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Author Topic: New baby rabbits on the Kelly Farm!  (Read 4503 times)
Sean Kelly
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« on: March 11, 2013, 01:31:27 PM »

Just born, a healthy litter of 6 baby kits!!!
I raise mutts.  The mother is a California/New Zealand cross.  The father is a Flemish+Satin/Champagne D'Argent cross.
Not sure what to call them, other than Bunny McNuggets!!!

Sean Kelly



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"My son,  eat  thou honey,  because it is good;  and the honeycomb,  which is sweet  to thy taste"          - Proverbs 24:13
kathyp
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« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2013, 01:50:04 PM »

how old do they have to get before you can eat them?
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

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Sean Kelly
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« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2013, 02:11:09 PM »

how old do they have to get before you can eat them?

Hi Kathy!  Haven't talked to you in years!!!

I process at 5lbs.  That gives about 3lbs of dressed young meat, usually around 8 weeks.  I wean them at about 4 weeks and sex them at that time to separate boys and girls.  They can get preggers not very long after they quit nursing.

Sean Kelly
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"My son,  eat  thou honey,  because it is good;  and the honeycomb,  which is sweet  to thy taste"          - Proverbs 24:13
kathyp
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« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2013, 03:50:36 PM »

yeah..where have you been??

so that's pretty quick.  even better than chickens.  that must help keep the cost way down!
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
Sean Kelly
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« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2013, 08:55:47 PM »

yeah..where have you been??

so that's pretty quick.  even better than chickens.  that must help keep the cost way down!

I know, I know.  I've been in hiding.  lol.
To be honest, I actually kinda forgot about this place.  Made some great friends on this forum and then disappear!  What the heck is wrong with me!  lol

Yeah, it's super quick.  Chicken takes around 6 months or more (depending if they free range) before they're ready to harvest.  My 10 hens go through a 50lb sack of feed every 3 weeks.  I just bought a bag for $18 today.  Do the math.
Now my 5 rabbits go through 50lb sack of feed about every other month when I'm not supplementing with grass clippings, dandelions, and table scraps.

One doe rabbit can produce around 350lbs of meet a YEAR, using 2/3 less commercial feed than beef.  And the manure can be added directly to your gardens, doesn't need to be composted like chicken or cattle manure.

It's the perfect food, not sure why it went out of favor in the US after WWII.

Sean
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"My son,  eat  thou honey,  because it is good;  and the honeycomb,  which is sweet  to thy taste"          - Proverbs 24:13
bailey
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« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2013, 09:04:47 PM »

We're expecting kits here as well.  Early next month. Your post on rabbits got me thinking and I now have breeders and they are setup so I bread them a few days ago.
2 New Zealand does bread to New Zealand bucks.
You started something. 
Bailey.
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most often i find my greatest source of stress to be OPS  ( other peoples stupidity )

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AllenF
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« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2013, 09:27:18 PM »

I throw the junk left out of the garden to my bunny to keep the feed down and to give him something besides pellets to eat.   I cut a head or 2 of cabbage a week through the winter and the outer leaves and the base of the plant goes into the cage.  Collards and broccoli that don't make the cut also goes into the cage. 
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Sean Kelly
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« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2013, 11:46:58 PM »

We're expecting kits here as well.  Early next month. Your post on rabbits got me thinking and I now have breeders and they are setup so I bread them a few days ago.
2 New Zealand does bread to New Zealand bucks.
You started something. 
Bailey.


Right on Bailey!!!  Make sure you keep good records and take lots of notes.  If you ever have any questions feel free to PM me!  I'm seriously hoping to start a new (old) trend in home farming.  I strongly believe meat rabbits are the answer to all our environmental and food problems!  Join me in evangelizing the rabbit word!  smiley

I throw the junk left out of the garden to my bunny to keep the feed down and to give him something besides pellets to eat.   I cut a head or 2 of cabbage a week through the winter and the outer leaves and the base of the plant goes into the cage.  Collards and broccoli that don't make the cut also goes into the cage. 

