Author Topic: Rabbits doing good despite the heat.  (Read 1168 times)

Offline saute86

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Rabbits doing good despite the heat.
« on: June 20, 2016, 12:36:08 AM »
My New Zealand Giant kindled 2 weeks ago. She had 12 kits and she lost a kit every 3 days for a total of 4. It was my fault for not having a foster doe to help in weening. In September I will breed 3 does at the same time so this won't happen again. This was her second kindle and she had 12 the first time and lost 5. She is a good mother and is a great nest builder. I bred her with a 6 month Californian buck. This was his first time to breed. I also got 2 Tamuk New Zealand White does and a buck. They are pedigree with papers and their grand sire and dam were bred at Texas A&M. They are 10 weeks old and already fryer sized. They will be ready to breed in September. The Tamuk pedigree was bred for heat tolerance, milk production, nesting abilities, 14 day breed back @ 8 kindles a year, 8 kits per kindle average, 12 weeks to fryer weight, low bone to meat ratio, 8 to 11lb mature weight, and a > 4 does per kindle. The rabbitry I got them from has had those averages for the past 2 years from 200 does. The numbers comes to 64 off spring per doe. At 3.5 lbs dressed that is a possibility of 224 lbs meat produced per doe. 3 does may produce 672 pounds of meat per year if I am lucky. Plus they are doing wonders for my compost pile not to mention all the worms. Here are a few pictures of the rabbits. The NZ doe is named spot, the Californian buck is named Bugsy, the 3 Tamuks have yet to earn their names and the kits won't be named but numbered.   
My hobbies are hunting, fishing, gardening and foraging mushrooms.
I have 27 years experience as a chef.

Offline Double B

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Re: Rabbits doing good despite the heat.
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2016, 07:58:23 AM »
Thanks for posting this saute86. Those are some handsome rabbits and if you end up with 674 lbs of meat that is a bunch. Looks like the meat benefit is only one of their many benefits along with the fertilizer they produce. What do you feed them? Are they a large expense? Do you slaughter them yourself?

I know that you are a great cook by looking at the recipes you post. What is your favorite way to prepare rabbit? I have eaten it only a couple of times in my life but don't have much experience with it. I have seen PD Riverman post pics of his rabbit sausage links that he makes. Please tell us some of the different ways you prepare it.

Thanks,
Double B
14.08 acres, John Deere 5055E, Stevens Row Hippers and cultivator, 8' Bush Hog, 74" Frontier Tiller, John Deere 655Z

Offline saute86

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Re: Rabbits doing good despite the heat.
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2016, 03:12:17 PM »
I feed them mainly arrow rabbit feed with 17% protein and supply them with all of the Bermuda hay they can eat. Every time I check on them I give them treats from my herb garden. They love peppermint, basil, oregano and parsley. This fall I will plant them some kale. A 50lbs bag of feed is $14.00 lasts about a month. They are cost effective to raise. My feed bill will go up once the kits are weened. I built my hutch I have now but will buy a 5 hole cage for a $110 for a grow out pen. He buys the wire in bulk and it keeps the cost down. I found it cheaper to buy a pre-made cage from a local auction house than buying the amount of wire needed. The frame has about a $100 into it with 4x4s, 2x4s, and plywood roof. Yes I do my own butchering. I cook them the same as any chicken dish. I mainly cook fricassee which is pot roasted in a brown gravy. My favorite is in a whole grain mustard cream sauce with white wine. The small fryer sized rabbits are pretty good fried like chicken. I plan to raise most of this kindle to stew size to make sausage with and for fertilizer for next spring's garden.
My hobbies are hunting, fishing, gardening and foraging mushrooms.
I have 27 years experience as a chef.

Online USMC130FE

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Re: Rabbits doing good despite the heat.
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2016, 04:17:46 PM »
saute86,
If you dont mind sharing the info on where you got the rabbits from I would appreciate it. I have regular NZ's and would like to explore more options. Also as I'm new to all this if you have links to good info I would appreciate that also. Please feel free to PM me if you want. Thanks in advance.

Steve
Sylvan Beach area, Northern NY, zone 4B

Offline saute86

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Re: Rabbits doing good despite the heat.
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2016, 11:47:29 PM »
The kits are now 3 weeks old and are growing so fast.
My hobbies are hunting, fishing, gardening and foraging mushrooms.
I have 27 years experience as a chef.