit red meat?
  6. snowydiamonds

    snowydiamonds Chillin' With My Peeps

    It is a lean red meat so your diet would need fat suppliments, you can starve without the fat, its happened to people in the past, eating rabbit alone- no fat, no good in the long run.
  7. chinbunny1

    chinbunny1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 30, 2008
    As a rabbit breeder, I find it best to wean the babies at eight weeks, and rebreed the doe a few days to two weeks later. Otherwise if you continously breed her back like that, chances are she will wear down easily and not have a very good productive life. Overbreeding that is uncontrolled can wear them out quickly. Plus its very stressful for a doe to nurse a litter while carrying one at the same time.

    I would say newzealands would be best. though you'd need quite afew of them to feed the dog every day. You can also use them for your own table too.
  8. bwebb7

    bwebb7 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 16, 2008
    Brooksville, Fl
    Can I just say thank you all so much for your thoughtful replies?

    I am planning on getting a few does so I can "Supplement" his diet.

    My husband is an avid hunter and he grew up with meat rabbits and meat chickens. While he's not interested in cleaning chickens I'll be able to get him to clean bunnies. But I'm sure I'll have to do a few to keep up appearances!

    Cetawin: thanks for all the math!
    Y'all are great thanks!

    Chinbunny1-I would keep the buck seperate and only re-introduce at about the time of weaning.

    Omni-Jenski-Snowy Thanks for your thought and input:)
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2009

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by