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Raising Meat Rabbits | Finding Stock | Part 1

I got into raising meat rabbits by the gift of a le Creuset bright orange Pot that was a gift to us from my brother-in-law at time. We got this new pot and began to think what’s a special meal we can cook in this pot, my husband got the idea for rabbit stew and that’s where silver ridge rabbitry began.  I said it’s not that hard why don’t we just raise our own? So, I started searching out for breeding stock. I wanted to raise New Zealand White or Californian Rabbits. But 17 years ago, believe it or not I couldn’t find breeding stock to save my life. This is a very hard part of the process, and you want to get very good stock to start with to be heathy and have nice large litters be good mothers and possibly have a buck you know is proven.  At couple of sites, I highly recommend are the

Breeders (newzealandrabbitclub.net)  

Rabbit Breeders Directory | USA Rabbit Breeders 

Here you will find lots of options for your state but remember a show rabbit can be a meat rabbit but not the other way around. There are a lot of backyard breeders who are not necessarily who you want to get your stock from.  Make sure if you want pedigreed rabbits they come with the pedigrees. But that is not a deal breaker as you can pedigree them yourself check out my download 

searching out the best stock to start with is key.

Raising your own meat rabbits is it worth it?

Cost:
Cages Feed Supplies

Depending on the stock you get pedigreed New Zealand Show rabbits can fetch up to the $350 price per rabbit, if they are high quality. That why it is good to purchace pedigreed stock if you haven’t don’t worry just look at my product how to pedigree your rabbits yourself here.. But you don’t want just any backyard rabbit, the bone to meat ratio of the NEW ZEALAND is that they have finer bone and more meat, making them a excelent choice. For example you do not want your stock to come from a rabbit mixed with Flemish Giant because there is a lot of bone on those rabbits. Also you would not want a rabbit mixed with dwarf as the have no meat and max out at 2.0 lbs live weight.

Cages and Housing
New Zealand Adult weight can be up to 12 lbs for does and 10 lbs for bucks so your housing has to be size appropriate and also if you are planning on having larger litters the doe will need a nestbox etc and have lots of room for upwards of 6-8 babies. 24X36 is at least the smallest size I reccomend for does bucks can have smaller like 24X 30 or even 24X24 but that is quite small. All wire cages are reccomended for clenliness and ease of clean up. trays are optional. the wire that is reccomended is Galvanized before welded as it will be stronger and 14 gauge wire. You can build your own or order from the many rabbit supply companies, bear in mind if you get already cut cages you still will have to assemble them. I do not reccomed getting your cages from your loacal Tractor Supply as the wire is very cheap and flimsy and will rust quickly.

Feed
Your local grain store will have rabbit food, I do go with the blue seal show hutch deluxe brand, it is a extruded feed, and they eat it quite well, also adding some rolled oats is good esspecialy in the winter for added warmth.

Supplies like water bottles and feeders etc you can get anywhere but remember they quality, is lesser at tractor Supply for example, the screens for the sifting feeds fall out etc. So you will be purchacing multiples, Bass equiptment has some nice feeders that have lasted me 10 plus years.

One rabbit can produce 600 lbs of meat in a year with beef coming in second at 400 lbs for a steer.

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