Rabbits For Table Meat And For Profit – pt1

litter of kits Many people keep rabbits as pets. However pet rabbits is another subject I ‘may’ broach in a different post. For now I will restrict my post to rabbits for table meat and for profit.

To be successful as a rabbit breeder and grower you must first remember the 5 – P’s. Prior, Planning, Prevents, Piss poor, Performance.

Rabbits come in all colors and sizes from the tiny Britannia Petite and the Netherlander Dwarf @ 1.1 pounds to the Flemish Giant and Spanish Giant @ 15 or more pounds.
New Zealand white @ 9 – 12 pounds and the Californian @ 9 – 10 pounds are good choices for producing fryers. giant rabbit

Cages or Hutches? If you plan on having more than 2 rabbits, hutches are not very cost effective. On the other hand caged rabbits will need protection from Hot, Rainy or Cold weather conditions. A hutch provides fairly good protection from predictors, hot, wet and cold weather conditions. Face your hutch to the southeast or the east. Most places severe weather generally comes from either the north or from the west/southwest.
Cages on the other hand must be kept under over head cover or in a structure you renovate or build to accommodate your rabbit flock.
Mississippi State University said Things to consider when building rabbit facilities

Heat may be your worst enemy. Rabbits do not cope well in temperatures above 90 degrees and in high humidity. Their fur coat does not easily allow them to radiate body heat. Ideal temperatures for rabbits range from 50 to 60 degrees F. When breeding rabbits during the summer months, it is best to implement a cooling system that will allow your flock to successfully increase.

Heat stress can cause temporary sterility in bucks. As a result of heat, does may not reproduce. Instead they could miscarry, abort their young, ignore the newborn, or deliver outside the nest box on the wire floor rather than in the next box. Rabbits also can die from heat stress that can result in high mortality rates. However, heat stress can be prevented through methods that are fairly inexpensive and can be readily implemented.

Fans are one option for keeping rabbits comfortable during the summer heat. To avoid stressing the rabbits, do not allow the fans to blow directly on them. Instead, hang the fans above the rabbit cages and direct them to keep air moving above the cages; this not only will help the rabbits cool off, but also it will repel diseased flies. Many rabbit farmers prefer box fans only a slight movement of air is necessary. Ceiling fans are also a good choice.

If you have freezer space, empty soft drink bottles filled with frozen water can provide a primitive air conditioner for your rabbits. Be sure to remove the paper off the bottle before putting it in with your rabbits. Once your rabbits become familiar with their individual bottles, they will lean against them for relief. However! Implementing this on a daily basis can be time consuming since it requires refreezing the bottles each night.This is an efficient, affordable method and will increase your rabbits’ survival rate, increasing your rate of successful breeding and kindling.

It is essential to minimize stressing your rabbits that lowers your rabbits’ immune systems, making them more susceptible to illness. You may successfully breed rabbits from June through August as long as you implement a plan to keep them comfortable. Failure to do so will result in disappointment, frustration, a high mortality rate, and financial losses.

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9 responses to “Rabbits For Table Meat And For Profit – pt1

  1. Here in Australia, it’s not the heat that kills rabbits, but Myxomatosis (a virus deliberately introduced in the 1950s as Australia was completely over-run with rabbits at the time). Nowadays, if you want to keep a rabbit in Australia it basically has to be kept indoors under netting and flea-free as that is the only way to avoid mosquitos and fleas which spread the virus.

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    • mattb325 – Thanks for visiting my little blog and for your insightful comment(s).
      From reading I knew that Australia had introduced a virus to kill rabbits in an attempt to control their numbers. However I did not know how it was spread nor had I considered that this virus would be a problem raising meat ‘table’ rabbits.
      Thanks for your informative comment.
      Happy gardening

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  2. I am new to your blog and am loving it!

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  3. gloriamidwife

    Your blog post comes at the right time! I’ve been thinking about raising rabbits for meat and this is a great point to ponder and plan in advance. Will definitely be doing more homework before committing to the idea. Thanks!

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    • Re gloriamidwife Thanks for taking time to visit my humble blog and for your comments.
      If you search my archives you will find several posting about rabbits hutches and rabbit structures. You will also find a few ‘Free’ plans on how to build hutches and structures to house your caged rabbits.
      Hope your having a Happy Weekend

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  4. I remember being at the home of friends when one of their rabbits died of the heat. It was not pretty.

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    • You can’t hardly freeze a rabbit to death, but they do not handle 100+ degree heat well.
      Happy weekend and hope you have a productive garden

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