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Author Topic: Bunnies for survival...  (Read 9943 times)

MommaHen

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Bunnies for survival...
« on: July 24, 2011, 05:41:44 pm »

We have a variety of critters around here. Ducks, turkey, chickens, cats, hamster, turtle and three bunnies.
I think the kids understand we would eat them if we had to. So I'm not worried about that.

However, as much as I don't need or want baby bunnies right now....I'm wondering if we should go through a round of the
breeding/nesting/hatching/caring of a pregnant rabbit. So when SHTF I know what the heck I'm doing.

But in this decision I feel like I'm the crazy cat lady who is just letting my bunnies breed for fun. LOL

I could sell the babies of course (craigslist etc) but I think I need convincing that trying it out is worth it. Anyone? Opinions?
Is bunny breeding easy? hard? Do I even need to practice this skill...or at least confirm my male rabbit and reproduce with the girls?

Thanks in advance. :)

**MommaHen

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FDD

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Re: Bunnies for survival...
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2011, 06:33:35 pm »

When you start, it will be about 16 week from start to finish.

start by taking the momma to the buck, not the other way around, momma will kill the buck if you do.
take all of about 2 min. when the buck can't mount anymore because momma wont let him, them he's done.
you can try again the next day, but two days is really all you will need.
mark on the calendar when you put the two together and wait about 8 weeks. put in the nesting bow at about 4 or 5 weeks
when momma starts to pull fur, she getting ready.
when they are born, don't be picking in to see, momma wont like it and may kill the little ones.
by 3 to 4 weeks the little ones should be trying to get out of the nest box. now you can look and handle them, check for sex and number and all.
by 8 weeks they need to be moved from momma, ready for market, or freezer, or you can increase your herd.

a good site is www.arba.net


good luck
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MommaHen

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Re: Bunnies for survival...
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2011, 06:35:29 pm »

When you start, it will be about 16 week from start to finish.

start by taking the momma to the buck, not the other way around, momma will kill the buck if you do.
take all of about 2 min. when the buck can't mount anymore because momma wont let him, them he's done.
you can try again the next day, but two days is really all you will need.
mark on the calendar when you put the two together and wait about 8 weeks. put in the nesting bow at about 4 or 5 weeks
when momma starts to pull fur, she getting ready.
when they are born, don't be picking in to see, momma wont like it and may kill the little ones.
by 3 to 4 weeks the little ones should be trying to get out of the nest box. now you can look and handle them, check for sex and number and all.
by 8 weeks they need to be moved from momma, ready for market, or freezer, or you can increase your herd.

a good site is www.arba.net


good luck

I'm 99% sure rabbits only carry their babies for 31 days....

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FDD

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Re: Bunnies for survival...
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2011, 06:38:53 pm »

well it's been a few years.

I use to raise American chinchilla rabbits.
would like to do so again, hopeful soon.

anyway thats why the link also.
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Nobody needs an AR-15
Nobody needs a whiny little bitch ether, yet here you are

If we want our grandchildren to be able to give thanks for being Americans, we'll need to.....start steering a course away from government control of our lives-and start moving back toward greater personal responsibility.¬ ¬  Ed Feulner

I think, therefore I am not a progressive liberal socialist marxist democrat

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EwB

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Re: Bunnies for survival...
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2011, 08:56:28 pm »

Julio's right, take the doe to the buck, not the other way around.  We kept the bucks away from the does at the end of the cage line, with partitions between the bucks, they will spray urine on each other if you don't. 

You can get automatic watering nipples that mount on standard PVC pipe, use a toilet tank and float to get gravity pressure only on the line, 50 psi will train your bunnies NOT to use the watering nipple, you need the pressure reduction.  Put a drain petcock or spigot on the end of the line so you can flush it, drain it, and set a slow steady flow to fight freezing weather.  Of course, it didn't get that cold that often where I grew up.

My dad had over 500 does for about 3-4 years.  We shipped breeding stock as far away a China and meat to Canada from our home in NC.  This was 1978-1984ish. That is a lot of manure, which is really good for your garden after it has aged a year. 

One thing to watch for, is that if you are using wire bottom cages, the little ones can get their feet stuck through the wire if the spacing is wrong.  And you will need to watch for feral cats, dogs and raptors ( avian not dino ), which can a injure or kill a bunny through the gaps in the wire.

We also had a "bunny run" with a enclosed hutch and wire enclosure that sat on the ground.  We could get the bunnies to run back into the hutch, close the hatch to the run, and move the whole thing to new "grazing land".  The bottom of the run was chicken wire to keep them from burrowing out, learned that the hard way.   The enclosed area was about a 20'x30'.

EwB
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MommaHen

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Re: Bunnies for survival...
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2011, 10:10:54 pm »

Julio's right, take the doe to the buck, not the other way around.  We kept the bucks away from the does at the end of the cage line, with partitions between the bucks, they will spray urine on each other if you don't. 

You can get automatic watering nipples that mount on standard PVC pipe, use a toilet tank and float to get gravity pressure only on the line, 50 psi will train your bunnies NOT to use the watering nipple, you need the pressure reduction.  Put a drain petcock or spigot on the end of the line so you can flush it, drain it, and set a slow steady flow to fight freezing weather.  Of course, it didn't get that cold that often where I grew up.

