The Rabbit Farming Thread?

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lovesmuggler
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The Rabbit Farming Thread?

Post by lovesmuggler » Thu Jan 09, 2014 3:36 pm

I just started with rabbits this year, and it is pretty rewarding, but also scary because I'm by no means an expert. Is there any way we can entice one or some of our experienced rabbit wranglers to start up this "The Rabbit Farming Thread" in the same vein as the sheep farming thread and the beekeeping thread? I'd like a spot for we rabbit farmers to collect our pics and experience in one thread. I looked and couldn't find anything like it, so am I daft, or do we not have a lot of rabbit ranchers? Thanks!
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Re: The Rabbit Farming Thread?

Post by ineffableone » Fri Jan 10, 2014 3:42 pm

While not currently doing any rabbit farming (though do plan to get back into it eventually), when I was I found rabbit and chicken's a wonderful complimentary livestock. Not just in meat produced, but their manure complimented eachother well. Making a great mix for my garden.

Something I plan to give a try next time I raise rabbits, is sprouted grains for feed. I have recently been looking into sprouted grain fodder, and was very impressed with the idea. I had already known sprouts for human use was a super food and loved sprouting for my own use. As soon as I heard the idea for animals I couldn't believe I had not thought of it before. It was one of those moments when you just can't believe you didn't figure something so simple out.
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Re: The Rabbit Farming Thread?

Post by safariteam5 » Mon Jan 13, 2014 8:46 pm

We have been raising New Zealand blacks and whites for the last few years. Nice protein source to supplement our hogs, eggs, and venison. We haven't been doing very good about keeping them bred but just had a pair do the "big space nasty" night before last so hopefully we'll have some fresh bunnies in 26 or so days. Below are some pics. My daughter is a total country girl and has no qualms about helping process bunnies. And we have done it often enough that we can take a bunny from the cage to the crock pot in 15 mins. We generally use them interchangeably with chicken in dishes like rabbit and dumplings, rabbit noodle soup, and rabbit pot pie (the last pic).

Image
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Re: The Rabbit Farming Thread?

Post by lovesmuggler » Fri Jan 17, 2014 12:20 am

Wow those rabbits are huge! I'm going to have to get some of those. One of my does just had her first litter and I wasn't around to get the buck out, she really chewed him up before-hand, pulled a ton of his fur out and used it for a nest. I felt horrible, built him his own cage the next day...
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Re: The Rabbit Farming Thread?

Post by lovesmuggler » Fri Jan 17, 2014 12:25 am

ineffableone wrote:While not currently doing any rabbit farming (though do plan to get back into it eventually), when I was I found rabbit and chicken's a wonderful complimentary livestock. Not just in meat produced, but their manure complimented eachother well. Making a great mix for my garden.

Something I plan to give a try next time I raise rabbits, is sprouted grains for feed. I have recently been looking into sprouted grain fodder, and was very impressed with the idea. I had already known sprouts for human use was a super food and loved sprouting for my own use. As soon as I heard the idea for animals I couldn't believe I had not thought of it before. It was one of those moments when you just can't believe you didn't figure something so simple out.
I'm also going to be looking into ways to keep my rabbits fed without having to buy feed, I wouldn't be very self-sufficient if I couldn't produce at least a good portion of my animals' feed. That's a long term goal, might not happen this year, but I have to start somewhere. One thing I am VERY excited about is the compost! The rabbit leavings, mixed with the chickens', mixed with their dirty bedding, it's going to be excellent in our garden this summer! I can't wait!
I'm trying to build the ultimate bug-in location! Please check it out and give some feedback!
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Re: The Rabbit Farming Thread?

Post by procyon » Fri Jan 17, 2014 2:56 am

lovesmuggler wrote:One of my does just had her first litter and I wasn't around to get the buck out, she really chewed him up before-hand, pulled a ton of his fur out and used it for a nest. I felt horrible, built him his own cage the next day...
We have four hutches for the rabbits, and two are just for the does that will be giving us more bunnies.
The other two are fairly large community hutches, but we really need to build a third. The 18 y/o and I have the materials set out in the barn, we just need to get the time to build it.
safariteam5 wrote: My daughter is a total country girl and has no qualms about helping process bunnies.
Very cool. And nice pics. That is a healthy sized bunny.
My youngest girl can help us butcher wild rabbits we hunt, but doesn't like to help with 'her' bunnies. :|
safariteam5 wrote:We generally use them interchangeably with chicken in dishes like rabbit and dumplings, rabbit noodle soup, and rabbit pot pie (the last pic).
My kids/wife like to have the rabbit seasoned as sausage and used in links or for sausage gravy with biscuits. I bone the rabbits out and run them through the grinder. We can whatever we don't use that day for future use. It also makes a good addition to the venison sausage as the rabbit adds a lot of fat to the lean deer meat.
The kids also like the ground rabbit turned into sloppy joes, but my wife isn't quite as excited about it.
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Re: The Rabbit Farming Thread?

Post by bonanacrom » Fri Jan 17, 2014 4:44 am

Image Cut back on buying food for them.
The deeper you go in the forest the more things there are to eat your horse. Image

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Re: The Rabbit Farming Thread?

Post by procyon » Fri Jan 17, 2014 5:53 am

Ours have open bottoms so we can move them around during the summer, but not so much at this time of year.

We also 'enclosed' about a third of the 'community' hutches so that they had shelter when they wanted it or got scared.
I may see if I can get a pic of one on here.
... I will show you fear in a handful of dust...

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Re: The Rabbit Farming Thread?

Post by kwailo » Fri Jan 17, 2014 12:06 pm

procyon wrote:as the rabbit adds a lot of fat to the lean deer meat.
What breed do you have?

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Re: The Rabbit Farming Thread?

Post by gundogs » Fri Jan 17, 2014 12:20 pm

kwailo wrote:
procyon wrote:as the rabbit adds a lot of fat to the lean deer meat.
What breed do you have?
Ha! I was wondering the same thing. The rabbits I eat have little or no fat

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Re: The Rabbit Farming Thread?

Post by procyon » Sat Jan 18, 2014 7:08 am

New Zealand
Ours have all white males and the females are the same with almost universally a dark patch on the head or forequarters.
The girls also have a flap of fur under their chins.

But even the cottontails that run wild here are fatty. Whenever I can any their is always a healthy layer of grease that ends up on top of the meat in the jar. My wife likes the fact that she can use the grease from the rabbits to make most of the gravy with and only needs a little oil to get enough to feed our family.

Don't know what rabbits run around in your area or that you raise, but our and the cottontails are all greasy little buggers.
... I will show you fear in a handful of dust...

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Re: The Rabbit Farming Thread?

Post by ineffableone » Mon Jan 20, 2014 3:19 pm

Just thought I would share this video I just watched. Just a brief talk about using cardboard boxes for a nesting box for your bunnies.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yKoIQa8HUHE
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