1. BYH Official Poll: What are the things that you should consider before buying herds?
    CLICK HERE!
    (if you are logged in, this notice can be dismissed using the "x" to the top right of the notice)

    Dismiss Notice
  2. Hay Baler - Discussion Thread
    CLICK HERE!
    (if you are logged in, this notice can be dismissed using the "x" to the top right of the notice)

    Dismiss Notice
  3. Dismiss Notice
  4. BYH Picture of the Week (POW) - Submit your Pics Now !!
    Click HERE!
    (if you are logged in, this notice can be dismissed using the "x" to the top right of the notice)
    Dismiss Notice

TAMUK variety?

Discussion in 'Breeds and Breeding - Rabbits' started by DustyBoot, Nov 13, 2017.

  1. Nov 13, 2017
    DustyBoot

    DustyBoot Overrun with beasties

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2017
    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    50
    Trophy Points:
    78
    Location:
    Central Texas
    We're looking at adding meat rabbits to our little ranch in the near future and I'm trying to figure out what breed. We're in central Texas, which means cold probably isn't an issue but heat certainly is. I'm wondering if anyone here has tried raising the TAMUK variety of rabbit that's supposed to be more heat tolerant, or if you have experience with another breed you'd especially recommend as best able to cope with the heat.

    I'm interested in tanning hides as well as using the meat, so we may be raising roasters more than fryers, although that could change depending on the results. In general our philosophy is that we like animals that are hardy and more self-sufficient -- which is not to say we won't provide whatever care is appropriate, but given the choice between lower- and higher-maintenance animals, we'll probably take the lower even if it also means somewhat lower production.
     
  2. Nov 13, 2017
    Latestarter

    Latestarter Novice; "Practicing" Animal Husbandry Golden Herd Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2014
    Messages:
    7,102
    Likes Received:
    7,010
    Trophy Points:
    453
    Location:
    NE Texas
    I know @animalmom raises rabbits and she's S/SW of the metroplex. Not sure what breeds she has but she might could help. I can't recall if @Ferguson K ever raised rabbits & she's down in S TX... I think I also recall @AClark was raising rabbits while in TX though she's now in SW OK right over the TX border. Hope you find something that works for you.
     
    DustyBoot likes this.
  3. Nov 13, 2017
    Baymule

    Baymule Herd Master

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2010
    Messages:
    6,570
    Likes Received:
    7,967
    Trophy Points:
    503
    Location:
    Southeast Texas
    I had to go look up TAMUK rabbits. Interesting. Do I hear road trip to go get some?
     
    DustyBoot and promiseacres like this.
  4. Nov 13, 2017
    animalmom

    animalmom True BYH Addict

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2009
    Messages:
    1,348
    Likes Received:
    1,040
    Trophy Points:
    293
    Location:
    North Central Texas
    I think the Altex or TAMUK rabbit would be a great choice for our Texas weather. Currently I'm doing California/New Zealand meat pen rabbits and they are doing just fine... but I have two big barn fans and a misting system in my bunny barn.

    Here's a couple sites if you want to pursue the Altex: https://rabbitsforsaleintexas.wordpress.com/tag/altex-rabbits/page/2/ This one give you options across the state and while the site doesn't look like it has been updated recently you can still message the various breeders and see what is available,

    and this one http://www.cowtownrabbits.com/ is in the DFW Metroplex area... I think he is south of Arlington. This second guy I have spoken with and he breeds year around (if memory serves me right) AND his rabbitry is NOT airconditioned. I think he is an honest fellow. He is not very good on email, so I'd suggest calling him instead. He's not very computer oriented but boy howdy does he know rabbit. You can glean lots of great ideas from him. I'm sorry I no longer have his name or I'd include that too.

    You probably already know all this stuff, but... don't take the breeder's word as gospel especially over the phone, go look, see, smell and listen. If you don't think something is right walk away, nay run! If the breeder is offering you a deal that is just too good to pass, do so, pass it like it was the plague because that is exactly what you might be bringing into your rabbitry... the plague. Several years ago I ran across a situation where a local fellow was selling his Altex real cheap, $15.00 each and I really wanted some Altex so I bought and got way more than I wanted. The rabbits were sick, had pastuerella and it has taken me a good 5 years to finally get it out of my rabbitry. A very expensive lesson, nevertheless I am still sold on the concept of the Altex and would really love to see someone here on BYH get into the breed.

    In Texas light for your rabbits is never a problem. Heat is your #1 problem. Rabbits can do very well with the cold temperatures. It is harder on you as you have to ensure they have liquid water to drink in the winter. Mine get warm water in the morning and then in the afternoon when they get fed. But heat will kill. Shade, trees, ventilation, frozen bottles and such are your friends.

    Ask questions, keep asking questions until you get answers you understand. If a breeder is hesitant to answer your questions no matter how basic or advanced the walk away!

    Please keep us posted on your progress, what you decided to raise, and above all pictures of your rabbits, and kits when they come along, please and thank you.
     
