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Author Topic: Second opinions wanted please  (Read 3433 times)

JulieWall

  • Joined Aug 2013
  • Cornhill, Banff
    • The Roundhouse
Second opinions wanted please
« on: November 23, 2013, 08:16:08 am »
Can I pick some brains and ask for second opinions on something please?
It's mainly a question for anyone who has ever considered keeping rabbits for meat in the past and is this;
Would you have preferred to buy 8 week old kits and rear them yourself or would you have been tempted more by a six month old 'ready to breed' doe?..... or a young pregnant doe (more for your money) or one who had a litter and was a proven good mother?
 
I'm asking because I have a lovely young doe with the same nice disposition and exceptionally clean habits as her mother and it seems a shame to cull her with her brothers (I don't need any replacements just now as I kept one from the same pairing earlier this year). Some feedback would help me decide if I should bring her on myself to offer for sale next spring.
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Clarebelle

  • Joined Jan 2013
  • Orkney
Re: Second opinions wanted please
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2013, 09:22:24 am »
We got our first meat rabbits last janurary and I ended up buying an unrelated buck and doe from the same breeder. The breeder kindly put the doe in with a different buck so she would have a litter unrelated to the buck we bought at no extra cost.

This was great as we could see how it went, experience her pregnancy and birth and if we decided to keep any does in the litter we knew they would be unrelated to our buck.

However! It was the does first litter, she gave birth to two kits but chewed the feet off them as i believe they were stuck. I kept an eye on her and two days later her vulva still did not look right so my husband and I bought her inside and took a proper look, she had another kit stuck which we had to help her deliver.

She has since gone on to deliver two more litters of three kits. I was hoping for larger litters but it doesnt matter too much.

So i think there are pros and cons to different things, if the doe had already had a litter with the breeder we might have avoided losing our first litter. On the other hand, it was great (not for the doe, bless her!) experience and we learnt a lot.

When I get another doe I will get one that is ready to breed. The way I see it, buying a kit would cost money to grow on and also time, all the time its maturing, its not breeding.

It's a shame you are not closer as i have been thinking about trying a NZ white.

JulieWall

  • Joined Aug 2013
  • Cornhill, Banff
    • The Roundhouse
Re: Second opinions wanted please
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2013, 10:38:15 am »
My mum lives in Coventry, If you decide that you do want one anytime I can bring her down with me...... or even do a straight swap depending on what breed yours are.
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MAK

  • Joined Nov 2011
  • Middle ish of France
    • Cadeaux de La forge
Re: Second opinions wanted please
« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2013, 10:51:01 am »
We started with 2 unrelated does and then got a buck from a neighbour.
Both does had their first litter with us with no complications.
Mum Brown has had litters of 8, 11,10,12, and 10   with 2 neonatal kit deaths ( within 2 days).
She escaped and mated with a wild Buck (who was a regular visitor) then had her 12 !!
I would be happy to buy a young doe for a few quid. I think I would have a lot of angst if I bought a doe that "is a good mother" and she turned out not to be so.
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Clarebelle

  • Joined Jan 2013
  • Orkney
Re: Second opinions wanted please
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2013, 12:04:24 pm »
My mum lives in Coventry, If you decide that you do want one anytime I can bring her down with me...... or even do a straight swap depending on what breed yours are.

ohh, that is good to know!! Actually, my husband is in the RAF and is waiting to here where he will be posted to next and we have asked for Lossiemouth so we might not be that far from you in the near future.

Not sure you would like a straight swap as I have standard rex rabbits. I know they are not a traditional meat breed but I wanted to use the furs as well. But I want to try crossing a NZ with a rex to see what we get so I'll definately bare you in mind whereever we turn out moving to!

shygirl

  • Joined May 2013
Re: Second opinions wanted please
« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2013, 02:32:05 pm »
its common to buy a prenant doe.
are you friendly with the fur and feather club? they are often in huntly / turriff. they are a source of buyers / contacts.

what breed is she?

JulieWall

  • Joined Aug 2013
  • Cornhill, Banff
    • The Roundhouse
Re: Second opinions wanted please
« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2013, 09:30:32 pm »
Not sure who you are asking now as the chat has rambled around but if it is me, then she is a NZ White, all my rabbits are. She should get to a decent size too as that pairing is producing some whoppers this year. My biggest doe is 13.5lb.

Speaking of crosses, I fancy crossing one of my bucks with an angora. The idea of producing a dual purpose breed is appealing although I'm not sure it would work. might end up with something that gets all matted but has no length to the wool. I actually tried spinning some of the cast fur from one of my bucks and managed a lumpy bit of yarn, lol  I also just cured my first two pelts, couldn't be bothered up until now until I learned how easy it is. The density of the fur is gorgeous and so soft.
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Clansman

  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Ayrshire
Re: Second opinions wanted please
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2013, 03:52:03 pm »
I would rather have bought rabbits of breeding age Julie.

I bought mine at around 2-3 months and the wait till they reached 7 months was horrendous!! :)

P.S. Clarabelle, I got two of mine from a breeder near Shrewsbury, if you want the details let me know ;)

Clarebelle

  • Joined Jan 2013
  • Orkney
Re: Second opinions wanted please
« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2013, 04:44:08 pm »
Thank you, thats nice of you! I'll be moving out of the area in the next coupld of months though, hopefully nearer to Julie actually!

I'm looking forward to seeing how a standard rex X NZ white turns out

JulieWall

  • Joined Aug 2013
  • Cornhill, Banff
    • The Roundhouse
Re: Second opinions wanted please
« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2013, 12:43:22 am »
Get in touch if you move to Lossie, we have quite a network of friends up here, mostly from local smallholder or green forums. Lossiemouth is a lovely place and the coast and scenery up here is beautiful, clean air and clear skies. You'll probably sleep like rip van winkle for the first six months because the fresh air knocks you out until you get used to it.

I will probably keep that doe and bring her on to breeding age to sell or keep. She's just as nice natured as her mum and so clean she will be no trouble. She's currently sharing with her mum and the corner loo is full every day, nothing anywhere else, it's so easy to service their hutch. I expect by the time she is ready to breed it will be spring and people will be wanting breeding stock. It seems sensible to try out the market for ready-to-breed stock anyway and I have lots of empty hutches which may as well be in use.
Permaculture and smallholding, perfect partners
http://theroundhouseforum.co.uk/

 

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