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Will my rabbitry plan work? Blueprint inside.

 
Devin Smith
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I'm hoping my plan #2 will work, but I don't know how much the kits need separated. Do they need separated by gender and litter or just litter or....? I'll only keep the kits for 8-12 weeks before slaughter.

Any help would be appreciated!
cage-plan1.jpg
[Thumbnail for cage-plan1.jpg]
 
Andra Haynes
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I don't know if you would be able to have two breeding does to a cage. They would have to get along very well and that is very rare with sexually mature rabbits. Also the cage would probably need to be very large. The kits don't really need to be seperated if you are only keeping them that long, as long as you don't mix litters they should be fine.
 
Devin Smith
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Ohh... I should mention the cages are 36" by 30". Would this still be too small for two does together? I currently have pet rabbits together that seem to get along great.

Also, my "in the freezer" amount is the amount of processed rabbits I hope to produce in one year in case anyone was wondering. I'm working under the assumption that one doe can produce 64 in a year, but I'm using the number 50 to be somewhat safe in my estimations.
 
Andra Haynes
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This is a bit optimistic to my ears but have at it!
 
Abe Connally
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Devin Smith wrote:Ohh... I should mention the cages are 36" by 30". Would this still be too small for two does together? I currently have pet rabbits together that seem to get along great.

Also, my "in the freezer" amount is the amount of processed rabbits I hope to produce in one year in case anyone was wondering. I'm working under the assumption that one doe can produce 64 in a year, but I'm using the number 50 to be somewhat safe in my estimations.


Yes, that's too small. You need that cage as a minimum space for one doe.

I produce 450 butchered kits a year with 10 does. Once you get into a rhythm, 40+ kits per doe per year is easy to achieve. 64? Not realistic, and even 50 requires a good set up that as a beginner, you won't be able to achieve. Aim for 40, to be safe (things happen).

I wean at 4 weeks, butcher at 8-10 weeks. I have a cage for each doe, a cage for one buck, and 6 kit cages. (twice the size of adult cages). You don't need to separate kits by gender, but at 12 weeks, they will start to breed, so that's the cutoff for butcher kits.

For 200/yr, I'd do 5 does, 1 buck, and 3 kit cages. Every adult should get at least a 30x36 cage.
 
Craig Dobbelyu
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forest garden hugelkultur
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From my experience a 30 X 36 in cage will house one breeding doe and an average litter (8 kits) up to the age of eight weeks. After eight weeks the kits should either be butchered or housed in a "grow out" cage so that the doe can start prepping for her next litter. It really get's cramped in there pretty fast. Does can get pretty territorial once they are pregnant so I wouldn't house them together... for the sake of the children One doe with eight kits pretty much fills a 30x36 so there's really no way of getting more than one doe comfortable in a cage that size with all the kits.

Young females can be housed together until you intend to breed them, then they will need their own cage. Young males will start fighting after about 12 weeks old. They will bite each others genitals and can maim each other, so if you intend to raise a new buck for breeding, then get him his own cage too.

If you're raising for meat then I suspect you'll want to keep the does bred and producing kits at a reasonable rate. Here's how I do it:

I try to keep 4 does and one buck. I try to breed them so that two does are due to kindle on the same day. This way if one has any trouble I can foster kits from one doe to the other. This comes in handy when one doe kindles 12 kits and the other only kindles 4. I can even out the litters so that the does have an easier time and the kits all get to eat well.

I like to keep kindlings spaced by two weeks, so two does kindle today and the other two does kindle two weeks from now. This gives the buck two weeks between "breeding weekends" to ensure high fertility. This also means that I only have to butcher 16 rabbits at a time and I get a two week break between "Freezer Camp" orientations.

When it comes to re-breeding I usually try to get that done when the does current litter is six weeks old. Does are more receptive to a buck when they still have a litter around for some reason. This gives the doe two weeks more with the current kits before they ween, then she get's two weeks off (without kits) to dry up and get ready for the next litter. I've heard of people re-breeding earlier but I've not been too keen to push my does that hard.

I hope that helps a little bit.
Good luck
 
john mcginnis
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Devin Smith wrote:I'm hoping my plan #2 will work, but I don't know how much the kits need separated. Do they need separated by gender and litter or just litter or....? I'll only keep the kits for 8-12 weeks before slaughter.

Any help would be appreciated!


* Cages too small for pairs.
* To get the level of production you want would require optimal conditions. Do you intend to provide temp and humidity to get there? No? Then you better allow for heat conditions when the buck goes sterile, etc.

Personal suggestion: Start with a buck and two does. Spend 6 months with them. At that point expand. Rabbits are easy, but rabbits are also tricky. Why does lay off breeding can sometimes be a mystery. Sir Buck might not be suave enough to get her interested, etc, etc. Rabbits breed like rabbits, but not all the time and not in all conditions.
 
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