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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was looking up how much meat a female rabbit can produce in one year, and came across this list of facts.

http://www.ardengrabbit.com/facts.html

One of the facts says that one 10 pound female rabbit can produce 320 pounds of meat per year.

Is this correct? That sounds like a lot to me, but I don't really know that much about it.

Are the facts listed at the link pretty much correct?
 

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MOLON LABE!
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Yes, pretty much.

A doe can reasonably breed 6 times per year, average about 8 kits per cycle, each of which will butcher out to about 4-5lbs. each. 40X8=320lbs.

Pretty reasonable IMO.

We wack ours at about 5lbs, so figure on about 3-3.5lbs. dressed out, they're more tender that way :D:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes, pretty much.

A doe can reasonably breed 6 times per year, average about 8 kits per cycle, each of which will butcher out to about 4-5lbs. each. 40X8=320lbs.

Pretty reasonable IMO.

We wack ours at about 5lbs, so figure on about 3-3.5lbs. dressed out, they're more tender that way :D:
If they have 6 litters at 8 per litter, that would would be 48 per year.

48X 5lbs = 240 lbs
 

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MOLON LABE!
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If they have 6 litters at 8 per litter, that would would be 48 per year.

48X 5lbs = 240 lbs
LOL! :thumb:

My math skills suck! I must needs me some more coffee this morning!

Unfortunately, you're right, but I was being pretty conservative at 48 kits per year. An old guy I know averages 8 litters per year and 10 kits per litter.

I "free range" my rabbits, so they feed on fresh greens and garden waste during the spring/summer/fall months. This decreases my production a little, but it also cuts my cost down to next to nothing. All the weeds from the garden go into the rabbit yard, and they feed off the alfalfa and Timothy grass we planted for them, this has resulted in my total feed bill for the year thus far totaling $30 for a half dozen breeders.

Hope this helps more than my failed math :rolleyes:
 

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I usually average 35 kits per year per doe feeding mostly grass and weeds. I butcher when they are at 4.5 lbs, so each doe (average weight about 8 lbs) of mine is producing almost 160 lbs of rabbit a year. If I fed them pellets, I'm sure I could top 200lbs per doe.

I only breed them 5 times a year, though, so they don't wear out too fast. I currently have 10 does and 2 bucks, and last year I topped 350 kits.

I have mine on a rotating breeding schedule. One doe goes in with the buck every week. One doe is kindling every week. One set of kits is getting weaned, and one set is getting butchered. This gives me 6-8 butchered carcasses a week, 2 for my family, the rest get sold locally. We also tan the hides.

I wean at 6 weeks old, butcher at 10-12 weeks. If I feed higher quality feed, I could wean at 4 weeks, butcher at 8-10, and up production considerably, but then I'd actually have to work at it. Right now, I get free feed, and I spend about 1 hour a week tending to them and keeping records.

Also, mine are all mutts, no real bloodlines. They come out all sorts of colors, which is good for the hides, but they take a bit longer to grow and are not quite as efficient as pure New Zealands. Still, my breeding stock cost me about $3 a piece, whereas a good New Zealand doe is worth $25 or more.
 

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The right doe, bred to the right buck, pushed to produce 10-12 litters a year could produce 300-350 lbs. of meat a year. This kind of production was what we shot for with a commercial rabbitry, and will wear out a doe in 2-3 years.

A more realistic level for home production would be 6-8 litters per year, and 200-240 lbs. Your does will also remain healthy and productive longer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So if I got 4 does, and 1 buck would this be enough for my family of 4?
 

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Unless you're planning to eat rabbit every single day, two does and a buck will produce all the rabbit meat a family of four would ever want to eat.

If you get 6 litters per year, per doe, two does should average around 100 fryers in a year's time. Even if you eat two rabbits per meal, that's enough to eat rabbit once a week for almost a year.
 

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Yes.

You will just want to be careful not to overdo with any 'moist' green food, or they can develop diarrhea. We always kept pine cones in the cages to help avoid it, and blackberry canes and leaves in any that did develop loose stools.
 

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whoa! you are breeding a doe 6 times a year. Gestation is 30 days give or take a few that means you are weaning at 6 weeks and breeding back at 4 weeks? To me that is cruel. mho. I breed 3 times a year. My does are all healthy and I am averaging 8 per litter and at 9 weeks they are 5-5 1/2 lbs. I dont start breeding until they are a year old so they are fully mature and there growth is not stunted at all. I feed a 16% pellet 4 days a week and a mix of hay and veggies the other three. Stay away from foods that are high in calcium as they get kidney stones and die a horrible miserable death. My oldest doe is 7 this year, yup 7 and she just had a litter of 9 fat healthy little babies.
My post might seem winded to some, but to others it is not. I have had rabbits my whole life. They have paid for school clothes all the way up to my K5 and my new loaded M1A.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
How do pine cones help avoid it?

Would eastern white pine cones be okay?
 

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How do pine cones help avoid it?

Would eastern white pine cones be okay?
For one thing they love the nuts inside the cones. Gnawing and eating the cone itself gives them a lot of roughage to offset a moist food. They will eat it as they need it. It also helps give them something to do to help avoid boredom.

Don't know why the variety would matter.
 

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whoa! you are breeding a doe 6 times a year. Gestation is 30 days give or take a few that means you are weaning at 6 weeks and breeding back at 4 weeks? To me that is cruel.
You're not 'making' any money at that rate. You may be keeping all the income from the rabbits, not factoring in your expenses, and using that to purchase 'extras'. That's perfectly fine, if that works for you.

When we had a commercial rabbitry of 125 does, we bred back the day after kindling, weaned at 4 weeks, and she kindled again 2-3 days after weaning. The fryers were then ready to sell or butcher at 8 weeks. Yes, we burned out a doe quickly, and then she went into the stew pot. Nothing was wasted. I'm sorry if you think that was 'cruel', but those does were not pets. They were production animals, and they had to produce.

It's not necessary to push for that kind of production in a small rabbitry for personal use. I don't have any rabbits now, but the last I had for personal use were bred back and weaned at 4 weeks. I saw no 'burnout' or adverse effects on the does by breeding at that rate. A doe that is not bred often enough can develop fatty deposits on the liver and uterus. Only breeding three times a year requires diligence in feeding to avoid that. Once that happens, she will rarely breed again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
For one thing they love the nuts inside the cones. Gnawing and eating the cone itself gives them a lot of roughage to offset a moist food. They will eat it as they need it. It also helps give them something to do to help avoid boredom.

Don't know why the variety would matter.
Okay thanks. I wasn't sure if certain types were poisonous or not.
 

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I heard that rabbits lack a certain kind of protein, fat, or something, so just beware that you can't have just rabbit.
It's a very lean meat, so a diet of straight rabbit meat will lack some of the fat that you need. It's more prevalent in wild rabbit than domestic. Even with the wild rabbit, the lack of fat can be offset by eating the organ meats, the heart, liver and kidneys. And if you like liver, rabbit liver is the best.
 
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