Meat Rabbits, What I've learned.

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Meat Rabbits, What I've learned.

Post by jjstyle on Thu Feb 15, 2018 12:06 pm

Hey everyone!

So I have been experimenting with rabbits for about a year now. My vision and goal has been to raise them in a natural way and environment.
What I did was I build several 4'x2' hutches and set up large pens on grass and moved the rabbits as needed to keep them on fresh grass.
I fed them with redmills commercial rabbit pellets, plenty of fresh water.
The we fed hay and fresh veg from our garden.

I had no issues with them burrowing to escape as they we content with the big pen and were fine as long as they had fresh grass.
I had no issues with disease or infections, predators, none of that was an issue.

What I have painfully learned is that some of the rabbits that I bought did not do well under these conditions.
from my best guess is that they have been bred and house in such a way that they had little to no immune system.
I did notice that as the baby's were born and kept in this set up the adapted just fine.
I lost 6 rabbits that I had bought over the past year.

Going forward I'm going to mainly keep the rabbits I buy in larger indoor cages and on good weather days I will give them a run for a few hours.

I'm going to focus this year on breeding, I have two does left and I believe at least one is pregnant at the moment.

If anyone has New Zealand Whites or Californian or a mix of either then get in contact if you would like to sell or exchange.

There are so few of these breeds I can find in Ireland so it would be great if we could set up our own connections.

Regards

JJ

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Re: Meat Rabbits, What I've learned.

Post by Drowned_pig on Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:19 am

Very interesting JJ we haven’t ventured into rabbit meat myself due to bad memories of an appalling rabbit stew my mum once cooked for my father
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Re: Meat Rabbits, What I've learned.

Post by Sean Ph'lib on Sun Apr 15, 2018 3:35 pm

Although being partial to rabbit pie, rabbit stew and roast rabbit, I have never kept rabbits as I keep myself well-supplied with the wild variety. But a neighbour of mine went in for rabbit breeding one time and he wouldn't allow anyone into the shed he kept them in unless they were dressed in special overalls and disinfected their boots etc. I think he kept at it for about twelve months and then he packed it in.
I wouldn't discourage anyone from trying it and, if the venture be handed over to a child, it's probably a very good way of teaching him or her responsibility and respect for farm animals.
As for myself, a stroll across the woods and fields on a Friday evening with the old double-barrell gives me enough rabbit dinners for a week or two!

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Re: Meat Rabbits, What I've learned.

Post by wayland on Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:54 am

We have kept Rabbits off and on over the years and will do it again. If there was plenty of the wild ones around I would not bother of course, but they are few and far between. What makes keeping Rabbits an ideal proposition for the budding self suporter is that they are easy to keep, take up next to no space, breed freely, feed can be easily gleaned from the wild, the pelts can be useful, the meat is high in protein and low in fat, and more healthy meat can be produced in a given area than any other stock animal. So many good reasons if only a back garden is available, as was our case for a while.
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Re: Meat Rabbits, What I've learned.

Post by jjstyle on Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:51 pm

My new approach keeping rabbits seems to be working so far. I have 2 pregnant Does at the moment, one will be giving birth any day now and the other is about 8 days behind her.

Hopefully I'll be filling my freezer and belly with some good quality meat soon.

If only we had wild rabbits I'd go the route of hunting but I have seen 1 wild rabbit in the past 2 years we have lived here.

I'll keep you all updated when the kits are born.

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