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Country Discussion Topics
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A few ???
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JennieM-IN    Posted 10-30-2002 at 06:34:28       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Ok, I figure I've been lurkin long enough. The cold season is here and I need to plan some stuff and make some lists for spring.(for me, not hub) I want to start chickens and rabbits next year. I figure we need to butcher 520 lbs of chickens for meat in one year. Should I do them all at once or in a rotation. I want around 20 layers for eggs. I'm looking at the barred rocks. Have heard they are a good meat and egg chicken. A couple bantys for setting.

Does anybody raise rabbits? I'm thinkin of starting with 2 bucks and 3 does. New Zealand. "They " say that they can be butchered at 8 or 9 weeks.

I want to make one building for both and just section it off. Any ideas would be great.

C.J. in SD    Posted 10-30-2002 at 12:57:11       [Reply]  [No Email]
Jenny; if you want good information on raising rabbits for meat, the American Rabbit Breeders Association was alot of help to us. They have information on everything from small operations to large industrial ones. They have good information for the meat grower. Rabbit manure fertilizer is so good for your garden you don't have to age it. You could squeeze it right out of the rabbit over your garden, not so with chicken, that has to sit a while or it burn up your garden. If you want your chickens to lay during the winter you will have to keep their coop lit for an extra three hours in the winter. We never had any luck with barred rocks. They seemed disinclined to use the nest boxes and preferred to be ground layers. Had much better luck with Orppingtons and Austrolorps. If you want to sell your eggs, brown eggs sell better than white. Cornish X Rocs do the best for getting big in a really short time but the chicks do need vitamins and a mild calcium supplement or their bulk outgrows their legs. If it's too hot in the summer your bucks can become sterile if they overheat and you can loose does to heat stress. It's kind of hard to do small animal farm in five hundred words or less. But the others are right. Your local library is probably your most valuable resource

donna    Posted 10-30-2002 at 08:05:29       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I raise meat rabbits as a business(110 does, getting to 200), I have 20 rhode island reds for
eggs rhode island red don;t set very well, quail, pheasents, turkeys, geese, and a worm farm, to many to count, if you need any answers on anything email me.

Dennis    Posted 10-30-2002 at 06:52:47       [Reply]  [No Email]
Sounds like a good plan. One thing tho, try to keep the chickens away from the rabbits because the rabbits cannot give the chickens any diseases but the chickens can give the rabbits some.

I have a book called "raising rabbits the modern way" and it really helped me when I started out. Ya might try to get a copy at the library to read up on the subject.

Good luck and have fun, Rabbit tastes great when cooked right.

Also wire cages are the best for health reasons.

JennieM    Posted 10-30-2002 at 07:50:17       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Thank you Dennis. My plan is to have a full wall between the rabbits and chickens, but in the same building. When I was a kid we had a garage with 250 rabbits and 100 chickens all togetherand I really didn't like that set up.

Gary    Posted 10-30-2002 at 07:03:11       [Reply]  [No Email]
I agree with Dennis. Raise the rabbits in wire cages on any southern exposure of any building. Keep the bucks seperate from the does except when time to breed. Get urself a good solid piece of hickory to knock 'em in the head when it comes time for harvest. Good luck, I've raised the New Zealand whites and have had many enjoyable meals. Try them BBQ'd they're great just be careful not to over cook them, and baiste them often.

JennieM    Posted 10-30-2002 at 07:51:57       [Reply]  [Send Email]
My dad used to use a little 22 mag handgun sometimes and then other's he'd just disjoint their head from their neck. Does wood work good? Thanks for the reply.

Gary    Posted 10-30-2002 at 08:13:11       [Reply]  [No Email]
Yea wood (hickory about 12 to 15 inches long and 2 to 3 inches in diameter depending on the size of your hand) works good. Just hold em upside down by the hind legs, let them calm down a bit then hit 'em in the head one good lick just high of where the ears come up from the hide on the head. They'll kick around a bit and sometimes you'll get a bit of blood from the nose but ususally die within seconds after the blow. Of course if you dont hit them hard enough or in the right place they'll scream and kick alot more, but with one or two times of practice you'll get the feel for just the right place and just the right amount of force.

June in SD    Posted 10-30-2002 at 06:50:31       [Reply]  [Send Email]
In your shed have the rabbits in hanging cages where the chickens cannot roost on their cages. Rabbits are very easily infected from chickens and their droppings. but the chickens love to scratch under the rabbit cages. We used to have both.

JennieM    Posted 10-30-2002 at 07:53:57       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Thank you June. Ultimately I want the rabbits in Wire cages with a "shelf" below at a slant so that everything runs to the side then to the floor. I've thought about raising worms in the droppings since I live in a very large fishing community. Been told that they grow wonderful that way.

June in SD    Posted 10-31-2002 at 06:36:37       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Did you know that rabbits will always usinate in the same spot? I heard of one operation that took advantage of this and had a rig something like a sewer system made out of bleach bottles and tubing running into a big drum with a drain field, kinda like a poor man's septic system. We had a rabbit that lived in the house with us and it was litter box trained for it's urine. However their droppings which will be anywhere and their habit chewing on electrical wires do not make them the bestindoor pets.

LH    Posted 10-30-2002 at 06:44:25       [Reply]  [No Email]
Whereabouts in IN are you located Jenny? I live in Wayne county near Richmond. We have chickens and rabbits but the wife own't let me butcher em, they're pets. For egg layers the barred rocks you mentioned, along with black australorps, and rhode island reds are my favorites and seem to be the best producers. For meat birds I reccomend cornish cros, they grow fast, are very feed efficient and healthy. If i remember right it only takes a around 3 months to feed em to butcher weight. I'd suggest breaking your butcherind down into 3 or 4 times a year so you don't get burned out doing them all at once, and once done your using some before the rest get freezer burned.

JennieM    Posted 10-30-2002 at 07:58:10       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I live up in Stueben County just barely. 1/4 mile east of LaGrange County boarder. The kids think that I'm just a wicked woman for wanting to eat rabbits. But, ooooohhh they are so good. The husband has never had it, but is more than willing to try, and kill the buggers so I can butcher them. I have 3 kids so I told them that they can each have a rabbit. Works pretty good since I want 3 does. lol I hadn't run across the cornish cros. Have to do some more research. The Barred Rocks are supposed to start laying in 6 months. Can't wait to start the garden, but that will be a couple years of fertilizing. Brand new construction and the ground is really bad. Thank you for the response and sorry about being so long winded.

DeadCarp    Posted 10-30-2002 at 09:44:01       [Reply]  [No Email]
We used to raise both, and the idea is to decide how many of everything (eggs, meat, poultry) you need at once, then set up your brooder operation accordingly. We kept the rabbits in elevated pens and let the chickens scratch indoors.
I've always been fascinated by an operation i toured out West years ago - they raised (all at once) fish & turkeys & corn. The corn was planted in strips, turkeys turned loose to eat it and fertilize the strip, then the next strip was ready. The turkeys ate the fish trimmings and the fish ate the turkey trimmings, so there seemed to be very little waste and hauling involved.

LH    Posted 10-30-2002 at 09:37:57       [Reply]  [No Email]
I love fried rabbit, and fried chicken so your not an evil woman LOL. Hope your venture goes well. About all chickens should start laying within 5 to 6 months. But sometimes they slow down withlaying when it gets cold like now.

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