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Best age to harvest kits

 
Jacque Ence
Posts: 14
Location: So Ut 5300ft 14in precip. Hardiness zone 7
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My colony is under construction for spring. I have a question I'm hoping more experienced rabbit raisers can answer for me, as I'm finding it difficult to find any info on the internet. I would like to harvest my kits for both meat and fur. I'm willing to feed them a little longer if that's what it takes for better pelts. I'm not looking to sell my pelts at first, but I would like to turn them into twisted rabbit fur blankets. I'm hoping the twisting would give the young, thin skin more strength. Are kit pelts viable for such a thing? If so, what age or size would be optimal to harvest?
 
Craig Dobbelyu
pollinator
Posts: 1251
Location: Maine (zone 5)
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forest garden hugelkultur
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You could probably get away with it at eight weeks of age if you're doing the twisted rugs for home use. For commercial buyers, they are looking for a pelt from a 12-16 week old kit. You'll see as they mature how fast the pelt develops. From there you can start making some decisions about what's optimal for you. From my experience eight weeks has the best meat texture as well as feed/meat conversion level. After that, they slow in growth and begin to eat more food. This is when they start to mature sexually and toughen up.

I'd say just harvest half of your first litter at eight weeks old and leave a few to grow on a little more. Try a few more a couple weeks later and see how they change over time. If you do this, keep the females. Males will begin to fight for territory after about 10 weeks or so. They will bite each other and damage the pelts.

Good luck
 
Jacque Ence
Posts: 14
Location: So Ut 5300ft 14in precip. Hardiness zone 7
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Very helpful, thank you.
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://stoves2.com
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