Home Forums Homesteading Rabbits bred

This topic contains 20 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  PhilTheBiker 4 years, 5 months ago.

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  • #1678

    PhilTheBiker
    Moderator

    So I introduced the girl rabbit to the boy rabbit today. In 31 days I hope to have baby rabbits. 12 weeks after that I hope to be stocking my freezer. I should be able to re-breed once every 45 days and should be able to get 6 or 7 litters every year. Each litter could have as many as 10 rabbits. I hope to have 8 of those actually make it. With any luck I should be able to produce 100 – 140 pounds of meat a year from these two rabbits.

    I’ve been reading over the following guide.
    Breeding – AZ Rabbits

    I am already thinking of adding a second doe to my herd. However, I do worry that when it comes time to slaughter I might not have the passion for it. That is the reason I have not picked up a second rabbit yet. If I do get a second rabbit, it will probably be a Californian. I hear cross breeding New Zealand and Californians have babies that grow faster.

    Here is a photo of one of our rabbits from the end of March. The rabbit weights about 7 pounds now (maybe 2 pounds in this picture). Not bad really, in 2 months the rabbit gained 5 pounds. I hope to slaughter the young rabbits at 12 weeks and hope to get 3 – 4 pounds of meat off of them. I will find out if that actually happens!

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    #15683

    Andrew
    Moderator

    You are way ahead of me on actually implementing your homesteading.

    Just don’t treat them as pets and it will be easier. Also, you can go rabbit hunting in order to mentally prepare yourself for it.

    #15668

    DCortez
    Member

    I haven’t looked into it but how does the nutritional value compare to other small animals?

    #15670

    PhilTheBiker
    Moderator

    @andrew.anderson 13677 wrote:

    You are way ahead of me on actually implementing your homesteading.

    Just don’t treat them as pets and it will be easier. Also, you can go rabbit hunting in order to mentally prepare yourself for it.

    Actually the first two rabbits of mine are pets. I only plan on eating the babies 🙂 I doubt I would have the heat to kill these first two and they can bred for as long as 6 years from what I’ve read. I might keep one female from the litter to bread. I’ve also read a lot about the first time litters and the fact that 80% usually don’t survive. I’m hoping for 3 – 6 to make it from this litter and when they are three weeks old bred the mom again. Since rabbits from the time of conception to birth is just 31 days, then 12 weeks till they are big enough to be slaughtered I figured I’d give it a shot.

    I might barter another one of the litter so I can buy a 50 pound bag of rabbit food and plan on supplementing some of what I grow in my garden as rabbit food (mainly the stuff I don’t have time to either Can before it goes bad or stuff I know I can’t finish in a year like the 3 gallons of pickles I had last year which I still have two jars of). Right now I feed the supplement their food with some grass which has cut down on the amount of pellets I feed them. I’m very picky about what pellets I buy though, I read every label and probably spend a few dollars more on a bag than the ‘cheap’ stuff which still seems fine. 50 pounds of food seems to last about 3 months in the winter, hopefully longer in during the summer.

    I have actually thought about rabbit hunting. I guy fish that I catch, snap the necks so they don’t suffer, then clean them when I get home. I’ve never cleaned out anything larger than a fish so, who knows. I have to wait till rabbit season to go hunting. I’ve seen plenty in my neighborhood and even saw three today and wish I had my rifle and my hunting license to get them.

    @dcortez 13683 wrote:

    I haven’t looked into it but how does the nutritional value compare to other small animals?

    Rabbit is very low in fat, but I don’t plan on just eating rabbit here at the homestead. Considering I know how the rabbits are raised, what they are fed, what chemicals they are given (which have been none) , and such I know this meat will be good. I should get anywhere from 2 – 4 pounds of butchered meat off each baby rabbit after 12 – 16 weeks. I can leave the baby rabbits on the mom for 6 – 8 weeks which then means I don’t have to feed them, however, I think I want to start a second litter as soon as 3 weeks when the babies can be weaned.

    I plan on continuing to buy food (mainly 140 pounds of cow meat from a local farmer who doesn’t pump his livestock full of crap) and some processed foods (store bought stuff like Kraft Mac and Cheese because it tastes good). I’m looking for a local farmer that has a pig I can buy, or buy half a pig. I haven’t looked real hard, but there are plenty of pigs for sale.

