The Accidental Smallholder Forum

Livestock => Other => Rabbits => Topic started by: Rusty Lad on June 16, 2019, 01:13:56 am

Title: Any meat rabbits in Scotland?
Post by: Rusty Lad on June 16, 2019, 01:13:56 am
Hi all,
I want to get started breeding New Zealands and Californians but can't find any breeders in Scotland to buy from.  Anyone got any contacts i could call? I would go south of the border if necessary.
I keep my eye on 'Pre-Loved, Pets4homes and Gumtree.

I would also buy any cages etc from anyone who has stopped breeding and has them laying around. Thanks.
Title: Re: Any meat rabbits in Scotland?
Post by: alang on June 21, 2019, 06:48:24 pm
Been looking myself for a good 9 months now and nothing up here. Either that or no-one is advertising meat rabbits for fear they get a visit from certain "anti-anything and everything" groups.
Title: Re: Any meat rabbits in Scotland?
Post by: cloddopper on July 31, 2019, 05:38:36 pm
Not being funny guys & gals but if there are no NZ's or Carolina's to be had for love nor money . Do what I did ( I did it in reverse to get minature stock of sound quality ) .

Buy in a couple of big does that are full of white and a blocky buck much the same from different parts of the country ( did the trips as a couple of interesting long week ends  some times )then start breeding them. Keep back any does that show signs of being a bigger whiter rabbit and buy in a small albino buck breed them and keep back any red eyed white does .  Breed them to the bigger buck and you should have three or four red eyed whites as basic breeding stock  in three or four years you can have a decent blood line with four  generations of separation
 If you are just breeding for skinned ,  in the pots for yourself & friends  does it really matter what they are so long as they are strong big and meaty by 16 weeks old ?
Title: Re: Any meat rabbits in Scotland?
Post by: Wuggs16 on August 25, 2019, 10:46:13 am
Im in exactly the same boat. I tried to get some from chester but we couldnt keep them in a car for the week coming home to Orkney. If any of you have any better luck starting your own breeding i would be happy to buy breeding stock from you. This would perhaps go towards the cost of you having to search further afield. I don't suppose anyone else has run into other meat farmers in scotland either?
Title: Re: Any meat rabbits in Scotland?
Post by: GBov on November 19, 2019, 07:05:22 pm
Have you thought of taking advantage of Hybrid Vigour?

I once got excellent results from breeding pure French Angora to Rex - standard, not mini - and, as the fur is as important to me as the meat, the combination of the two gave me extra-thick, "normal" length hides/meat rabbits.

The first generation grew out fast and were larger and wider than either parent.  Don't bother breeding the offspring either to each other or back to the parents as the results will not be worth the time or effort. 

If you are stuck for meat rabbits it is a good way to work round it and if, like me, you work with the hides (and are a woolaholic) a small herd of Angora and Rex will give you the best of all worlds. 

Plush Rex coats in a rainbow of colors, Angora wool to drool over and lovely big meat rabbits.

Win win all round really.

Or buy the cheapest big rabbits you can get your hands on and keep the largest and fastest-growing of their kits.  As you are taking the hide off anyway color doesn't really matter, red-eyed whites are fine but I like lots of color in the rabbitry. ;D

It takes less time than one would expect to breed exactly what you want from rabbits and the best part of that route (yep, done it this way too) is that you have an excuse to breed, and keep, LOTS of bunnies!

Word of warning though, rabbits are really addictive.  ;)

Title: Re: Any meat rabbits in Scotland?
Post by: cloddopper on December 28, 2019, 09:36:32 pm
Re reading  posts... When selecting for stock it's not sensible to take the kits from the most prolific litters as  it will weaken the blood line eventually .
After doing several years of  commercial meat rabbit research .
Six kits per litter used to be the max size we  used for stock replacements ( I used to keep rabbits commercially )   They would then often  have the big litters & be strong enough to bring them all on to weaning  .
Title: Re: Any meat rabbits in Scotland?
Post by: GBov on January 27, 2020, 10:09:14 pm
My favorite litter size was 8 Clodhopper.  Anything over 10 and I would foster kits out to other does unless the mother was really good.

I knew a breeder who aimed for 12 in a litter and bred and culled hard to get stock that could do that and be ready to breed again by 6 weeks but he was a production rabbit farmer/breeder and had thousands.

Good stock but it took him many years to breed up to that.