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Rabbit Breeding And Eating

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#1
Wolfsnaps

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I saw Sprocket posted her rabbit breeding pics in this section of the forum so I thought I could as well. 

 

I decided to breed rabbits a while ago. My husband and I planned to build a hutch. Well, his friends happened to have some rabbits and they gave them to my husband so we made a makeshift colony in our shed (hutch is in the works). 

 

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I think they prefer a colony style of living (more room, buddies to cuddle with) but sadly, I will be moving to a hutch style eventually. It is better for breeding and keeping track of things. 

 

My dogs do love rabbit but I thought I would try it myself. 

 

Marinating for stew

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rabbit stew (my favorite way of eating rabbit)

 

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On the grill whole

 

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Fried rabbit

 

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And I got to witness a birth today. My first litter! 8 healthy babies! She gave me 3 black and 5 beige. So exciting!

 

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Quite adorable

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I can't lie, it's going to be tough offing these babies when the time comes. I have slaughtered and dressed the rabbits that his friend gave us but they were already grown. But raising from babies? Oh boy. This won't be easy. But that is why I wanted to breed rabbits. 

 

Most of my rabbits will be dog food. My husband and I are just not as thrilled with it as I would have hoped. However, in the event of a zombie apocoalypse or something, I will have no issues with it. LOL I do plan on raising some meat chickens in the future as well. 

 

Here is a brief video I took. I have removed her and the babies since the daddy rabbit was trying to breed her WHILE she was giving birth (pshhh, men!)

 

http://www.youtube.c...eature=youtu.be

 


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#2
lauren43

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Not as thrilled with it, why exactly?



#3
Wolfsnaps

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There is slight gamey taste to it. It does taste similar to chicken and lots of people like it. I think for me, because I knew them, its more psychological.

#4
Wolfsnaps

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There is slight gamey taste to it. It does taste similar to chicken and lots of people like it. I think for me, because I knew them, its more psychological.

#5
GimMom

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Those adorable babies are why I can't raise them for meat. I think I'll stick to already dead stuff! But that's an awesome set up, I've had rabbit before but not since I was a kid. I'd give Gim rabbit, I wouldn't mind trying some fried rabbit, myself!

#6
Prey Model Raw

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We really like rabbit meat, our dogs on the outer hand don't LOL

I don't think I can do rabbits.....I have no issues butchering llamas we raise but those bunnies are cute!

#7
Wolfsnaps

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I totally understand not wanting to kill them. It will be a challenge for me. But I don't want to keep and of these babies as breeders because they are inbred! Its actually pretty common in breeding to inbreed but it creeps me out and I don't want to breed inbred animals. So these babies are destined for the freezer.

Natalie, NONE of your dogs like rabbit? Wow. It is Sargeant's favorite! Dozer likes it too. Hunter will only eat ground rabbit (who knows why! He eats Hare Today ground but offer him a meaty leg and he refuses.)

And llamas are cute too! Lol why don't we eat ugly animals? It would make things so much easier.
Gimmom, if you ever get the chance, try it! The loins are the best part! And I bet your dog would like it too!
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#8
naturalfeddogs

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We really like rabbit meat, our dogs on the outer hand don't LOL

I don't think I can do rabbits.....I have no issues butchering llamas we raise but those bunnies are cute!

 

For some reason, our dogs will eat wild rabbit fine, but not domestic rabbit. I don't know what the difference is.



#9
GimMom

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I'll definitely give rabbit another try. It's expensive, though. Most places I've seen it for $5-$6 per pound. But I'll get it as a treat or if I find a good deal somewhere!



#10
Prey Model Raw

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Nope, Zuri is the only one who'll touch rabbit

#11
Wolfsnaps

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If you live in or near a rural area, chances are there will be people around who breed rabbits. I have seen rabbit go for just around 2 dollars a pound (live weight) which is a pretty good price. If you don't mind slaughtering yourself, you can find good deals around Easter (yeah, sounds harsh I know, but I see a lot of meat breed rabbits being sold as Easter pets).

Rabbit is not a staple around here but it is nice for variety and to offer whole prey now and then.

After initial start up costs, breeding your own rabbits isn't too bad financially (depending how you do it).

To be honest, I would sell them as pets too if I could find a market for them (you know, for the especially friendly and attractive ones). But remember, pet homes do not always take good care of their animals. I actually took in a couple rabbits this summer from a "pet" home which was really a "neglectful" home. They got much better treatment here even though I am the bad guy for using them for meat. I gave them a bath, cut their nails, gave them fresh clean bedding, good food (which they often went without, poor things) fresh water, tree branches to chew, forage (grass, edible plants, etc) that I collected for them on my dog walks, etc. One of thew rescue rabbits..sad story. He was so severely matted that his skin was tearing. I cut many knots out of his fur. I went to brush him gently after he settled in and (honest to goodness, I was barely restraining him) he broke his leg. It snapped easier than a pretzel! I felt just awful and I put him down immedietely (which is such a shame because I wanted to use him as a breeder and give him a good life since he had such a crappY one). So he ended up feeding my dogs. The other rabbit that came with him is doing well. I plan to use him to breed.

