Wednesday, April 2, 2014

New Meat Rabbit Breeding Stock

We added yet another species to the farm last night. We bought two breeding rabbits: one 11-month Californian doe, and one 5-month New Zealand White buck.

Our new breeding stock meat rabbits. Left, Skittles the Californian doe.
Right, Coconut, the New Zealand buck.
We're still searching for a second breeding-age doe, but in the meantime, we have some new friends to get to know.

We made two trips out yesterday to get them. First, we picked up Skittles from one breeder who simply had an extra doe left over from his last litter and was getting ready to re-breed and had some space to free up.

Skittles the Californian doe, up close.

Another view of Skittles. The kids call the Californian breed "vampire rabbits."
Something about the red eyes....
Coconut we got from another breeder who had bought 5 New Zealand whites, thinking he was getting 4 does and a buck. Turns out he got 3 bucks and 2 does instead! He discovered this when he added Coconut (thinking he was a doe) to his known buck's cage only to discover Coconut immediately mounting the other buck! So we know he is definitely male, and definitely ready to, er, lend his services.

Coconut the New Zealand White buck.

Coconut posing for the camera.
Right now (and for the foreseeable future), we're feeding a combination of pellets and hay. I would love nothing more than to stop buying feed completely, and rabbit pellets are among the things I do not want to keep buying. However, they've been raised on pellets, and transitioning to new feed is a slow process. Plus, since these are meat rabbits, there is a cost / health / growth time triangle that needs to balance. So, I fed them some pellets and some fresh-picked clover this morning, in addition to the free-choice hay that will be ever-present for them.

I have them housed in adjacent cages set up on bricks at the moment. I have three additional large cages and several fence pipes with which to construct a more robust rabbitry soon. Pics to follow.

For now, they are next to each other, getting acquainted with each other and with their new surroundings. And, I suppose, their new food.

A very humble beginning to our new rabbitry.

I'll be breeding them relatively soon (within 5-10 days), since Wife and I have invested so very much time and money into our homestead. We're getting lots of milk and eggs, sure, but have yet to partake in backyard meat. So getting the rabbits bred and kindling ASAP will likely afford us a Labor Day Bunnie-B-Que.

It's very exciting to see it all coming together so quickly. Good things take time, but great things happen all at once. Or so I hear, anyway.  :)


  1. really good cages & perfect your rabbit californian nzw. thanks

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