    #15671

    PhilTheBiker
    Moderator

    And now I see that rabbit sells for $20 a pound in some places. Crazy, it sure doesn’t cost that much to raise rabbits! But wow, they sure make that photo look good!

    Rabbit Meat, Whole Natural Rabbit Fryer, Buy Fresh Natural and Organic Gourmet Meat Online

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    #15684

    Andrew
    Moderator

    If we are ever able to get a house out away from the city or suburbs I am hoping to have chickens, rabbits, a few peacocks (to kill the snakes), some goats and some cats and dogs.

    My dream to live in the country is expensive though. More expensive then I can afford at this point.

    #15672

    PhilTheBiker
    Moderator

    @andrew.anderson 13842 wrote:

    My dream to live in the country is expensive though. More expensive then I can afford at this point.

    I purchased my house on 1/4 acre for $33k.

    Friend of mine just made an offer on a house in AZ, 4 acres, 2,000 sq foot house, $40 – $50k offer. I’m pretty sure he’ll get it. Your dream of country living does not need to be expensive 🙂

    #15685

    Andrew
    Moderator

    Location is important to me though. That seems to drive up the costs.

    #15673

    PhilTheBiker
    Moderator

    @andrew.anderson 13853 wrote:

    Location is important to me though. That seems to drive up the costs.

    I agree very much. Location is everything. I would love to have 100 acres in a climate similar to the one between San Francisco and LA. Long growing season, hot weather doesn’t eat you alive, cold weather doesn’t freeze you to an ice cube. Land with animals to hunt, trees to provide shade, fields to plant and grow, water to fish in and generate hydro electric power, maybe a state with no income tax. That would be ideal.

    Till then, my little bit of heaven is right here 🙂

    You really can find some amazing deals on the market for places with a small to medium size house and 1/2 – 10 acres of land ranging from $20k – $100k in most states (probably not Rhode Island). Even in North Carolina right now there is a lot for sale in a price range that is affordable., but, like you said, location is important. It is very important!

    I’ve been following a blog, OUR 180 and the author of the blog talked about yesterday and his feelings on the location he had selected.

    #15674

    PhilTheBiker
    Moderator

    July 3rd our rabbit had a litter of 6. I plan on taking the largest doe (if I have any does, which I expect there should be) and breeding that back to the father. Selling one of the rabbits for cash to buy a bag of rabbit food and the other 4 rabbits will go into the freezer in about 12 weeks.

    #15667

    TeknaBuzz
    Keymaster

    Phil, you still thinking about doing pigs? I’ve read that even some of the most rural place with literally no kind of restrictions on land usage they still prohibit pigs as livestock and I rarely see anybody keeping hogs anymore.

    #15675

    PhilTheBiker
    Moderator

    My wife’s uncle is raising us a pig. Hope to have it in December!

    I rebreed our rabbit a while back and she started nesting tonight. I think I’ll have another litter of meat rabbits in the next 24 hours!!! I can’t wait!! And the first litter is almost large enough to put in the freezer!!!

    #15676

    PhilTheBiker
    Moderator

    I woke up to find 6 rabbits today. I’ll post a video over in the homestead phil video thread. Here is a photo
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    #15677

    PhilTheBiker
    Moderator

    I weighted the rabbits that were born on July 3rd. 3.5 pounds!!! Another 4 weeks and I should hit the 4.5 to 5.5 pound mark and then BBQ time!!

    #15678

    PhilTheBiker
    Moderator

    Butchered one of the July 3rd group of 6 rabbits. I had never done it before so I figured I’d take my time and do one. I ended up with almost 2 pounds of meat. Right now that ends up being about $1.50 per pound or so if I figure the rest of the rabbits will butcher out to about the same weight. I was a little sad at first and thanked him. Once I completed the process I saw a nice meal for my wife and I. She said this next week she is going to make rabbit and dumplings using her chicken and dumpling recipe. Sorry, no photos today, there are plenty of videos and pictures on the internet.

    The process took me about an hour. I think I can get this process down to about 15 minutes or less per rabbit as I continue to learn.

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