My dad had over 500 does for about 3-4 years.  We shipped breeding stock as far away a China and meat to Canada from our home in NC.  This was 1978-1984ish. That is a lot of manure, which is really good for your garden after it has aged a year. 

One thing to watch for, is that if you are using wire bottom cages, the little ones can get their feet stuck through the wire if the spacing is wrong.  And you will need to watch for feral cats, dogs and raptors ( avian not dino ), which can a injure or kill a bunny through the gaps in the wire.

We also had a "bunny run" with a enclosed hutch and wire enclosure that sat on the ground.  We could get the bunnies to run back into the hutch, close the hatch to the run, and move the whole thing to new "grazing land".  The bottom of the run was chicken wire to keep them from burrowing out, learned that the hard way.   The enclosed area was about a 20'x30'.

EwB

Thank you :) I'll try and post some photos of our set up in the next few days.

Going to let the buck and the gals co-exist for the time being. Haven't seen any fighting, biting or nervousness from any of them yet.
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Bear

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Re: Bunnies for survival...
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2011, 11:18:16 pm »

MommaHen,

I'd say get started now. In the current times, you have the luxury of affordable failure.
If you wait until TSHTF, you must get it right.

We will all make mistakes, but you might as well try while you have a 'do over' available. :D

Bear
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MommaHen

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Re: Bunnies for survival...
« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2011, 11:31:37 pm »

MommaHen,

I'd say get started now. In the current times, you have the luxury of affordable failure.
If you wait until TSHTF, you must get it right.

We will all make mistakes, but you might as well try while you have a 'do over' available. :D

Bear


Thanks for the support Bear :) I promise to update if/when I notice a pregnant Nanny.
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MamaLiberty

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Re: Bunnies for survival...
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2011, 05:47:18 am »

You also might want to have more than one buck from a totally different stock. Also, find out if anyone else in your area raises good rabbits. You would do well to get bucks from each other after a while when you couldn't get them long distance. Like any other livestock, you want to keep inbreeding down to a minimum. And, since rabbits don't live all that long generally, the problem will come up sooner than later. Therefore, it is good to use some sort of tag or tattoo on the breeders so you can keep their lines straight. Keep records.  Don't rely on color or such because after a year or two you won't have a clue which is related to what, even if you only keep a few of them.
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EwB

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Re: Bunnies for survival...
« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2011, 11:25:52 am »

We used to use numeric tattoos in the ears to mark the rabbits for our database of lineage and problems.  That way we could see if any traits, positive or negative, were coming up a bloodline.  The marking and lineage records is also a good thing if you are selling breeding stock in the future.  We shipped over 1000 rabbits to one buyer in the 80s and full records were part of the deal.

EwB
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MommaHen

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Re: Bunnies for survival...
« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2011, 11:42:27 am »

How did you tattoo their ears?

Did you have a system? I'm thinking prison numbers, and laughing out loud right now. This is bunny 10023, and 20034 LOL
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EwB

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Re: Bunnies for survival...
« Reply #11 on: August 08, 2011, 12:14:38 pm »

How did you tattoo their ears?

Did you have a system? I'm thinking prison numbers, and laughing out loud right now. This is bunny 10023, and 20034 LOL

Yes, actually, we had a system that would you tell which doe and which buck the bunny came from.  The rabbit had a number like AB1205, which meant that it was buck A, doe B1, kit number 205.  The system had limitations,we did not anticipate have a  head count in the thousands before we got out of the rabbit business.  We ended up going to serial numbers like prison numbers.   We went to alpha numeric with the numbers leading on all the new database entries.  Something like this:  0001AA, there is a limit on the space in a rabbits ear.  We would just enter the numbers in the database as an index and track the lineage there.

EwB
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MamaLiberty

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Re: Bunnies for survival...
« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2011, 02:10:53 pm »

We had a kind of pair a pliers with a flat surface instead of the grip face. You put in the type made with little needles to spell the letters or numbers you wanted on one side, which was applied to the inner surface of the ear. The thing was inked, then pressed, leaving a tattoo. We used two of them, one for the letters that designated the breeding, and the other for the serial number. I can't remember exactly, but the maximum number of characters was something like 8 or 9. Plenty for our purposes, but a much larger operation would probably have to do it differently. We didn't have data bases or computers then, just pen and paper journal books. It worked.
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Bear

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Re: Bunnies for survival...
« Reply #13 on: August 09, 2011, 01:23:23 pm »

How did you tattoo their ears?

Did you have a system? I'm thinking prison numbers, and laughing out loud right now. This is bunny 10023, and 20034 LOL

The hard part is getting them drunk enough to follow you into a tattoo parlor....

Bear
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MamaLiberty

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Re: Bunnies for survival...
« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2011, 02:04:15 pm »


The hard part is getting them drunk enough to follow you into a tattoo parlor....


Bunnies are easy... just carry them. Horses, on the other hand, can be tricky. They are tattooed on the inside of the lip. Did you ever see how big horse's teeth are?
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