Livestock Rabbits

mecoastie

Veteran Member
So today we found out one of the two sisters we got back in April is a brother. They have been living in the same cage so I am going to assume that they have bred. They are now seperated. So we have 2 bucks and a doe. Got to find another doe.
 

summerthyme

Administrator
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LOL! That's rabbits! I got really good at sexing them around 4 weeks of age, but they can be tricky. How old are they?

Summerthyme
 
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summerthyme

Administrator
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We'll, at least she's old enough so it won't hurt her! Have you tried palpating to see if you can feel embryos? At a certain stage (I want to say 2-3 weeks after mating, but it's been a LONG time since I've bred rabbits... we raised and ate a lot of them back in the 1990's) you can easily feel them. Just gently squeeze the abdomen between your thumb and fingers, and they feel like very firm marbles.

You'll want to get a nest box set up and ready, just in case. It's generally not recommended to put a nest box in until 2-3 days before her due date, because if they aren't feeling the nesting urge, they'll use it as a bathroom. But in this case, without a solid due date, and cold weather advancing, it would probably be better to give her a box, and just be prepared to clean it and provide fresh bedding every couple of days. If you go to change it out one day and see some fur in it, don't clean it... just put it back quickly and let her do her thing.

One more thing... some does, especially inexperienced ones, don't pull enough fur to keep the babies warm. If she kindled, and the tiny ones aren't well covered, gently pull some fur from her chest area and add it to the next. You can even steal some from another bunny... supposedly they don't care about the odor. But when I had to do it, I always put a tiny smear of Vicks above her nose. By the time her sense of smell came back, the "strange" fur had already absorbed some of her odor. I filed that under "better safe than sorry"

We found we prefer chicken for eating, but rabbits can be an amazingly efficient (and stealth- quiet!) way to put meat on the table. One minor problem is the babies are so stinking cute!

Summerthyme
 
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mecoastie

Veteran Member
My daughter is planning to get a nest box in today just in case. Will try palpating this afternoon. Thank you.

I think I prefer rabbit to chicken. Part of our reason for the rabbits is the quiet They are cute. Before we got them we made a deal with my daughter. She had to try the meat first. Then if she liked it she had to process one. Although I killed it. She did both. Even with Darcy, now Mr Darcy, she is good with getting rid of him. I was impressed with her rationale. He doesn't fit with our plan and she already has a pet rabbit in her angora. Doesn't want to have to take care of an additional one that doesn't fit with the goals of having them.
 

mecoastie

Veteran Member
Picked up a new doe this afternoon. She is a year old and has had 2 good litters. Th woman who owned her was very nice and actually ended up giving her to us. Will get her settled in and see how it goes.
 

mecoastie

Veteran Member
We had our first litter yesterday. 5 healthy little kits!! I am as excited as my daughter. We had a couple failed attempts with our first time bucks but finally a success. Going to try to mate the other doe next week.

We ended up keeping both bucks. My daughter pet angora died suddenly so Mr Darcy is the new pet and now a successful father.
 

summerthyme

Administrator
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Fun! Just remember, they, er... breed like rabbits! Either butcher them at 8 weeks, or separate the bucks and does then. We butchered more than one pregnant 11 week old doe!

Oh... also... if you ever find an ice cold "dead" kit outside the nest box, unless its obviously stiff with rigor... quickly warm it up. I used to tuck the tiny buncicles into my bra while dashing into the house (that will wake you up quickly on a chilly morning!)Then I'd hold the tiny thing under very warm running water. Somewhere over half of them revived and thrived.

Too many people think the doe rejected the little creature, but what usually happens is the doe jumps out of the nest box with a baby still firmly attached, nursing. The baby lets go outside the nest box, but is helpless to get back in. Without the warmth of nest and litter mates, they get hypothermia quickly.

Summerthyme
 
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nchomemaker

Veteran Member
All of the internet sites about rabbits say do not breed brother and sister. If your raising them for meat, is there really any harm in it? I have two bucks because I haven't dared to breed my two beautiful siblings that are New Zealand and Silver fox mix. So I bred her to the other buck. My problem is I'm moving and can't take all of my rabbits with me/too many hutches to move, so I was thinking of selling the one buck. That would leave the two siblings and one other doe who is of breeding age now and just had her first litter 4 wks. ago. Agreed, they are the cutest of God's creatures. I have found selling the bunnies to be quite profitable. That was after I killed and butchered out a few litters. Although I do like the meat, butchering got old fast. I can still do it if I need to.
 

Freeholder

This too shall pass.
All of the internet sites about rabbits say do not breed brother and sister. If your raising them for meat, is there really any harm in it? I have two bucks because I haven't dared to breed my two beautiful siblings that are New Zealand and Silver fox mix. So I bred her to the other buck. My problem is I'm moving and can't take all of my rabbits with me/too many hutches to move, so I was thinking of selling the one buck. That would leave the two siblings and one other doe who is of breeding age now and just had her first litter 4 wks. ago. Agreed, they are the cutest of God's creatures. I have found selling the bunnies to be quite profitable. That was after I killed and butchered out a few litters. Although I do like the meat, butchering got old fast. I can still do it if I need to.
Rabbits are probably less prone to inbreeding depression and other inbreeding problems than any other kind of livestock. However, I wouldn't do too many generations close-bred like that -- full siblings. Can you trade the sibling buck for another buck? If not right way, before you are having to breed him back to his daughters by his sister?

Kathleen
 

nchomemaker

Veteran Member
Rabbits are probably less prone to inbreeding depression and other inbreeding problems than any other kind of livestock. However, I wouldn't do too many generations close-bred like that -- full siblings. Can you trade the sibling buck for another buck? If not right way, before you are having to breed him back to his daughters by his sister?

Kathleen
He is my favorite rabbit. He lets me pet him and his fur is so soft. I can't part with him. I sound like a child but there is precious little in my life that puts a smile on my face. So I'll be keeping him, I can use him to breed the daughter. I can breed his sister to my other buck. He is also 75% New Zealand. I just have to get a different hutch for him, one that doesn't weigh a ton.
 

Freeholder

This too shall pass.
I can understand keeping favorites. Do you have, or can you make, all-wire cages? Those aren't as heavy, and can be hung up under any kind of a roof.

Kathleen
 
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