Tag Archives: hutch

Rabbits For Your Table – Getting Started

Many breeds of rabbits are produced commercially in this country. Some of the most popular breeds are:

Breeds Size Use Mature Weight (lbs)
Angora medium wool; meat 9-12
Californian medium meat 8-11
Champagne d’Argent medium meat 9-12
English Spot medium meat 9-13
Flemish Giants large meat 13+
New Zealand medium meat 9-12

Rabbits are classified according to their weight or hair. The weight categories are small (3 to 4 pounds), medium (9 to 12 pounds), and large (14 to 16 pounds). For meat production, medium-weight New Zealand Whites are considered to be the best, followed by Californians.

The market for Angora wool is small, and the wool is usually sold directly to individuals or organizations buying for mills.</p

Housing

The rabbitry should be an enclosed building that has proper ventilation, lighting, heating, and cooling systems. Heating cooling and ventilation are crucial because rabbits do not tolerate temperature extremes very well. You should maintain the herd on a year round schedule of 12 hours each of light and darkness to keep the rabbits breeding throughout the year.

Many different types of hutches can be used. However, all metal cages help prevent unsanitary conditions that can lead to health problems. Mature bucks and does should have individual cages that are at least 30 inches wide, 30 inches deep, and 18 inches high. Each cage should have a feed hopper and a watering system attached to the outside of the cage.

Nest Box

A nest box should be placed in the hutch prior to kindling (birth) to provide seclusion for the doe and protection for the litter. Nest boxes should provide enough room for each doe and her litter but should be small enough to keep the litter close together. During cold weather, bedding such as straw or wood shavings is also recommended.

Maintaining a sanitary operation will help you prevent disease. Earth and concrete floors are acceptable but require frequent cleaning. You should have concrete walkways between the cages and should remove accumulated manure at least four times a year.

Cages and nest boxes should be cleaned and sanitized after each use, and the hair should be burned off the cages.

Raising worms under rabbit hutches can be successfully combined in indoor operations or outdoor operations if the climate is moderate.
Worms will consume the manure and any spilled feed, which will eliminate some of the odor, waste, and labor associated with manure management while providing an additional source of income.
Composted rabbit manure may also represent an income opportunity for sale to homeowners.

Breeding

Medium-weight breeds (9 to 12 pounds) are able to start breeding at 6 to 7 months of age, with males maturing one month later than females.
Because outward signs of heat are not always evident in mature does, you should follow a strict breeding schedule. One buck can service about 10 does but no more than two to three times a week.
Place the female in the buck’s cage for breeding. Never bring the buck to the doe’s cage because she will fight to protect her territory. Mating should occur immediately, and the doe should then be returned to her cage.

The average gestation period lasts 31 to 32 days. Twenty-eight(28) days after breeding, place the nest box in the doe’s hutch.
The average commercial litter consists of 8 to 10 kits. Forty eight hours after birth, you should observe and count the kits, removing any dead animals. Remove the nest box 10 to 20 days after birth. The young are weaned in about 30 days, so you can expect an average of five litters annually per doe.
Under proper management, a good doe will continue to produce maximum sized litters for 2 to 3 years.

Nutrition

Two types of nutrition programs are used for raising rabbits, hay and grain diets or commercial pre balanced pellet rations. Pellets meet all of a rabbit’s nutritional requirements and are more convenient than formulating a hay and grain ration.
Pregnant does and those with litters should receive all the feed they can eat in a day. Bucks and does without litters need 6 to 8 ounces of pellets a day.

Rabbits require fresh, clean water all day, everyday. Automatic watering systems offer a continuous water supply while reducing waste and contamination.
A doe and her litter need 1 gallon of water a day in warm weather. Rabbits also enjoy receiving small amounts of greens as a treat.

DIY – Rabbit Hutch – Building Your First Rabbit Hutch – Easy To Build Plans
DIY – Build A Rabbit Hutch – Raising Rabbits For Table Meat
Rabbit Hutches and Rabbit Cages
Rabbit Hutch and Little Known Rabbit Facts
Rabbits for Fun, Profit and Food – Hutch or Cage – Whats My Best Choice?
Hutches and Housing your New Rabbit
Raising Rabbits In The Cold Weather Of Winter
Rabbits – Record Keeping – Equipment And Supplies

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Happy Fall gardening

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Rabbits For Table Meat

litter of kits Many people keep rabbits for table meat. To be successful as a rabbit breeder and grower you must first remember the 5 – P’s. Prior, Planning, Prevents, Piss-poor, Performance.

If you plan to raise rabbits for your own consumption(Not for sale) you will need 1 doe(female) cage, 1 buck(male) cage and 1 (large) feeder cage for raising your kits to butcher weight.
Almost anyone will have a place they can use to raise rabbits. Rabbits require little space and if you do your part in keeping their cage/pen area clean have little or no animal smell.

Rabbits come in all colors and sizes from the tiny Britannia Petite and the Netherlander Dwarf @ 1.1 pounds to the Flemish and Spanish Giants @ 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? Bass Cages & Hutches Remember, smaller is not better for a breesing doe. In my opinion a doe cage must be at a minimum 30 inches by 30 inches and 18 inches tall.

Cages 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 high humidity. When breeding rabbits during the summer months, you must implement a cooling system that will allow your flock to successfully breed.

Air temperatures at or above 90%F can cause temporary sterility in bucks. Your Doe may not breed and even if she does she may miscarry, abort her young, ignore the newborn, or deliver outside the nest box on the wire floor rather than in the next box.

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. Ceiling fans are also a good choice.

If you have freezer space, use large soft drink bottles filled with frozen water. This will provide a primitive air conditioner for your rabbits. They will lean against the bottle for relief. This is an efficient, affordable method and will increase your rabbits’ survival rate.

It is essential to minimize stressing your rabbits. Stress lowers your rabbits’ immune systems, making them more susceptible to illness. You may successfully breed rabbits year round as long as you implement a plan to keep them comfortable.

The good news is you have your hutches or cages in an enclosed structure that you remodeled or constructed. You have successfully breed your doe. After 31 + or – 2 days one way or the other, your doe delivers 6 or 8 hairless kits.
Now what? Conception to Weaning

Cold winter days can present challenges for rabbit growers. Temperatures that are near freezing for extended periods of time and moderate to strong winds that lower wind chill temperatures can pose serious health problems for newborn, young, and adult rabbits.

Keeping newborn and very young rabbits alive during the winter can be challenging. Adequate nutrition plays a role in survivability of newborn and young rabbits.
Does must provide milk for newborn and young rabbits so they can try to generate their own body heat. A well nourished rabbit is better able to cope with cold conditions than a malnourished rabbit.
Newborns and young kits can be protected from cold weather by using nest boxes lined with grass hay.
In extreme cold weather adult rabbits will benefit form grass lined nest boxes as well. It provides a warm place out of winters cold wind.

Hint Have 2 soda bottles and watering tubes for each cage, one can be thawing out while the other is attached to your hutch or cage. Replace water bottle morning and again before night fall.

Hint Don’t over look the benefits of having a source of rabbit manure for your garden.

Hint Save a ton of money. Plant a 4ft by 8ft or larger bed with alfalfa to provide a good quality supplemental hay to feed your rabbit(s).

All About Raising Rabbits by DebMark Rabbit Education Resource, is a series of 8 ‘Must Read’ pamphlets on every aspect of raising and breeding rabbits.

Not from the USA Please leave me comment about your home town and country.

If you see or read something you like Please Share By Re-blogging, Twitter or Email To A Friend.

Why is common sense so uncommon?
Don’t be Shy. Leave me your comment(s)