Livestock The nest box

Faroe

Un-spun
I keep three pens of rabbits, but none of them have been breeding since summer. Still don't know what was going on. (One doe may have kits, but she is free range, so they are in a tunnel somewhere - they will show up when they show up. ... although it is a bit past due from the time she was running around gathering nest materials.)

Another made a nest a MONTH ago. She was getting as big as a house, but no kits. Finally today. I didn't get too nosey about it, will check further later, but they are there. And, also this morning, the third doe was busy nest making. She is frequently a week early in her preperations, but I don't expect her to take a month.

It is about time. We were getting low on rabbit in the freezer.
 

summerthyme

Administrator
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Given that the average gestation period of a rabbit is just one month, that bunny who was preparing a nest for over a month was REALLY counting her bunnies before they were hatched- or conceived!

When we had meat rabbits, they were kept in large individual cages, and I brought them to the buck for breeding, so I knew exactly when their due dates were. Even so, there were some ODD things that went on in that rabbitry over the years, including the appearance of one blond, normal coated baby in an entire litter of Blue Rex kits. Except for being placed there by aliens, there is simply no possible practical explanation for that one!!

I'll admit, rabbit meat wasn't ever our favorite... we've switched over to raising meat chickens and probably won't switch back. But I've gotta admit, rabbits are probably the quietest, least obvious ways to produce some of your own meat, and they sure are the easiest to butcher! And in the event of TSHTF, they are a lot easier to raise feed for than chickens...

Summerthyme
 

Faroe

Un-spun
I've become so used to eating rabbit, that I prefer it over chicken. Maybe it is the breed (Champagne d'Argent), or the preparation? After butchering, I let the carcass soak in a bowl of salty water in the fridge for a day. I always butcher three at a time. After soaking, the meat is just simmered in a large pot untill tender. I take the meat off the bones and freeze in small baggies for dinner-sized portions.

I also really enjoy just keeping rabbits. They are a pleasure to watch in their family groups, They really do seem to enjoy eachother's company. If I didn't have meat rabbits, I'd keep a few French Angoras.
 

packyderms_wife

Neither here nor there.
Given that the average gestation period of a rabbit is just one month, that bunny who was preparing a nest for over a month was REALLY counting her bunnies before they were hatched- or conceived!

When we had meat rabbits, they were kept in large individual cages, and I brought them to the buck for breeding, so I knew exactly when their due dates were. Even so, there were some ODD things that went on in that rabbitry over the years, including the appearance of one blond, normal coated baby in an entire litter of Blue Rex kits. Except for being placed there by aliens, there is simply no possible practical explanation for that one!!

I'll admit, rabbit meat wasn't ever our favorite... we've switched over to raising meat chickens and probably won't switch back. But I've gotta admit, rabbits are probably the quietest, least obvious ways to produce some of your own meat, and they sure are the easiest to butcher! And in the event of TSHTF, they are a lot easier to raise feed for than chickens...

Summerthyme

My mom raised mini dutch rabbits and one year her doe kept throwing Californian crosses. She finally moved the buck in the next to the row of cages across the way and the crosses quit occurring. All she could figure out was that they were breeding through the wire cages somehow which would have been a sight to see since the wire on the cage sides was constructed from 1/4" hardware cloth. I guess where there is a will there is a way.

and in a SHTF situation you can tan their furry hides for a nice warm jacket.
 

Faroe

Un-spun
My mom raised mini dutch rabbits and one year her doe kept throwing Californian crosses. She finally moved the buck in the next to the row of cages across the way and the crosses quit occurring. All she could figure out was that they were breeding through the wire cages somehow which would have been a sight to see since the wire on the cage sides was constructed from 1/4" hardware cloth. I guess where there is a will there is a way.

and in a SHTF situation you can tan their furry hides for a nice warm jacket.
I have a few dozen dry stretched hides in boxes. Just never got around to tanning them, although I checked some tutorials, and the process doesn't seem to be too involved. Many of the hides are a few years old, and I hope they haven't spoiled. I had a bunch on a shelf in the tool shed that got eaten up by bugs. A pity, nevertheless, the bunnies can always make more. Tomorrow is another butchering day.
 

Freeholder

This too shall pass.
I'm debating trying again on the rabbits (I still have cages enough for five; some of the cages have had the bottoms taken off and been converted to chicken tractors). After talking to a friend who raises them, I'm pretty sure I was feeding them too much -- fat does won't breed. I prefer chicken meat, but like Summerthyme says, rabbits are easier to feed from the property, and easier to hide should that ever become necessary. Also don't require an incubator/brooder set-up, though good broody hens would take care of that. But actually, with a few chickens and the goats, we have enough meat, milk, and eggs for the two of us. The rabbits were mostly to supplement the dog food.

Kathleen
 

CnMO

Veteran Member
What size cages do you all use for your rabbits?

24x24, 30x30, 36x36?

Agree for shtf and to hide one of your meat sources, rabbits are the way to go,


Thank you for the help.
c
 
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