I guess my point is, while I do kill rabbits (and use every part!!!) They have a good quality of life while they are here. Sometimes a short, good one beats a long, awful one.
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#12
Wolfsnaps

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Oh and I should add, that while rabbits are fragile things, I believe that rabbit's leg broke so easily was becasue he was severely malnourished and had brittle bones. Some rabbit people I talked to told me that which made me feel a little better I guess. Had he been healthy, that would not have happened. And I have learned from it had I thought about that I would have waited until he was stroner before trying to take all the mats out. I was just so worried about his skin and how painful it must have been. Poor guy :(

#13
GimMom

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Awww, those poor rabbits! I definitely think the break from being malnourished, you don't sound like a bunny abuser to me! I totally agree, a short, peaceful life is better than one drawn out in poor conditions. Animal neglect is the biggest problem I see when sharing shelter animals on my page, it's really heartbreaking to see people starve or mistreat their animals for any reason, especially just human laziness and generally being unwilling to take responsibility for a pet they supposedly wanted. You did your best for that little guy! :(

 

If I bred rabbits eventually, I'd do it for meat rabbits, to sell and if I had the nuts to do it, slaughter for the Gimbeast.. Because of all the crap I've seen online, I'd be wary of adopting them out to people for fear they'd end up in that situation, or in a shelter because people got bored with them.



#14
Britt0325

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I've had quite a few bunnies as pets so I don't think I could ever kill them and eat them myself but it's something I would be willing to do in the future for my animals to eat.

Wolfsnaps, that's great what you did for those bunnies. I definitely agree that it's much better for them to live a happy and healthy life as meat rabbits rather then neglected as pets. That's horrible that bunny was so malnourished like that. Poor thing. :(
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#15
Wolfsnaps

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Thank you, I appreciate that. Isn't it funny how you would not consider killing an animal to eat for yourself but you would do it for your pets? LOL

 

Here are the babies today. They are growing so fast! Their ears are longer, they have more fuzz, and they are already using those powerful back legs to kick around! A couple of the black ones are runts. They are not as boisterous as their siblings, probably not getting as much milk. Rabbits only feed their young once or twice a day and then leave them, so I have never seen mama feeding them,

 

 

bowlfullofbunnies_zps28c201b3.jpg



#16
Sprocket

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I know I posted on the other forum...but again VERY HAPPY for you!!!!  I recall how frustrating it was and 8 babies is awesome!

 

I have found that processing them is easy once they are big enough to cause damage to people.  I also don't find them as cute as other people do! 

 

I hope you post more photos.  How cool that you witnessed and filmed the birth! She pulled a ton of hair too! My does didn't pull hardly anything until the next day.  


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#17
Wolfsnaps

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I can't be positive, but I suspect another one of my females is pregnant. She seems pretty round compared to her sister. Time will tell. 

 

 

Today the babies are opening their eyes. 

 

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And their makeshift nest box. I need to make them a new one soon. 

 

rabbitbabynest_zpsf8a1f6c9.jpg


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#18
Wolfsnaps

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It happened again you guys!!!
 
 
I currently keep my rabbits in a colony set up. I personally feel it is best for the rabbits. However, it is not best for me, I never really know if someone is pregnant by keeping does with a buck. Some people only keep females in colonies to avoid this but I am short on space so until I fix this, I have a buck with my does. A couple of days before both of my females had their babies, I started suspected they might be pregnant because they started to look fuller in the abdomen. 
 
This morning I saw my second suspected pregnant female do this:
 
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Breeders call it hay stashing. Yep, she was making a nest. 
 
CAUGHT! I see what you did there, girlie!
 
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I figured I COULD watch her and see if she delivers but I was tired and sometimes they make a nest a day or two before they give birth. Having done some research, colonies are actually great for babies (males and other females do NOT eat the babies, or so I am told). My last litter I was overly worried and brought the mama and babies inside. This litter I am going to allow to stay where it is and see the difference. (I did move this nest a little because mama picked a spot too close to the water bottle and I didn't want the nest to get wet. 
 
Here is the daddy rabbit checking out his new babies. 
 
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I put them in my shirt to get a better picture (hard to see in the nest). 6 healthy babies! Not bad for a first time mom. That means I currently have 14 babies...LOL Now where to put them all???
 
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There was 3 black and 3 tort. 2 of the black ones had stripes on their face. 
 
rabbitlitter27_zpsa01fe5ea.jpg
 
 
Having babies around is such a good time :)

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#19
Sprocket

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You had better get that rabbitry built!  :D  or at least a tractor or two to grow them out

 

So do you think the dutch got with that doe since that baby had a facial marking? 



#20
Wolfsnaps

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I might modify the pvc tractor I have to grow them out if the shed is too small to accomodate them all. Just needs some more chicken wire added to the bottom so they can't dig out. I did not expose this female to The Dutch. Poor guy, he hasn't gotten any yet. I might keep a doe from one of these litters just for him. 






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