Beginning With Meat Rabbits
California meat rabbits are a good choice for home meat production. Easy breeders, good litter size, and fast growth to harvest weight
We made some early mistakes in breeds of rabbits, housing and care. We are working on correcting them.
First off, our housing was inadequate. We lost rabbits in learning what works and what doesn’t.
A rabbit doe needs a large enough cage to have a nest box that will keep the kits sheltered and avoid kits being pushed out of the nest.
The cage itself needs to be predator-proof. Or at least in a building that can be made predator-proof.
Rabbits need to be protected from the Texas triple digit summer heat. They need a constant supply of water – and the quart size water bottles are not enough for more than a couple hours. An automatic watering system is a high priority. Shade, fans and even misters for the rabbitry all help. Our purpose-built rabbitry will have a window A/C unit.
As for our breed mistakes – we were given a few Netherlands Dwarf rabbits. These are very small. Much better suited to being a pet rabbit, we are finding other homes for the few we have.
Shasta is a Mini-Rex buck. He is slightly smaller than the California bucks, but he is of a very calm tempermant and is easy to handle. His fur is very nice, and we are hoping he will sire kits with useful pelts. I’d like to get a large Rex buck so we can breed for larger sized rabbits.
We did lose a couple rabbits to predators, and have one still running around as a yard bunny because the cages was knocked over and broken.
This may not seem like a large loss, but when a single breeding doe can produce thirty offspring a year at five pounds of edible meat each, this loss is substantial.
We’ll be building an indoors rabbitry before winter, and plan to breed all the does after first frost.