AllenF, definitely what we do too!  Makes less waste and the rabbits love it.  I'm actually going to grow a section of my garden just for the bunnies.  I like feeding my rabbits mint to help with digestion and it keeps internal parasites low.

Sean
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"My son,  eat  thou honey,  because it is good;  and the honeycomb,  which is sweet  to thy taste"          - Proverbs 24:13
ziffabeek
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« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2013, 03:40:22 PM »

Ok, don't all kill me when I ask this, but how do you kill them?  Do you take them somewhere or do it yourself? 

I've always sworn I could kill a chicken.  Not sure I could kill a baby bunny unless I was REALLY hungry.  Sad.

Just curious if you think rabbits would work for an urban farmstead with squishy city-slicker-farmers?

Cheesy

love,
ziffa
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bailey
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« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2013, 10:15:16 PM »

I will give you the easy way to do it.
Take 2 old deeps or 3 med boxes and stack one on the other on the ground.
Place rabbit mcnugget in the stack on ground. 
Take trusty pellet rifle and ease down in.  One placed between the ears and its all over. No fuss noise or struggle.
Quick and clean with no run always or rabbit squeals.   The never know it happened.
Bailey
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most often i find my greatest source of stress to be OPS  ( other peoples stupidity )

It is better to keep ones mouth shut and be thought of as a fool than to open ones mouth and in so doing remove all doubt.
ziffabeek
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« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2013, 11:36:58 AM »

Umm, it's the placing of the cold steel between the cute furry ears.  Cry

Thanks Bailey!  Undecided

I know it is something I will need to get over if I ever reach my dream of self-sustainability.  I like rabbit meat and I agree with Sean that it is a good way to raise meat all around.  Just gah, my stupid urban sensibilities!

I'm a few years away from attempting this, so I guess I'll just have to try and grow some . . . um, determination!  grin

love,
ziffa
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Moots
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« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2013, 11:56:38 AM »

ziffa,
Maybe you could let someone else handle that part of the process.  There is a difference between knowing what happens and seeing what happens!  Smiley

Good Luck!
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Moots
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« Reply #12 on: March 21, 2013, 04:46:25 PM »

Bailey's method is probably a little less up close and personal.   Smiley

However, I had lunch with a co-worker today and the subject of raising rabbits came up, I hadn't realized it before but he told me he use to raise them.  When I asked him of his preferred method, he said, lift them by their back legs, let them hang straight down, and give them a karate chop to the back of the neck.  He claims it works like a charm....
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"We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions."
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bailey
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« Reply #13 on: March 21, 2013, 06:01:34 PM »

Ziff.
Hippy beek won't do it for you?
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most often i find my greatest source of stress to be OPS  ( other peoples stupidity )

It is better to keep ones mouth shut and be thought of as a fool than to open ones mouth and in so doing remove all doubt.
woodsstalker
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« Reply #14 on: March 21, 2013, 11:39:43 PM »

To butcher a rabbit, I first give it a good klunk behind the head with a stout club which stuns them, then, holding the rabbit by the hind legs with the head dangling down my right side. Grasping the head with my fingers wrapped around the rabbits chin and my thumb over the head as near the base of the skull as possible I give the head a quick snap which severs the spinal cord. Quick and easy. Then it's a mere task of laying the rabbit across the chopping block and decapitating with a hatchet.

I agree with Sean, raising one's own food is not only gratifying but you get much better tasting food that is so much better for you without all the chemicals, etc. now added to our food chain. Not to mention that is also fresher as it's not shipped from half way across the world.
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Sean Kelly
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« Reply #15 on: March 22, 2013, 07:15:19 AM »

Here's what I use.  It's a little expensive, but super easy and fast:  http://www.therabbitwringer.com/ (viewer discretion advised: some of the videos are a little graphic on their website and may not be suitable for children or weak at heart)

A pellet air rifle works great too.  Very quick, but also not very sustainable.  I like using methods that don't require buying stuff from the sporting goods store, just incase down the road there's a supply line problem.  Call me a prepper or crazy, but I think the world is gunna get strange soon and I don't want to worry about not being able to buy lead pellets for my bunnies.

