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Hank The Tank Posted - 05/28/2015 : 4:39:47 PM
I raise rabbits and I'm getting meat rabbits(New Zelands) to raise meat for my 2 dogs.
I have a few questions as to how should I feed and how much?
My team is 2 dogs and I just do recreational for now.
Each rabbit weighs 3-5lbs at butcher weight.
How many rabbits would it take to feed my 2 dogs a day?
Any tips on the "stew" and my dogs lovthe internals lol
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calia Posted - 06/10/2015 : 6:39:25 PM
I have been raising meat rabbits for my own consumption and for the dogs. Your production projection is way off, even though a rabbit can produce 200-300lbs per year that doesn't mean that they will. Those estimates are based on extreme breeding practices, where the doe is pregnant more often then not and she is pretty much spent by 2-3yrs of age. Very rarely will you get a litter that has more than 10 kits, average is generally 6-8 kits. Unless you have does with really strong mothering instincts and really know what you are doing, there is a good chance of loosing some of the kits before they are even weaned.

To reduce costs, most butcher when the rabbit is between 8-10wks old. Genetics, feed type, and experience will factor into the size of the rabbit by that age. If you don't have fast growing lines or experience, you may wind up with kits that have a live weight of 3lbs with a processed weight of 1.5-2lbs. You could choose to grow the kits out beyond that age, but the longer you wait the more they cost per pound.

And like what has already been said, rabbit meat is too lean to be a main source of sustenance. A healthy rabbit carcass is so low in fat that you can actually get sick from it. Any fat that does build up on a rabbit, which can happen if you overfeed them, isn't that palatable.

It's great that you are planning to raise meat rabbits, but realistically unless you plan on having 20+ rabbits you're not going to be able to produce enough meat to feed your dogs. Raise a few to supplement your own diet, and give what you don't eat to the dogs. That's really the better way to go.
Mutt338 Posted - 06/07/2015 : 09:25:02 AM
Yikes bud I think you're in the wrong forum. If you have a Facebook I suggest checking out the Raw Feeding Community on tips to feeding an all raw diet...
rabbit alone is no good, not enough nutrients. I was always under the impression that one should feed variety of meats both white and red. My crews main meat is deer but I've thrown in fish that I caught, or discount chicken at the store....
have you heard of the 80/10/10 rule? It helps make sure a diet is balanced, since an unbalanced raw diet can cause will show in performance first. Consider checking out that group. I believe they have a website too but it isn't as helpful.
Hank The Tank Posted - 06/03/2015 : 11:34:27 AM
Thanks guys. I'll update you when I figure out what I'm going to do. So far I think I'm getting Redpaw
RSmith Posted - 06/03/2015 : 08:25:00 AM
Not sure if Greyhound racing is legal in Kansas but I'd find out where those guys buy their meat to feed their dogs. OR large kennels of foxhounds/Bird dogs/Hunting dogs, any number of large kennels usually or often feed a meat based diet. And lot of times you can even cater to some extent how much fat you want in the stuff. Chicken backs are also often readily available as well which are one third meat/skins/and bones. Obvioiusly its not RED meat but just throwing some ideas out there.
Most red meat here in NYS ( not for human consumption ) is .20 to .35 cents per pound and chicken backs and other parts .40 cents per pound ( FDA for soup,etc. ).

You will do much better than trying to grow your own meat. Get an inexpensive upright or chest freezer and go with a number of 3/4 a lb. per day per dog for starters.

good luck.
Hank The Tank Posted - 06/02/2015 : 11:23:02 AM
So what I've come to see is rabbit is pretty much a snack. lol
CAM Posted - 06/02/2015 : 07:40:10 AM
I've found that on a per pound basis, it takes about twice as much meat as kibble to get the same calories, depending on the meat and the kibble. This means that if I feed my dog 1 pound of kibble per day (about 4 cups of Red Paw) it will take 2 pounds of ground beef (about 20% fat supplemented with corn oil and bone meal), or if I feed 3/4 pound of kibble (about 3 cups of Red Paw) it will take 1 1/2 pounds of meat per day per dog. I usually feed some combination of both depending how much of each I have on hand.

It would be cheaper for you to feed only Red Paw than to raise the rabbits.

Rabbit - approximately $40 to get 48 pounds of meat = $.83 per pound
Red Paw - approximately $45 for 40 pounds of kibble = $1.13 per pound

At 2 pounds of rabbit per day, it will cost $1.66 per day per dog and you will still need to find a fat source. At 1 pound of kibble per day, it will cost $1.13 per day per dog and no extra fat necessary.

