Our Rabbitry

LGOberean

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
May 31, 2008
Posts
13,615
Age
69
Location
Corpus Christi, Texas
We’re getting into raising rabbits. In addition to raising quail. And keeping chickens. And gardening.

We found growers in the area, and had made arrangements to buy two does from one breeder, and a buck from another. Obviously, ours will be a small rabbitry operation but that’s fine for just my wife and me. We’re growing them for meat and maybe fur and anticipate that we’ll have a productive enough operation to sell a few. Anyway, that’s the plan.

But there was a hiccup to the plan. The husband of the grower that had the does for us didn’t get the memo on which does were spoken for, and culled one of the does before his wife caught the error.

So we did more searching, and found another source for a doe. This third rabbitry outfit wasn’t raising rabbits the way we want to (they were overcrowding them, IMO), and they were more expensive than the other growers. But even in this we caught a break, because the doe they sold us was pregnant, so we got more bang for our buck…or better said, for our doe.

The rabbitry operation that has the buck we picked out lives farther away, and since we’re going to be in that area of Texas in a few weeks anyway, we’ll pick up the buck then.

Our breeding stock rabbits are all named, BTW. And the names chosen are a nod to the breed of rabbits we’re raising, which is the TAMUK breed. For those not familiar with rabbit breeds and/or aren’t from Texas, TAMUK is the name of a university, the university where this breed of rabbit was created. Specifically, the acronym stands for Texas A&M University—Kingsville (located about 45 miles south of us). And this breed of rabbits bears that name.

So, we knew even in the stage of setting up our rabbitry infrastructure that the names of our first does would reflect the breed. A&M students are collectively known as Aggies, so our first doe was named Aggie. Our next doe was named Tammie, which is also a nod of sorts (“Gimme a T for Texas”) to the breed/university name.

My wife chose the name Gavin for our buck. He’s a white buck, and she found some online source that said Gavin meant white falcon (or hawk). The white part of the meaning was good enough in her thinking. I think it’s a bit ironic to name a rabbit buck after one of his predators, but my wife liked the name. Anyway, it was her desire to name them, not mine, and she has since painted the name above the door of his hutch, so Gavin it is.

Speaking of hutches, we made them for our breeding stock, and a grow-out hutch for their offspring is in the works. We had a good bit of scrap lumber from other projects, as well as from a find of eleven discarded pallets that were in really good condition. My wife did a lot of online research on hutch design of other rabbitry operations and came up with a mix of those designs and her own ideas. I helped with the grunt work, but the design is her own.

All of this is within the Corpus Christi city limits, BTW. (We wish we could move from the city and live in a more rural/agrarian community, but we can’t afford to do that, yet.) We’re (mostly :oops:;)) in compliance with city ordinances regarding chickens and such.

Most of our operations and infrastructure (chicken coop & run, quail aviary, rabbit hutches and most of our gardening) are in our back yard. But we do some (food) gardening in our front yard, and plan to move even more in that direction. And I’ve posted previously about having a “chicken tractor” to let some of our chickens “mow” the front yard. The chicken tractor will double as a “rabbit” tractor on occasion.

Our neighbors’ reactions to what we’re doing is mixed. Several marvel at us, seemingly in an admiring way. They make affirming statements and gladly receive the produce we share from our garden. Others have looked askance at our projects as they walk by, and from one neighbor we got a thinly veiled backhanded “compliment.”

I’m assuming that the TDPRI dictum “Pics or it didn’t happen” applies to such things as well, so pics to follow in this thread.
 

LGOberean

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
May 31, 2008
Posts
13,615
Age
69
Location
Corpus Christi, Texas
First let me repost the pics of our chicken tractor and three of our hens…

1666111558300.png


Now on to our rabbitry. Here’s one of the doe duplex…

1666111596339.png


Aggie...

1666111657095.png
1666111671191.png
1666111694510.png


Tammie...

1666111726649.png
1666111763127.png


Gavin's hutch awaits...

1666111810349.png
 

stormsedge

Poster Extraordinaire
Silver Supporter
Joined
Jun 5, 2012
Posts
7,340
Location
E. Tennessee, USA
I raised rabbits for 4H. My sisters got involved bc they loved critters. We started with what turned out to be two bucks and one doe with pens/cages similar to yours. ~2 years later, facing a cross country move with Dad’s employment, we rehomed 125 rabbits and all the housing/pens to support. Eating them (which we found we could not do) is the only way to keep the population down. Good appetite!
 

P Thought

Doctor of Teleocity
Ad Free Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2009
Posts
14,350
Location
Plundertown (Gasville) OR
Nice work, Larry!

I have a big stack of lumber, mostly rough-cut cedar, that needs used before it rots in place. Rabbit hutches and chicken coops seem like a good idea, maybe a greenhouse too.

Besides my natural tendency to put things off, I've hesitated on such projects because tending gardens and livestock might tend to prevent us from taking the road trips we'd like to, though plenty other things have prevented most of those trips lately anyway. @LGOberean, you're trailer people: how do you address that issue?
 

Refugee

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Mar 8, 2021
Posts
1,536
Age
54
Location
San Francisco, CA
Ever since I was a kid watching old Bugs Bunny cartoons, I have wanted to try hasenpfeffer. in Hot Springs there is a place called Don's Butcher Shop. I poked around inside and there was frozen rabbit. All bled, gutted and skinned. So, I finally got to check that off the bucket list.
 

bgmacaw

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Feb 11, 2006
Posts
11,425
Location
Near Athens GA USA
We had a rabbit up until last year. Our neighbor across the street's son decided that he wanted to raise rabbits as a "side gig". Once he got into the work involved and got bored with it, he let them all go in their yard, 6 of them. We caught one of them that had taken up under our bushes. I guess predators and disease got the rest.