Ziffa, unfortunately there's nothing nice about dispatching something so cute and fuzzy.  No matter how many times you do it, it still sucks.  And if it makes you sad when you're dispatching your animals, then that means you're a good farmer and your heart is in the right place.  There's no better food in the world than the stuff grown with love and caring.  Meat raised in feedlots don't get that kind of attention.
Shedding a tear when dispatching your meals just makes dinner that much sweeter.

Sean
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"My son,  eat  thou honey,  because it is good;  and the honeycomb,  which is sweet  to thy taste"          - Proverbs 24:13
Moots
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« Reply #16 on: March 22, 2013, 09:00:54 AM »

Here's what I use.  It's a little expensive, but super easy and fast:  http://www.therabbitwringer.com/ (viewer discretion advised: some of the videos are a little graphic on their website and may not be suitable for children or weak at heart)

A pellet air rifle works great too.  Very quick, but also not very sustainable.  I like using methods that don't require buying stuff from the sporting goods store, just incase down the road there's a supply line problem.  Call me a prepper or crazy, but I think the world is gunna get strange soon and I don't want to worry about not being able to buy lead pellets for my bunnies.

Ziffa, unfortunately there's nothing nice about dispatching something so cute and fuzzy.  No matter how many times you do it, it still sucks.  And if it makes you sad when you're dispatching your animals, then that means you're a good farmer and your heart is in the right place.  There's no better food in the world than the stuff grown with love and caring.  Meat raised in feedlots don't get that kind of attention.
Shedding a tear when dispatching your meals just makes dinner that much sweeter.

Sean


Sean,
Thanks for the link, very interesting.  However, you are right, it's a little pricey.  At that price, you could stock pile about 2,700+ pellets....that's a lot of dispatching.  grin

Then again, if you don't already have the gun, that changes the numbers game quickly.   Smiley

Anyway, I think you closing point is spot on.
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"We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions."
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LoriMNnice
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« Reply #17 on: March 24, 2013, 12:06:44 AM »

I am starting meat rabbits for this spring, I got american rabbits during the fall, during the winter I built some nest boxes and fixed more of the rabbit cages I got for dirt cheap, so hopefully this spring I will have some baby bunnies too.
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ziffabeek
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« Reply #18 on: March 25, 2013, 09:36:56 AM »

hello Sean,

Quote
Shedding a tear when dispatching your meals just makes dinner that much sweeter.

I agree with you very much. 

I visited my brother in New Zealand a few years back.  His house, like many in NZ, doesn't have central air and heating is done by a wood burning stove.  Works quite well!  If you keep it fed.  Which means chopping wood.  A lot of it!  I know this will sound wonky to some of you, but it was a very visceral eye-opener for me to the connection between earth, natural resources and warmth.  My brain KNOWS that the warmth in my house, and the food on my table, comes from the world around me, but do I really experience that?  No, it's just a button on my wall or a plastic wrapped package in the grocery.  We are so far removed.

I really liked the feeling of connection chopping wood gave me.  (even if I didn't like the blisters! Cheesy)  It is one of the reasons I want to be as self sufficient as I can. 

Some day I will test that and see if I can dispatch an 8 week old bunny. 

Thanks for your post!  it has been a very thought provoking for me! And I appreciate your open responses.

love,
ziffa
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woodsstalker
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« Reply #19 on: March 25, 2013, 01:35:37 PM »

With no desire for bragging, I have been a gardener for over 30 years and home caner for about that long. I now have rabbits for meat, chickens for eggs and meat and garden bug clearer upper, three bee hives and a milk goat. I heat my home with a wood burning furnace. Why? It's a lot of work to be sure. Sometimes, REALLY a lot of work. But I like the feeling of independence. I like the idea that regardless of what come down the pike I and a few select friends will not go hungry. And I like being in touch with nature, if you wish.

Oh, and the manure from my animals are a great boost to my garden.
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