It costs me $.65 per pound to get ground beef in 10 pound bags to my kennel in Montana all the way from Minnesota. For those who live in Minnesota and can pick it up at the butcher, it is only $.35 per pound. If you look around, I bet you could find a meat source that is cheaper and less effort than raising rabbits.

I suggest you use a quality kibble like Red Paw or something equivalent and whatever decent quality meat you can find for a reasonable price. Look around for something cheap to free even if you have to drive a little ways to get it. With only 2 dogs you won't need much meat and a single large chest freezer will hold 6 months to a year's worth.
Hank The Tank Posted - 06/02/2015 : 12:13:21 AM
I don't interfere with momma rabbits. A bag of feed cost $15 I get a discount 4-H/FFA family. So $14 for a 50lb bag and for the 21 show rabbits and mommas I currently have 1 bag last 3-5 weeks( depends on how many kits) so for the 3Does 1 bag would last me 2months maybe more. When the kits are eating on their own a bag would probably last 3weeks.
We don't vaccinate and we have our bucks( I don't know of anyone studding out a buck with a cost)
We have the pen already, just got to fix it up
RedWolf Posted - 06/01/2015 : 7:55:52 PM
Have you factored into your cost-projection the feed for those 3 female rabbits which hopefully will produce 12 offspring per litter 4 Xs per year, and the stud-fees for breeding them (if you don't already own the male), and housing costs for the females and their albeit-temporary offspring, and potential vet bills if something goes wrong w/ a pregnancy? And have they been vaccinated against tularemia?
balzakjeff Posted - 06/01/2015 : 3:27:09 PM
Originally posted by Hank The Tank

Opinions on Bass? How many fish do you feed a day?

Can't answer your specific question, but if you feed freshwater fish you need to either cook it to 140F internal temp or freeze it (on-line recommendations range from 24-48 hours) to kill any parasites (i.e. tapeworms).

It also appears that Kansas has issued fish advisories limiting bass consumption due to mercury concentrations. If that is the case I'd personally avoid feeding it regularly (i.e. daily) to sled dogs, especially if they are still maturing, pregnant or whelping.

Hank The Tank Posted - 05/31/2015 : 9:20:23 PM
Opinions on Bass? How many fish do you feed a day?
Hank The Tank Posted - 05/31/2015 : 9:18:32 PM
I could buy a calf from the local farmer and get it butchers but that cost a lot!! I don't know if the local butcher is still in business, I could ask. But there's no local restaurants
MSeavey Posted - 05/31/2015 : 12:28:27 PM
Alaska salmon is great dog food. It's one of the factors allowing Alaska to be a major mushing area, given the high cost of shipping other foods up here.

During the summer my dogs not working in tours and those on their week off are fed Dr. Tim's Momentum and frozen salmon on alternating days. A quarter pound of beef fat or turkey skins is given to any with "visible ribs" (teenager-friendly instructions). "Super skinnys" and pregnant or lactating moms get all of the above every day.

Tour dogs work hard and are fed similarly to winter training.

Nothing wrong with rabbit meat as far as I know. Would it have to be cooked (trichinosis?) Probably easier to get free stuff from a butcher shop or similar facility. Beef fat/trimmings are great. Cook pork, don't cook chicken bones.

Do you know anyone in the kitchen at a restaurant? I wonder if someone could scrape some of the wasted meat products into a bag for you to pick up at the end of the day?

RSmith Posted - 05/31/2015 : 12:13:54 PM
Oily fish like salmon or trout is GREAT source of all sorts of stuff.

FishMEAL in powdered form is great for protein boost, not so much fat.
Also in meal form, don't have to freeze it.

Hank The Tank Posted - 05/30/2015 : 9:33:52 PM
Would fish Be a good 'supplement'?
Hank The Tank Posted - 05/30/2015 : 9:31:32 PM
If you have a New Zealand and your one Doe(girl rabbit) has 12 kits(babies) in one litter an you breed her 4 times in one year and you can get lots of weight on each kit before butcher, market weight is 5.5 lbs
If you get your 12 kits to market weight that's 66lbs per littethen you have 4 litters per Doe that's 264lbs

Then if I have 3 NZ does and each have 12 kits a litter 4 times that's 792lbs a year
Give or take a few pounds because not all meet market weight but some might go over

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