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Any mamas raising domestic meat rabbits? - Page 3

post #41 of 70
it looks like phyllis and gladys are going to give birth in the next couple of days. they're lining the nest boxes with fur and acting oddly. they say they're planning to uc, breastfeed, and cosleep. i'll support them in any way i can, right up until i eat their young.

when do i breed them again? can they be breastfeeding and pregnant at the same time like me, or would being pregnant with multiples while nursing multiples be too much for them?
post #42 of 70
We gave up.... The adults were getting so bony, we were feeding them constantly and more than the feed store girl told me to, but they just weren't thriving. The babes also were not very big at 6 weeks, so we decided to give these away and we are going to pick up again once we move. I think part of my problem was the mix breeds, next time we will buy pures.
post #43 of 70
Thread Starter 
Josybear, loved your post about your ap rabbits!

I have my does on an 8 wk schedule. Meaning that I rebreed at 4 wks after they kindle. I breed, then over the course of the next week, I wean one or two bunnies a day until they are all weaned. That gives the does some time to be by themselves before they kindle again. As long as they are getting lots of nutrition (dry milk or goat milk in their water for a few days after they kindle really helps) and plenty to drink, they should be fine. When I go in to check on does I know should be kindling, and see new babes, I offer a piece of banana or sweet potato while I check out the nesting box. Banana is also great for them if there is a problem such as a retained baby.

Oceanseve, sorry to hear your rabbits weren't thriving! Any clues as to what went wrong? I'll do some checking into why they would be losing weight as I get a chance.
post #44 of 70
The only guess I had was that maybe they caught something while they were at the shelter. We never took them to a vet and they could have had something or maybe worms, which would have ment more money sunk into them. We just opted out for now.
post #45 of 70
my rabbits now have babies. the baby thing is a huge long saga that i will blog about then link to here.
post #46 of 70
Thread Starter 
I don't do facebook or myspace, but I'm looking forward to reading about the babies!

I just removed nesting boxes a couple of days ago. All the buns are bouncing around everywhere, lol. We have to have butcher day this weekend or next. I have nowhere to put the new ones when I wean them! We'll have 9 or 10 to put in the freezer.
post #47 of 70
Thread Starter 
Here is a pic of some of my rabbitry.

post #48 of 70
wow, that's really professional-looking! i'm impressed.

does anyone know about combining vermiculture (worms) and rabbits?
post #49 of 70
Thread Starter 
Thanks! That's only part of it. We have another 2-tier section on another wall. We have quite a few more hutches (scored big off of freecycle and craigslist!) that we are going to use in our 'outside rabbitry'. We'll use it only October thru June, though. Just too hot here. It will be the area where we grow out our freezer rabbits. Inside right now it smells like crap. Um, literally. We installed an exhaust fan, but even though it's for the correct square footage, maybe we need more. It's been raining and humid, and even with the a/c and frequent manure removal, the ammonia smell is bad right now. BTW, our rabbitry was originally a steel carport w/a 10'x20' shed. We are going to enclose the outside part really soon.

Worms....Am planning to start that soon again. I did it for awhile, but the heat got too bad and we didn't have a good a/c yet. They have to stay pretty cool. I may rethink it for us, actually. We are in Texas and it just doesn't stay that cool here, lol.

My production estimate is that between December and June, we'll have at least (this is being conservative) 108 rabbits to put into the freezer. That is w/6 does. I'm so excited! :
post #50 of 70
here's the whole story: http://584blog.blogspot.com/
post #51 of 70
Thread Starter 
I read it. So cool that you have babies. Sounds alot like my first time w/breeding, lol. I made my rabbits nesting boxes out of floor wire and hardware cloth (the floor wire that is used in all wire hutches). I have to zip tie the nesting box to the wall of the hutch so the mama can't tip it over. Also, we put up 'baby saver' wire all around the bottom of the walls of the hutches. It's about 4" high, and we used the same floor wire. Last few times we had babies, none have escaped and died from exposure.

As for the doe who had her babies on the wire, that is usually either a) an inexperienced mama, b) bad mama instinct, or as it sounds in your case, c) no nesting box soon enough.

They should have a nesting box on the 27th day after mating. Sooner and they may use it as a litter box. Later, and well, they won't have their babies in the right spot.

One time we had a mama who had a nesting box, but insisted on making her nest in the corner of the hutch. She would keep pulling the hay out of her box and putting it in the corner. I would put it back and she would do it again. She ended up having the babies in the corner. I put them all in the nesting box after they were born and she kept them there. Next time she kindled (that was her first time) she 'got it' and had them in the nesting box. She just had to get the hang of it. My rabbit mentor says she gives her girls 2 or 3 tries before she puts them in the freezer for having them on the wire.

post #52 of 70
you have a rabbit mentor? a wise old rabbit that gives you advice? wow.

i guess you're my rabbit mentor, come to think of it.
post #53 of 70
Thread Starter 
Lol! :d
post #54 of 70

I raise Flemish Giants

I have been raising FG's for about a year now and I am still learning.

I like my FG's. The have a mellow temperament and these that I have are quite hardy as I do not do a lot of "babying".

I have made a big ground pen to give them an exercise/breeding area.

Does anyone have any thoughts about raising rabbits on the ground? ALSO

I have done some hard culling in my herd. I always look at the "innards" for disease.

Has anyone worried about eating a rabbit that may have Liver coccidia?

I have never thought about it until I started this "ground pen" project
post #55 of 70
Thread Starter 
Galloping Grannie, what are FG's? I can't think of that right now, lol. Anyway, welcome to the thread.

I would NEVER consider eating a sick animal. We just lost a doe (she stopped eating and lost weight). We autopsied her and she had a 'twisted gut'. (I have pics if anyone wants to see).

I raise my rabbits in all wire hutches as it is the best way to keep your herd disease free. I do not want my rabbits getting much exercise. They would be tougher to eat and as I said, more susceptible to illness.
post #56 of 70
Thread Starter 

Anyone else raising rabbits? We have 22 babies and I'm about to breed 8 does (5 of which will be first-timers). Our freezer will be full of rabbitt to last us through the summer. :
post #57 of 70
post #58 of 70
Thread Starter 
I just had a woman call me. She had bought a meat pen (from me) for her son back in December. They showed that meat pen in 2 different shows and won Grand Champion in both! She was so thrilled that they are going to buy more rabbits from us soon. :

I'm breeding 8 rabbits over the next few days.
post #59 of 70
We just started this year with rabbits. My dh has tried breeding 2 of the does and they did not take. We are not sure what happened. He has a book about rabbits that he's been reading and followed the steps given for breeding. We've tried breeding a 3rd one now and her "due date" should be coming up in about 2 weeks. Hopefully this one took.
post #60 of 70
Thread Starter 
garrettsmommy, How old are your does, and what kind of rabbit are they? Maybe I can help...
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