MEAT RABBIT UPDATE!!! YEAR ONE

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by Gopherman, Apr 13, 2014.


  1. Gopherman

    Gopherman Sometimes I Wish I Could Go Back to Sleep Site Supporter++

    Ok, I've been raising these rabbits for a full year now and here's what I have figured out.
    1) They are freaky easy to raise!
    2) The cost of feed is only an issue when you have 80-100 rabbits.
    3) Cages,cages, cages! Start up cost including a covered shed to house them was right around a thousand dollars, get used to building them if you want to sustain yourself with rabbit meat.
    I have about 20. 6 are very large and I let them stay in there until its time to separate the babies from the mother.
    4) Clean Birthing boxes thoroughly and give the doe at least a week in the cage with it so her scent can be transferred to the box, otherwise she will just have them on the floor of the cage ans they will die from exposure.
    5) They cost right about $1-2 per rabbit in feed if you raise them for three months.
    leave them with the Mother for at least 5 weeks then sex them as best you can and separate them into growing cages.
    6) It's important to time your litters 2-3 litters at a time, doing this will allow you to place kits from different litters in growing pens together and limit the amount of pens required. they will fight if you try to place other in after about a month. The males will fight if you grow them out for more than 4 months together. They become Sexually mature around 5 months.
    7)I have 2 Bucks, one is a Flemish Giant Cross and the other a New Zealand. I have 11 Doe's they are all giant breeds ranging from 8-15 lbs.
    I breed them in 2's and 3 at time that way they have there litters on the same day or no more than one day apart. Rabbits will readily take care of anothers rabbits babies if they are roughly the same age, just put them in the nest.
    This is important if a doe has 12 and another has 8 you can put 2 in with the other doe and dramatically reduce the mortality rate.
    8) They taste like Chicken!!!
    9) Butchering them is hard for the first few times but after eating them for a while it gets a lot easier.
    They will jump around like a chicken even if you severe the head from the body! They are DEAD!!
    10) Earmites- THEY WILL GET THEM EVENTUALLY!
    Buy a tube of IVERMECTINE it is a wormer for horses, put a drop about the size of a pea on the end of a Q-Tip and shove it in the rabbits mouth, usually you will want to dose all rabbits with connecting cages, just to be sure. Done your problem is over. Oil in the ears is very unreliable we tried it. Rumors of affecting the breeding are a myth, I know!! One Flemish I bought had the worst case I'd ever seen when I bought her and after three day she was cured and has continually produced babies.
    Do not treat rabbits within 6 weeks of butchering, it takes that long for the Ivermectine to wear off, this is why you only usually need to treat them once, oil method takes a week and then you have to do it again to kill any hatch, and then they still come back!! Take this advice USE IVERMECTINE!
    11) DO NOT LET YOUR KIDS GIVE THEM NAME"S!!!!
    I have totally enjoyed the year I have had them, and, we have eaten close to 150 rabbits so far.
    If you have any specific questions feel free to contact me here and I'd love to help you out!
    Good Luck and its worth the time you put in.
     
    3M-TA3, Motomom34, BlueDuck and 19 others like this.
  2. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn Mosquito Sailor

    Thank you! I have raised rabbits. I had no mentor and read tons of books on the subject. I learned plenty from this short informative post. Ear mites were a never ending battle. I raised New Zealand whites. I had 8 large breeder and buck cages (2 bucks and changed them out, one ever other year to keep blood line strong). There might have been times I put the nest boxes in a bit late with little time for doe to imprint her scent. I had 16 grow cages where I finished out the weaned young (weaned at 4 to 6 weeks when it was obvious they were eating solid food and using water nipples). Butchering was still the worst. I would have nervous gassy stomach all day and usually ate little that day. With 6 breeders and 2 bucks, the total with unweaned and weaned young was 70 rabbits at one point of time. I butchered at 16 to 22 weeks. Again thanks for the tips and the post. I will use IVERMECTINE when I again take up the practice of raising rabbits.
     
  3. ditch witch

    ditch witch resident bacon hoarder Site Supporter+

    I've always used Campho-Phenique for ear mites. Works like a champ, though it IS a pill to have to keep doing it day after day. I have Ivermectrin around here somewhere. Haven't had mites in years but like you said, sooner or later.

    I always put the nest box in 2 days prior to kindle. Even have a thing on my Kintrax to remind me. Any sooner and my girls confuse it with a toilet. Only had one have her kits on the wire, and she was a 3 year old Lop someone gave me. First litter too late in life, wasn't surprised. My Champagnes have all been great. The Cinnamons are too young to breed ATM. Adding Blanc de Hotots this fall too.

    Still haven't butchered any. Every time I set a pen of culls aside for freezer camp, some snake breeder comes along waving cash and off they go. Then I take the money they paid me and go buy steaks, heh.
     
  4. Mike

    Mike Ol' Army Sergeant Monkey

    Great info, Thanks
     
  5. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    You could trade steaks for snakes for a change of diet....it would still be a paleo friendly variation. ;)
     
    Mike likes this.
  6. Mike

    Mike Ol' Army Sergeant Monkey

    I have eaten plenty of snakes. Not bad, chewy, but not bad
     
  7. NotSoSneaky

    NotSoSneaky former supporter

    Threads like this are why Survival Monkey is the best prepardness forum !
     