  5. Nov 13, 2017
    Bunnylady

    Bunnylady True BYH Addict

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2009
    Messages:
    1,592
    Likes Received:
    1,085
    Trophy Points:
    243
    Location:
    Wilmington, NC
    TAMUK stands for Texas A&M University-Kingsville; it is the name of the facility, not a breed. It is one of the locations where the Altex breed was developed. Apparently the folks there are playing with other breeds, including what might best be described as a multicolored meat mutt that they call the Composite. Since their goal is creating rabbits that will produce even in the heat, if you are buying from them, they probably will do well for you.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017
  6. Nov 13, 2017
    DustyBoot

    DustyBoot Overrun with beasties

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2017
    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    50
    Trophy Points:
    78
    Location:
    Central Texas
    Ahhh, thanks for clarification on the name, Bunnylady! Guess I should have done better research. :)

    Animalmom, thanks for the links. I'll take a good look at both. I've not yet tracked down a breeder I want to buy from, and that's going to be important. We were thinking we could hang some wire cages in our big pole barn. It's well shaded and sheltered from bad weather, but it doesn't get hot in there during the summer and it's very well ventilated and not dark (shady, but not dark). Not too far from water or from the house. We'll probably start with a trio; we're just looking at producing what we can use ourselves. I'll definitely keep y'all posted and take pictures as soon as we have anything to take pictures of! :)

    I'm hoping this will be an endeavor the kids can be involved with, and that they'll do well with the fact that we're eating what we raise. We have our first goat coming back from the butcher this week and they were initially upset but seem to have gotten over it pretty quickly. This time last year they were suburban kids whose meat came in packages from the grocery store, so it's a learning process. For that matter, I'm assuming I'll be able to bring myself to kill and process the rabbits when the time comes, but I've never done anything like that myself. Read up on it, seen pictures and videos, and I'm fine with it in theory, but doing it myself will be new and probably not easy at first.
     
    promiseacres and Baymule like this.
  7. Nov 13, 2017
    Baymule

    Baymule Herd Master

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2010
    Messages:
    6,570
    Likes Received:
    7,967
    Trophy Points:
    503
    Location:
    Southeast Texas
    I admire your willingness to wade in and learn how to do what needs to be done. The first one is always the hardest, but you can do it.
     
  8. Nov 13, 2017
    DustyBoot

    DustyBoot Overrun with beasties

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2017
    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    50
    Trophy Points:
    78
    Location:
    Central Texas
    We'll see how I do when the time comes. We tried processing chickens once when I was in high school. And by "we," I mean I hid in my room. But we didn't like the results, so we just kept layers after that. I'm hoping rabbits will work out better. As added motivation, I'm already looking at ideas for making rabbit-skin blankets. ;)
     
    Baymule likes this.
  9. Nov 14, 2017
    AClark

    AClark Loving the herd life

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2016
    Messages:
    692
    Likes Received:
    1,131
    Trophy Points:
    193
    I do still have meat rabbits @Latestarter but mine are "meat mutts", multi-colored who-knows-what breeds other than they are big and meaty, lol. They seem to do ok in the heat here in SW OK, but I also have them outdoors in the shadiest area on our place. We moved them to a colony over the summer due to the heat. We had 2 litters last month but not a lot of success, two were first time mothers, and one had dug a nice burrow but then it rained heavily and they were too far down for me to reach and we lost most of them (hole flooded out).
    We've since put in better drainage after I laid on my chest in the mud with my arm down a hole up to my shoulder to retrieve the ones I could reach. It was a pretty big bummer.
     
    promiseacres likes this.
  10. Nov 14, 2017
    Bunnylady

    Bunnylady True BYH Addict

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2009
    Messages:
    1,592
    Likes Received:
    1,085
    Trophy Points:
    243
    Location:
    Wilmington, NC
    If you have kids involved with this, you might do better starting with white rabbits with pink eyes (whether that means purebred NZW's or just mutts that happen to be that color). If the bunnies are different colors, the kids will probably pick favorites and even name them.:barnie When the rabbits all look alike, it's harder to get attached, particularly with the "nobody home" look of the pink eyes.;)

    You need to bear in mind that the Altex is intended to be a meat rabbit, not a multi-purpose one like the typical New Zealand. One of the things they are actually bred for is thin, poor-quality fur (the thinking is that the thin fur means less body heat retention, therefor better hot weather tolerance). While you certainly can tan those hides and use them anyway, the result may not be very good.:idunno

    @AClark - Most people worry about predators when keeping rabbit colonies, but they forget about the weather. I had a friend who tried colony raising, and she lost litters due to those flash-flood-producing summer storms, too. On the other hand, litters born underground are less susceptible to freezing during cold weather, so I guess it works both ways. I'm wondering if it might be possible to make artificial burrows and build a mound over them . . . but I suppose getting the rabbits to use them might be yet another issue.
     
    Baymule likes this.