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So I am hitting the 2 year mark on my rabbit project.  I have not posted in a long time so thought i would update my

bunny blog.   So when I began this I started with a couple of NZ meat mutts.  good breeders but they did not get as big as the breed should.  In other words they never did reach senior weight.  I waited to breed until they were over eight months old and they only got to about 7 pounds.  The breed should reach 9-12 pounds.  OK so then I got interested in American blues wonderful breed.  Great meat rabbits.  but the lines I had gotten had no rear end and that is where the meat is at.  So since I really have limited space i decided to chage breeds because i did not have the room to develop a rare breed properly.

 

So now I am breeding Satins and Silver Martens.  With the Satins I get a nice meat rabbit and pretty colored and very soft pelt.  They are a  8 1/2 to 11 pound rabbit.  The martens are a smaller rabbit (kinda of like florida whites)

they range for 6-9 1/2 pounds with ideal weight for a buck being 7 1/2 pnd and a doe being 9 1/2 pounds  also very pretty and very sweet disposition.  I would really recommend this breed where kids are involved.  Easy to handle.

 

The grow out weights are a bit slower than NZ but they reach fryer weight within 10 to 12 weeks  so I am satisfied.  I am not a commercial rabbitry so 5 pounds at eight weeks is not necessary for me.  Nice when it happens though. 

 

This has been a huge learning curve.  The breeding is fun.  The cleaning is tedious,  The butchering well never the easiest but I usually butcher with friends and that makes it easier.  Really the hardest part of butchering is the taking of life.  the rest is just more cleaning. 

 

So what I have I learned

 

1) Rabbits are really an easy form of animal husbandry.  Yes,  you can have problems.  I have had plenty including a new buck that was saved from freezer camp when one of the 6 breedings finally took.  Now he's a Pro.   There will be weirdness and occasionally you loose babies. 

2) POO happens and Urine stinks especially in a bunny barn cleanliness is healthiness.  

3)Does can be really cranky starting at about 6-8 months depending on the breed however ususally become sweet again once bred.  Those that don't enjoy a trip to the artic cold.  No room in the barn for does that bite me (or any other rabbit for that matter)

4) As sweet as a rabbit can be they can also rip your arm up with claws that are incredilby sharp.  Keep nails trimmed and wear long sleeves or purchase knitted kevlar arm protection  (this was my choice works wonders)

5) Showing your rabbits can be fun but there are politics in every animal involved hobby.

6) Rabbits make good eating.  If you haven't tried it you really should.  no plucking involved.

7) Its hard to get away for a vacation . 

8) it is not cost effective but I raised it and know how it was raised.  Good healthy meat is not cheap.

9)  Don't cheap out on feed If you don't want to feed pellets make sure you are feeding quality alfalfa and grain mix

    The guide to raising rabbits is helpful.

10)  I know that this is so much more to learn.  If you want to learn about raising rabbits find some one who has done it for a while look at how they do it.  Mentors are great.  Anyone can read a book and teach a class but experience counts.   If they can't mentor you through the problems they are not a good teacher.

 

11) Experience is the only good teacher..

12)  This is not hard to do.  But they can be delicate in many ways.  Always be kind you and your rabbits will prosper. 

13) and lastly for now.  Watching rabbits breed is hilarious.  Especially the fainting squeeky ones.  

 

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Comment by J.P.Morgan Jr on March 28, 2013 at 8:07am

Treasa will have any breeding stock in the near future to sell? I really don't have any stock that I am settled with yet. jp

Comment by Treasa on April 20, 2012 at 7:01am

are you looking for a particular breed?   you can call me  six zero two.. six two eight... eight zero one four  I have a junior blue satin doe between four and five months she will be ready in the fall.  I also have a nest box full of Siamese colored satins.  I remember talking to you.    Its best to wait until they are about  or close to 8 months old and have finished growing. 

Comment by J.P.Morgan Jr on April 19, 2012 at 9:43pm

I knew about were you lived We had talk on the phone on when there may be an other class. I have 3 does and looking for a few more does. You had told me that I should wait for them to get a little older before I breed them so I thought itill fall gut get them now. Thank you jp


Comment by Treasa on April 18, 2012 at 9:15pm

It wasn't me I am near cave creek and union hills.   Do have some rabbit avaiable if you are interested.

Comment by J.P.Morgan Jr on April 18, 2012 at 8:38pm

I live in Tempe between Broadway and Southern. Some one just  posted they live between Broadway and Southern of Gilbert now I cant find there past Ph 480-338-2538


Comment by Treasa on April 7, 2012 at 4:23pm

was checking out craigslist today and OMG tons of bunnies available for easter.  Poor rabbits most of them will be discarded as soon as the get big.  Lots of New zealands available but the new zeleands I have and purchased in phoenix are not the greatest stock.  most are sold without papers.  How do you know they are an NZ and not a mix.  If you are starting to shop for meat rabbits.  find out what makes a good producing meat rabbit.  Granted they are all meat but you want to get the most bang for your buck.  So choose well.  There is a national New Zealand rabbit breeders association that might of of some assistance.  If you can find a good commercial breeder on the west coast that would also be a great source fro breeding stock.  But they n ormally keep thier very best. 

Comment by Mable on April 4, 2012 at 8:36pm

Just to many!!

Comment by Treasa on April 4, 2012 at 8:19pm

Hey Mable,  Long time no see.  was beginning to think my blog was invisible. 

Comment by Mable on April 4, 2012 at 8:16pm

Always been fun working with you and your rabbits! :)

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