    Motomom34, Hanzo, oldawg and 2 others like this.
  8. Mike

    Mike Ol' Army Sergeant Monkey

    Agreed
     
  9. Mike

    Mike Ol' Army Sergeant Monkey

    Dad raised rabbits when we were young. Learned how to break their necks (fast kill), skin, and dress them when I was about 8. We never named the rabbits. Can't say the same about the calves we got. But second bunch of calves we got dad named. One was Steak, the other Hamburger. We didn't get attached to them, lol. We also raised goats. Good to eat, and the Nubians made wonderful milk. Learned to butcher them as well. Learned early the importance of raising your own meats.
     
    kellory likes this.
  10. -06

    -06 Monkey+++

    Hi Mike, please tell me you did not butcher Nubians for meat. They are such great milkers. We are having a rabbit butchering class at our gathering 2-3-4 May. Used to raise them also. Great food to meat ratio. Will do a tractor next time until near butchering time.
     
    Mike likes this.
  11. Mike

    Mike Ol' Army Sergeant Monkey

    -06, we had an over run of kids.... they multiply like rabbits. Yes, they are great milkers, some of the best and easiest milk goats to hand milk that I know of. I hope to get more when I get property. I want to have milkers. But looking into Boer's for meat. They look great.
     
  12. -06

    -06 Monkey+++

    Boers really are the "black angus" of the goats. Friends in a commune nearby raise them for meat. Nothing much cuter than a baby goat.
     
    Mike likes this.
  13. Gopherman

    Gopherman Sometimes I Wish I Could Go Back to Sleep Site Supporter++

    I have 6 goats Boar crossed with ?.lol
    I also have 5 wool sheep for my money the sheep are better for a meat source, they get bigger a ram will go 225 lb and a Billy will maybe hit 125 lb.
    They all birthed about the same time and the sheep have double the weight of the goats 2 to 1. Sheep meat (Mutton) definitely has an original taste to it. Goat taste like venison, but its tough if you don't slow cook it.
    The Mutton is indescribable as far as the taste goes. I am getting ready to slaughter the young ram soon. Maybe I'll make myself a vest out of the hide. (I'll make my wife do it actually);)
     
    Ganado, Yard Dart and Mike like this.
  14. Mike

    Mike Ol' Army Sergeant Monkey

    valid input. Thanks. Still prefer goat milk, but there are advantages to sheep, i.e. wool. But was surprised to know about the weight gain and the quantity of meat.
     
  15. -06

    -06 Monkey+++

    Hmmm, never thought about sheep for meat--thanks. Are they as hardy? Forage as well?
     
    Mike likes this.
  16. Mike

    Mike Ol' Army Sergeant Monkey

    I like sheep meat, what I've had. I could see having both types (goats and sheep) instead of just one source. I love gyros, and that is mutton. Sheep skin, tanned, makes a soft leather, as does goat skin.
     
    Motomom34 and Yard Dart like this.
  17. ditch witch

    ditch witch resident bacon hoarder Site Supporter+

    I can't stand mutton from wool bearing breeds. It's like the lanolin stench permeates the meat. When I got into sheep I went for the hair sheep for that reason, and then later moved into trophy rams. The difference in taste was huge, to me at least. I never tried the Dorpers though. Since they shed the mess off in the spring, I'd think they wouldn't get that funk like the woolies do. If I ever get the chance to get sheep again I think I'd run a Dorper ram over Barb ewes and see what they eat like.

    My show Boer bucks ran 200+... but they were fed high powered feed too. For meat, I'd go with the sheep, and if you run hair sheep with a bit of Mouflon in them, they won't be born looking for a place to die either.
     
    Gopherman, Ganado and Mike like this.
  18. Kingfish

    Kingfish Self Reliant

    Nice, I have been raising New zealand whites for about 6 years now ever since we moved here in 2008. It sounds like you have the bases covered. I have never had any trouble with ear mites. All of mine are clean and pink. We use a mixture of Alcohol and vinegar for our dogs called ALVIN. Clears up any mite in the dogs real fast. Use a q tip, pour some in swab and rinse. I am now expanding to a 14 hole outdoor pen with 4 large pen for young. We shall have to talk some more in depth as time goes on. My wife makes a fantastic rabbit pie. KF
     
    Yard Dart, Gopherman and Mike like this.
  19. Gopherman

    Gopherman Sometimes I Wish I Could Go Back to Sleep Site Supporter++

    I haven't had any issues with the sheep at all, i give the a wormer block every 3 months and they love it so much, almost make me want to taste it.
    Goat is actually the most consumed meat in the entire world, but they are really tough and you can always finesse meat in a bad situation. My German Sheppard hamstrung a yearling about a week after I got them so I put her down and butchered her, the meat was awesome, growing mint(actually its doing a little too well on its own) going to make mint jelly for the Mutton. MMMMMMMMMMmmmmmm!!!
     
    Ganado, Mike, Yard Dart and 1 other person like this.
  20. Gopherman

    Gopherman Sometimes I Wish I Could Go Back to Sleep Site Supporter++

    Must share That recipe!
     
  1. tedrow42
  2. Shotgunpapa
  3. Kingfish
  4. tedrow42
  5. ditch witch
  6. cabot
  7. Ganado
  8. Recon24
  9. Gopherman
  10. Gopherman
  11. Gopherman
  12. Seacowboys
  13. Seacowboys
  14. pgrass101
  15. Tango3
survivalmonkey SSL seal        survivalmonkey.com warrant canary
17282WuJHksJ9798f34razfKbPATqTq9E7