Meat rabbit care

Miss mouse

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Hey all I have a handful of meat rabbit questions:
1) do you trim their nails? What about Breeders?
2) if you have grumpy does that charge and bite what do you do about it? (My ideas range from trying to befriend them to just culling them)
3) do you try to socialize your Breeders by petting them, free time, etc?
4) if a doe has a small litter her first time do you give her another chance?
5) what age do you put kits out in a tractor to graze?
 

SA Farm

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I don’t have rabbits anymore, but info is based on years of first-hand experience :)

1. Yes, only the breeders as the young ones should be grown out long before their nails are.
2. I would never keep aggressive breeders. Temperament always matters to me regardless of what the progeny is going for.
3. Yes. Handling is necessary for breeding, basic care, and I always wanted my does comfortable with me and my scent for their/mine/the kits safety.
4. Three strike rule.
5. As soon as they’re weaned and have had time to adjust to greens. Going straight from pellets/mom/hay to fresh grass can cause bloat/digestive distress/death, so be sure to introduce new food gradually.
 

Miss mouse

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2. I would never keep aggressive breeders. Temperament always matters to me regardless of what the progeny is going for.
So we have these 2 Californian sisters that we’ve had since they were 1 month old. They and our other mixed Flemish Breeders were all born in May 2019. All the Flemish mixes are super quiet and sweet but the 2 Californians are snarky and charge at us.
One seems to be fear based and the other aggression. They’ve gotten worse over the past few months as they had their nails trimmed, got separated from each other (into side by side cages where they still lay beside each other, just can’t fight or chase anymore), and attempted breeding them with mixed results (both resisted in attempt one and the aggressive one still refused when we tried again).
My boyfriend “assisted” the daddy rabbit by holding her so we don’t know if either or both are pregnant yet.
I’m leaning to keeping the scared one because that’s a lot of change that could be stressing her out and she may come around. But the aggressive one I’m done with but my boyfriend wants to see if she has a litter and how big it is before we decide 🙄
 

Beekissed

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Hey all I have a handful of meat rabbit questions:
1) do you trim their nails? What about Breeders?
2) if you have grumpy does that charge and bite what do you do about it? (My ideas range from trying to befriend them to just culling them)
3) do you try to socialize your Breeders by petting them, free time, etc?
4) if a doe has a small litter her first time do you give her another chance?
5) what age do you put kits out in a tractor to graze?
Yes and as needed.
Cull
At times.
Yes....small litters for first timers is pretty normal.
When they are weaned.
 

SA Farm

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So we have these 2 Californian sisters that we’ve had since they were 1 month old. They and our other mixed Flemish Breeders were all born in May 2019. All the Flemish mixes are super quiet and sweet but the 2 Californians are snarky and charge at us.
One seems to be fear based and the other aggression. They’ve gotten worse over the past few months as they had their nails trimmed, got separated from each other (into side by side cages where they still lay beside each other, just can’t fight or chase anymore), and attempted breeding them with mixed results (both resisted in attempt one and the aggressive one still refused when we tried again).
My boyfriend “assisted” the daddy rabbit by holding her so we don’t know if either or both are pregnant yet.
I’m leaning to keeping the scared one because that’s a lot of change that could be stressing her out and she may come around. But the aggressive one I’m done with but my boyfriend wants to see if she has a litter and how big it is before we decide 🙄
Ah. If she could be bred, I would keep her that long, but once kits were weaned she’d be done for around here. Bad temperaments are often passed down. Breed the best...eat the rest ;)
 

YourRabbitGirl

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Hey all I have a handful of meat rabbit questions:
1) do you trim their nails? What about Breeders?
2) if you have grumpy does that charge and bite what do you do about it? (My ideas range from trying to befriend them to just culling them)
3) do you try to socialize your Breeders by petting them, free time, etc?
4) if a doe has a small litter her first time do you give her another chance?
5) what age do you put kits out in a tractor to graze?
While companion rabbits are capable of living for 10 to 15 years, they kill the vast majority of "meat" rabbits at age three. Such baby rabbits, referred to as "fryers," weigh just 1.5-3.5 pounds. At 8 months old, or 4 pounds, a small percentage is slaughtered; they are known in the industry as "roasters."
 

promiseacres

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Hey all I have a handful of meat rabbit questions:
1) do you trim their nails? What about Breeders?
2) if you have grumpy does that charge and bite what do you do about it? (My ideas range from trying to befriend them to just culling them)
3) do you try to socialize your Breeders by petting them, free time, etc?
4) if a doe has a small litter her first time do you give her another chance?
5) what age do you put kits out in a tractor to graze?
1. Nails need trimmed every 6-8 weeks
2. Some does are not grumpy if bred vs open....I tolerate some moodiness but not aggression to the point I need or have to wear gloves every time. If your does don't settle some when bred I agree just cull. I do not tolerate grumpy bucks.
3. Handling the breeders on a regular basis for more than breeding or nail trims is a good thing, something I don't do enough of. They are much more receptive and friendly if they're used to you.
4. generally many breeders give the does 3 strikes rules on litters, many times the first time is just "practice" and does improve on live kits the 2nd time. A doe that had 4 kits consistently vs 8 to 10 ISN'T a bad thing if she's bred with does that have the 10+ litters as she could foster the extras and still keep up the production. 8 seems ideal in my opinion for larger breeds. If she only has 1 or 2 consistently then you'll probably want to cull. If all does are having small litters you may need to look at the buck.
5. we don't use tractors nor do I anticipate using them... I do have a couple pets outside in a run but they are pets. I would worry about losing more kits to cocci or diarrhea in a tractor situation. I do give greens to all rabbits but in a limited amount and I can throw out any weeds that may cause problems.

FYI We raise mostly purebred show bunnies. Started last year with a New Zealand doe for my son's 4H meat pens. We kept a doe from the litter we had last year and just last week got a NZ buck for the big girls. The still are for the meat pen production but we plan on processing them this year. He "sold" them at auction but then the buyer sent them on home. We have a 30 hole rabbitry. 5 years in with my kids and did 10 years of 4H rabbit project myself.
Good luck with your venture.
 
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