Author Topic: Small rabbits butchered today. Help I want bigger  (Read 5138 times)

Offline tyananomura

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Small rabbits butchered today. Help I want bigger
« on: October 21, 2012, 08:29:26 PM »
Butchered my first five rabbits today.  They went really small at about 1.5lbs each.  Kinda disappointing weight.  My other rabbits that are of age to butcher are really small.  They were fed a quality rabbit pellet and some grasses and veggie tops.  Any tips on getting my rabbits to put on meat faster to get heavier rabbits at butcher time.  They are NZ/Satin crosses.  Maybe a different breed that gets bigger but still has a good meat to bone ratio.  Anything helps  thanks.

Offline john gillis

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Re: Small rabbits butchered today. Help I want bigger
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2012, 10:20:15 PM »
A good meat rabbit should produce a 4.5 to 5 pound live rabbit at 10 weeks of age with a 50 to 55 % dressout on good pellets of 16 to 18% and water. Now if the rabbits don't have good meat producing genes then it Ain't gonna happen! Extra feed and energy feed might put on a little fat but we want muscle, no fat rabbits allowed. Mine as example: New Zealand White, meat pen line; some will go 6 pounds or better at 10 weeks with the ave. dressout at 64%. Best I've ever had was 68 %. Feed is 18 % till freezer camp 8/12 weeks or if going to shows or replacement in herd then when weaned the feed is 16 %, the 18 % will make to much fat. A fecal sample is sent to vet twice a year to see if there is any parasites or worms, then treated with the vet.'s advice. My bucks at 1 year weigh at 11 pounds and the does go at 12 pounds. If your breeders are on good feed and look in good condition then that is the best they will produce, to get better you'll need a better producing group of rabbits, LOL.

Offline Cedar

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Re: Small rabbits butchered today. Help I want bigger
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2012, 01:35:00 AM »
Get some Americans or AmChins from me Ty.. we can trade back and forth. Keep the best, cull the rest... Sometimes I get some which are worthy of keeping, but no cage room. Save 3 holes for replacements. I got more litters coming.

Cedar

Offline Head Farm Steward

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Re: Small rabbits butchered today. Help I want bigger
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2012, 12:59:48 PM »
As John said, you have to have the genetics.  You could spend years and years trying to improve your current line OR just replace your stock and hit the ground running.

Offline Oldhomestead

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Re: Small rabbits butchered today. Help I want bigger
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2012, 03:47:23 PM »
How old were they when you butchered and what was the % of protien in the ration?

Offline AlanB

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Re: Small rabbits butchered today. Help I want bigger
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2012, 06:54:03 PM »
We went to Flemish Giants, and are trying to get more in from other gene pools so we don't inbreed them.  Wish I could figure out how to bring some over from Germany, they make our Giants look tiny.

Offline Cedar

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Re: Small rabbits butchered today. Help I want bigger
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2012, 07:02:05 PM »
Post pics of your Flemish. I used to raise fawn and sandy for awhile. Talk to Muriel Keyes in Portland or her hubby Tom, they used to have awesome ones.

Cedar

Offline chickchoc

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Re: Small rabbits butchered today. Help I want bigger
« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2012, 08:59:38 PM »
I talked with breeders of Florida Whites at several rabbit shows and they claim that breed is one of the fastest and most economical to put on weight, although they are a medium-sized animal.  My research indicated that Flemish Giants take quite a while to mature, although I'm sure you could choose whatever weight you wanted up to maturity.  Just my thoughts.

Offline tyananomura

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Re: Small rabbits butchered today. Help I want bigger
« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2012, 10:23:38 PM »
How old were they when you butchered and what was the % of protien in the ration?

They were about 12 weeks old.  I am using an 18 percent ration.

Offline john gillis

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Re: Small rabbits butchered today. Help I want bigger
« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2012, 07:45:42 AM »
12 weeks and 18% feed would but my NZW's in the 7 pound range with a few going 8 pounds. I suggest getting rabbits with better meat producing genes . Getting some from Cedar and working with her as your mentor sounds like a win, win deal . :)

Offline desertmarine

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Re: Small rabbits butchered today. Help I want bigger
« Reply #10 on: October 31, 2012, 09:46:53 AM »
I concur with the NZW.  We've been raising them for years.  At about 3 months we usually cull them.  We do a mixture of dry pellets of 18% protein and fresh clover.  Let them eat as much clover or alfalfa as they want.

Desert Marine

Offline microdevil45

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Re: Small rabbits butchered today. Help I want bigger
« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2012, 06:30:31 PM »
Good info, I currently have NZ and love them but it never hurts to get more and different larger breeds for meat.  Just remember larger rabbits equal more food and more space.

Offline liftsboxes

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Re: Small rabbits butchered today. Help I want bigger
« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2012, 07:03:06 PM »
Watching this thread with interest.  We plan to start raising rabbits in the spring.  I'm guessing winter in NH is not the best time to begin.

Offline Moonvalleyprepper

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Re: Small rabbits butchered today. Help I want bigger
« Reply #13 on: November 07, 2012, 09:27:58 AM »
Watching this thread with interest.  We plan to start raising rabbits in the spring.  I'm guessing winter in NH is not the best time to begin.

You can start in the winter if you want, or at least get your infrastructure in place.

Check out:
http://riseandshinerabbitry.com/about/

Rick is in Maine, so you should be able to get some advice for your similar climate.

Jack also had a great interview with him:

http://www.thesurvivalpodcast.com/episode-875-rick-worden-of-rise-and-shine-rabbitry

Offline microdevil45

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Re: Small rabbits butchered today. Help I want bigger
« Reply #14 on: November 07, 2012, 10:06:42 AM »
You can start in the winter if you want, or at least get your infrastructure in place.

Check out:
http://riseandshinerabbitry.com/about/

Rick is in Maine, so you should be able to get some advice for your similar climate.

Jack also had a great interview with him:

http://www.thesurvivalpodcast.com/episode-875-rick-worden-of-rise-and-shine-rabbitry

Good site.  Lots of very good info there I have it bookmarked.