We kept him for a little over 7 years with him eventually dying of old age last November.

19347.jpeg
 

LGOberean

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
May 31, 2008
Posts
13,615
Age
69
Location
Corpus Christi, Texas
Nice work, Larry!

I have a big stack of lumber, mostly rough-cut cedar, that needs used before it rots in place. Rabbit hutches and chicken coops seem like a good idea, maybe a greenhouse too.

Besides my natural tendency to put things off, I've hesitated on such projects because tending gardens and livestock might tend to prevent us from taking the road trips we'd like to, though plenty other things have prevented most of those trips lately anyway. @LGOberean, you're trailer people: how do you address that issue?

Plans change. We thought when my wife retired we'd be able to travel even more, but the person she sold her business to in June has yet to pay her a penny for it. We are trying to keep from litigation as a course of action, but it's slow going. And even before this setback, we had already figured we'll travel less, twice a year at most. We'll see. We haven't sold our trailer yet, and hope we don't have to.

But yeah, we are getting tied down to tending gardens and stock. Coincidentally, my wife informed me that we started back into this (we'd kept chickens before we bought the RV trailer) a year ago yesterday. In one year's time, we went from no "farming" to chickens, gardening (in ground, planter boxes, hydroponics), quail and now rabbits.
 

Kev-wilson

Tele-Meister
Joined
Mar 22, 2022
Posts
353
Age
55
Location
England
I think you meant "soccer." ;)

And although the topic here is rabbits, I think I just opened a can of worms.
Definitely football, or Association Football to give it it’s proper name, a game mostly played with the foot and a round ball, the rabbit didn’t reckon much to a rugby ball 😝
 

stxrus

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
May 25, 2007
Posts
11,182
Age
70
Location
St. Croix, USVI
That's cool Larry
I had a girlfriend in Arlington that had a rabbit. His name was Henry and he was a fun creature t be around. Acted like a dog a lot of the time
 

LGOberean

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
May 31, 2008
Posts
13,615
Age
69
Location
Corpus Christi, Texas
Never name critters yer' gonna' eat I say!

Sage counsel, and it's the way I would've gone with it, were it not for my wife. Or left to my own devices, I might've come up with names like "Hasenpfeffer," "Spit-roast Sally," "Bug's stew," etc.

BTW, I'm always the executioner, not my wife Beth. Sounds harsh to put it that way, maybe I should rename that the "Axe-man." Yeah, that is a double entendre that sets well with me. Not that my Beth is squeamish about it, per se, but she just prefers that I do "the deed."

I'm the executioner even when it comes to pets. We had a rescue cat for eleven years that at the last was passing out and passing blood. We consulted the vet to see if anything could be done, and she lasted a couple of months after that, IIRC. But in the end, I took her outside the city limits and dispatched her myself. I didn't see the sense in paying $150 to have a vet do it to spare my feelings versus me spending 11¢ to accomplish the same goal.

Wow! Where'd that come from?!? I didn't mean to take this discussion down a morbid path that some might take exception to. Lest I leave the wrong impression, dispatching a cat that had been with us for 11 years wasn't a pleasant task, and I was far from callused about it.

My grandchildren rescued that kitten, but they couldn't keep because close friends were horribly allergic to felines. The solution the grandkids came up with was, "Let's give her to Paw Paw and Grandma, then we can watch her grow up!" She was all gray on top, with a white breast and belly. I wanted to name her "Jaws," but my wife overruled me on that one. So the kitten became Little Orphan Annie, or Annie for short.

And she was my cat. She begged from me at the breakfast table, gave me "backrubs," always got in my lap. Actually, every cat we've ever had has been more mine than my wife's. When she was a little girl, Beth was scratched by a stray cat, had to have stitches in her eyelid, and contracted cat scratch fever as a result. So she never owned a cat until she met me. I was raised with both. We've had cats for most of 49 years of married life, and continuously rescues for the last 30 years. And cats always came to me, not Beth. As my sister once described it, "They consider you warm-blooded furniture."

So it hurt me to put Annie down, but I would have been no less responsible for putting her down had I avoided the executioner task and passed it off to a vet. I sometimes have a hard time of not seeing Annie at the moment I pulled the trigger. Looking over old photographs helps. Here's a photo montage of Annie with me, Bella our dog and our other house cat, Celeste, to give you a sense of my bond with her.

1666123758433.png
1666123776243.png
1666123793482.png
1666123824877.png
 

Tonetele

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Jun 2, 2009
Posts
10,602
Location
South Australia
Most Aussies over 60 grew up on rabbit meat as it was cheap, or free if you shot it with a 22, and made stews. I loved it. Then they introduced myxomatosis as we had severe soil erosion on farmlands as rabbits gestate every 6 weeks .
Sorry bunny lovers- no offence meant. They are cute pts.
 

Dostradamas

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Apr 23, 2021
Posts
1,430
Location
Not here
Raised rabbits for food as a kid.

Not easy for the average person to distinguish buck from doe.

They don't all live and stay healthy, you will have to dispose of dead baby kittens if you are breeding.

Raising for meat meant slaughter and skinning.

Nothing screams like a rabbit you are going to kill.

Once skinned they look more like babies than most can stomach.

They make wonderful indoor pets (can be litter box trained) but I would never advocate raising them to eat, there is a lot of slaughtering to feed a family of 4.
 




Top