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Summertime breeding

Discussion in 'Breeds and Breeding - Rabbits' started by Gary, May 6, 2019.

  1. May 7, 2019
    B&B Happy goats

    B&B Happy goats Herd Master Golden Herd Member

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    Skeeters are not too bad here, but we got chickens to eat them, and bug lights to zap em...right now it's the knats .....up your nose, in your eyes and in your mouth....and when your outside sweating your butt off trying to get something done ....they call all their family in for a picnic.
    Roachs...no problem, i nuke the yard with bug granuals....no ticks, fleas or roachs :)
     
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  2. May 7, 2019
    AmberLops

    AmberLops Herd Master

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    Doesn't sound too bad!!
    I hate the gnats too...horrible! And those flies that aim for your ears...:eek:
     
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  3. May 7, 2019
    B&B Happy goats

    B&B Happy goats Herd Master Golden Herd Member

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    Today the biting flies arrived while i was out in the chicken yard working, , just love them, not !
    But when i lived in South Georgia they had yellow flies, those things could take a chunk of skin off ya !
     
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  4. May 7, 2019
    AmberLops

    AmberLops Herd Master

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    Oh no!! I hope there aren't any yellow flies in Tennessee....:ep
     
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  5. May 8, 2019
    Bunnylady

    Bunnylady Herd Master

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    In my neck of the woods, it's deer fly season. From now 'til about, oh, mid-July, they get really annoying around here. We're far enough back from the marshes not to get green heads, though we do get those gigantic black horse flies. Gads, those things look just plain evil!:hide
     
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  6. May 8, 2019
    AmberLops

    AmberLops Herd Master

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    :ep Those things are awful!!
    I was raised in Hawaii and we have the biggest (think dinnerplate size) Cane spiders, centipedes and cockroaches there...
    I don't miss those!!
     
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  7. May 8, 2019
    B&B Happy goats

    B&B Happy goats Herd Master Golden Herd Member

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    I would drop dead if I came across a spider that big and centipdes creep me out too....:smack:tongue
     
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  8. May 15, 2019
    LavacaW

    LavacaW Exploring the pasture

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    Lived in Central Florida for 6 years. Weather was very similar to what it is here in South Central Texas. I raised rabbits here for several years. Actually did better raising them from September thru April. Did not breed them after late April. "blue ice blocks" that you use in coolers are not expensive and are very washable. I had two for each cage and put one in around noon each day. One in the cage and one in the freezer. Get the ones with the thick walls.
     
  9. May 15, 2019
    Ridgetop

    Ridgetop True BYH Addict

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    See B&B post - change where you are buying your rabbits. You need to learn how to sex rabbits yourself so you can check for yourself. They can be correctly sexed as young as 4 weeks. You also need to learn how to check for other things in the rabbits when you buy them. Go to some rabbit shows and ask questions. Breeders usually are thrilled to have someone ask them questions about rabbits. Go early in the day because people spend a lot of time sitting around waiting for their classes and will be glad to talk to you.

    Definitely. If they are selling you bucks instead of does, either they don ot know what they are doing, or they are not honest. In either of these cases you need to find some one else.

    This was a bad idea. You traded a large meat breed rabbit for a smaller mini breed, and then bought another small breed rabbit as well. If you are breeding for meat you will not get much meat on a Mini Rex or Mini Rex cross. For meat production you want to stay with a meat breed size rabbit, not minis. Second if you traded a NZ doe for a Mini Rex doe and bought a 2nd Mini Rex doe and are planning on breeding those does to your NZ bucks you have just put yourself in the position of having kindling problems because you bred a large breed buck to a small breed doe. If the kits are big like the sire the small doe may not be able to deliver them alive.

    You need to go to a couple rabbit shows. Unfortunately, in hot climates the show season is during the winter months. However, there will be County Fairs around. find out when the rabbit judging is taking place, in particular the "meat pen" judging. "Meat pens" are 3 rabbits that look and weigh as much alike as possible. That is how they are judged, based on the met standard. Go to the judging show and listen to the comments. They will be very helpful. Then you can see which kids have meat pens entered. Most of those kids will have extra rabbits they left at home after choosing their meat pens for competition. See if you can buy some does from them. Be careful about buying meat pens straight across since you don't know how to sex a rabbit Meat pens are chosen for the 3 rabbits that weigh the same and look the same. Often they are all bucks. In any event they are seldom all does so you will be getting at least 1 or 2 bucks, usually littermates. If you talk to some of the junior exhibitors, they or their parents will be able to help you choose a couple good does from their rabbits. Depending on the Fair, not all the meat pens will sell. The exhibitors who don't sell will be willing and happy to sell you some does and will also be glad to teach you how to sex the rabbits.

    I am in so California and used to breed year round. Short daylight hours can be compensated for by lights in the rabbitry. Bucks become sterile in the heat (along with some rams and other animals). The older the buck the more the heat affects him. If yiu want to continue breeding successfully in the summer months, keep your best young buck from a December litter and use him for the summer breeding. Junior bucks about 6-20 months will usually stay fertile during the heat. In addition to ice bottles, you can use misters along the outside of the rabbitry where the breeze will blow through the water and produce a cooler temperature. Fans can also be useful.

    For the does, I put shavings in the bottom of the nest box and just give them a handful of straw to build their nest. I check every morning and take the fur and extra straw out of the nest. I keep the fur and replace it on the kits if the nights cool down. Make sure that direct sun cannot hit the nest box at any time. The kits are extremely sensitive to heat and if they are gasping in the nest, remove the nest box and take it inside the house. If there is A/C in the house cover them with the fur. Replace the box in the evening so the doe can feed them. If the temperatures are high you will have to do this every am and pm.

    Another trick to cool off rabbits is to put squares of wet carpet in the cages for them to lay on. Some like it, some don't.

    ALSO, CHECK THE AUTOMATIC WATERERS SEVERAL TIMES DAILY. THE LINES CAN GET HOT AND RABBITS WILL NOT DRINK HOT OR WARM WATER IN THE SUMMER. IF YOUR LINES GET HOT, USE CROCKS AND YOU CAN DROP ICE CUBES IN THEM DURING THE HEAT OF THE DAY TO ENCOURAGE DRINKING. We also used to do that at the summer Fair.

    One year our feeder PVC line broke and DH ran a new line. He decided to put it overhead instead of replacing the line I had buried in the barn. It was spring and everything was fine until we had a sudden hot spell in the 100's. In spite of the misters, I lost 3 does, and no rabbits were eating. When I checked the automatic drinker nozzles, not only were they hot to the touch, but the water almost burned my fingers! As soon as I bled each line to cool water the rabbits attacked the drinker! To avoid more deaths I had to scrounge for enough crocks for the cages until we could insulate the pipes. DH put them back underground the following weekend.

    It was a hard lesson. Rabbits won't eat if they can't drink. Any time I have a rabbit off it's food, I immediately check the automatic water valve. They can plug up.