Rabbits are a great, low maintenance alternative to chickens for meat. Obliviously, rabbits reproduce rapidly and are not too difficult to breed.
When selecting a breed the following website, http://rabbitbreeders.us/louisiana-rabbit-breeders, is extremely helpful for finding rabbit breeders in Louisiana. Generally, California and New Zealand rabbits are the most popular meat rabbits, but those considering rabbits should always visit various breeders and research before getting one. Also, “giant” rabbit species should be avoided. The general recommendation for these animals is to get one buck (male rabbit) and three does (female rabbit), for they will take hardly any time to get reproducing. There will be about six to ten babies in a litter. To be completely profitable, a doe should raise thirty-six fryers (rabbit that one eats) per year. In other words, six litters of six fryers each. To tell if a “kit” or baby rabbit will be a fryer, it should weigh 4.5 to 5 lbs. b eight to eleven weeks old.
Each rabbit should have its own cage raised above the ground on posts or on a fence. The bottom of the cage should be three to four feet above the ground. Make sure the cages are protected and ventilated. There are also size varieties for cages according to males and females. For breeding and weaning their litters, does need an area of at least six square feet. Bucks’ cages need at least five square feet. Additionally, housing proves to be extremely important when the rabbits get sick. If a rabbit is ever sick, isolate it to stop the spread of disease. Finally, keep the cages clean and away from any potential rain damage.
Rabbits mainly eat store bought rabbit food, Timothy Hay, and raw vegetable scraps. However, be warned that the most common problem with rabbits is overfeeding. This can be dangerous because their meat will no longer be at its best and an overweight doe becomes lazy, causing her to not want to breed. They should be feed a balanced feed formula at night, since it is their natural feeding time. When feeding, make sure that their food is fresh and free of mold. From breeding and throughout nursing, the doe and her litter will eat 100-120 lb. of feed. The young rabbits also get plenty of their nutrients from a mother that can produce plenty of milk. Most importantly, the young rabbits will need water. Without continuous drinking, they will stop eating.
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