How did you start breeding rabbits?

Discussion in 'General Rabbit Discussion' started by Bumble Bunny, Apr 24, 2019.

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  1. Apr 24, 2019 #1

    Bumble Bunny

    Bumble Bunny

    Bumble Bunny

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    I'm honestly just curious on how some of you went about setting up a breeding practice, either for a hobby or income or other. I'd love to start my own some day, of course when I have the space, money, and time to do so.

    How did some of you start? What's your story? Any legal routes you had to go through? I'm based out of BC Canada if that helps.

    Love to hear what you did. :)

    Thanks!
    TJ
     
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  2. Apr 24, 2019 #2

    Poopy Poo

    Poopy Poo

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    I would be also interested in this topic, watching my local advertisement sites where rabbits are for sale and honestly don't think it would generate serious income, or you have to breed them like rabbits in large amounts but again, is there enough of demand so you can pay your bills. Or maybe I am wrong here.

    Personally I've got caught with rabbits, and I feel that it is very hard to stop, when I see new rabbits up for adoption I want to take them too, I don't know how many rabbits would be too many honestly, they are all so different and I didn't expect they have lots of personality and really amazing little creatures, very intelligent.

    So I will be watching this thread too, thanks for starting it.
     
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  3. Apr 25, 2019 #3

    SableSteel

    SableSteel

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    You probably won't be making money with rabbits. It's a fun hobby, though. I breed for show. I got into it from 4-H. You'd be best off finding somebody locally to help you out, a sort of mentor. In the US you don't need to register with the USDA or go about business stuff until you sell at least $500 of rabbits to a dealer (not face-face; only counting transactions where the person you sell to isn't the final owner. eg. pet stores. So most likely you won't be selling enough to fit that). I don't know about Canada but most the people there have about the same breeding setup as people in US (both fit under the American Rabbi Breeders Association).
     
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  4. Apr 25, 2019 #4

    Imbrium

    Imbrium

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    Jennifer

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    Really? I thought needing the USDA license had to do with the number of intact females you have... at least, that's what I remember when I was looking into breeding sugar gliders back in 2013.

    Everything I've heard from reputable rabbit breeders over the years indicates that you'll probably break even at best if you're taking good care of your animals (especially if you're a small scale breeder)... most people do it as a labor of love, often because it goes hand-in-hand with showing rabbits.

    On a side note, I too have been eyeing this thread to see what our breeders have to say about why they got into rabbit breeding and how they actually got started - for some reason, that sounds like some interesting stories even though I don't personally plan to breed rabbits at any point.
     
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  5. Apr 25, 2019 #5

    Bumble Bunny

    Bumble Bunny

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    Imbrium, I am hoping to see that some breeders might share their stories. Definitely curious to see how some started! Always a good story in something like that, I'm sure of it.

    I figured hobby at best as well, as it seems like more of a passion than a career. Definitely something from the heart, that's for sure!
     
  6. Apr 25, 2019 #6

    Bumble Bunny

    Bumble Bunny

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    SableSteele, Figured as much! Interesting to learn about how the licensing works though. Would not have figured that. Lends itself to being a "passion project" more than a career, that's for sure. Thanks for sharing what you know!
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2019
  7. Apr 26, 2019 #7

    Preitler

    Preitler

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    Ok, you asked for it.

    When I grew up every second house had rabbits and/or chicken, at my grandparents that was what made quite a percentage of the meat.

    About 7 years ago there was a huge wild population of wild rabbits around the house I lived in, attemts to grow a vegetable garden were thwarted, so, remembering that rabbits are quite tasty, I harvested (poached would be the more correct term) some. That wasn't easy, so raising rabbits for meat seemed to be a good idea since I needed something to care for anyway.

    Didn't work out as planned, first thing I realised was that that traditional hutches were just cruel. Then, in my first year with bunnys there was a Myxo outbreak in the wild population, taking out 14 of my 15 rabbits. When I realised what I was dealing with I tried to quarentine the still uneffected rabbits by putting one rabbit in each room, well, sole surviver was my black fury, Ute. Had her in a cage at first, couldn't watch it and let her free roam. In 8 months indoors she almost succeded twice in killing me, and pretty much wrecked my apartment, but what a character...

    Got a second "doe" in spring, was happy how well they got along - Ute had her first litter in my kitchen. Another lesson learned.
    2 does from that litter got away, became pets of the neighbouring building demolishing company, started a new wild population. Never bothered much with fences, they don't run away anyway.

    Another thing is, they are social animals. They have a very sophisticated way to deal with each other, and being prey animals, imho they crave for company. Well, most do, I had some that were happier alone, sold those off.
    That's why I keep them in pairs, jthe does in mother/daughter pairs since this gives me the opportunity to select a doeling that gets along with the old one best. I did some mistakes there, since this were quite submissive does, good for the peace, but they are not fond of being touched, to put it mildly. Makes handling difficult.

    Situation now is that my herd buck is my free range house bunny, there is no cage or so, and he got one of hs daughters, Dotty, spayed as cuddlebun.
    Ute, my black fury, lives with one of her daughters, "the Red", and is still my best breeding doe. I was calling the secoond doe Shrew for obvious reasons, but, well, I didn't come around giving her a real name yet.

    The other pair was Magda the Grey ( If I had read (no TV) GoT earlier I might have named her after that younger Stark girl), and her daughter Chantal. Magda died about a month ago, missing becoming grandmother by a week, Chantal had a litter of 5 and they are doing great, I'm somewhat at a loss about the genetics going on, but I hope that agouti kit is a girl, would keep as company for her mother.

    Still, any surplus rabbits are meat. Due to new "animal protection laws" which limited the ways one can advertise his animals (as long as you aren't a commercial enterprise, pet shop or so) I can't sell many off, many breeds of lifestock will go extinct in short time, an unfathomable loss for humanity. It's utter hybris to think we are any better than 80 years ago, and that we don't need any way to enable the population to feed itself - there'll be always enough oil to import proteins from places where we don't care how they are produced....

    Just to higlight another aspect, I live alone, incompatible to that stuff humans normally do, don't have the time for a dog, so it's rabbits that keep me company. More than that, they rely on me, they keep me going, couldn't let them down.
     
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  8. Apr 26, 2019 #8

    Imbrium

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    Story time! Thanks for sharing!

    As a die-hard non-breeder (for space/time/sanity/have no good reason to do it reasons, not because of any sort of moral objection), I really do like hearing from the breeders on this site... both because I like to look at things from different points of view and because I've learned an awful lot over the years from long-time breeders' posts.

    I didn't realize you bred rabbits for meat, Preitler. We don't get a lot of meat-rabbit-breeders around RO, or if we do, they don't really talk about it. I can understand that, as it's a touchy subject for some people and being pretty quiet on the subject is probably a natural urge to avoid conflict.

    Personally, I look at the fact that when someone has a small meat-rabbit setup like you do, those rabbits are generally treated infinitely better than animals raised by the meat-packing industry (at least in the US). I'm not offended by any sort of breeding as long as it's done for the right reasons and the rabbits' quality of life is valued :). I often see you giving very good opinions and helpful advice around the forums... it's fun to get to know a little more about your background with rabbits!
     
  9. Apr 26, 2019 #9

    Velveteen Lop

    Velveteen Lop

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    Love this question! Thanks for asking.

    It all started with my first two “real” pets (not these little beta fish, as much as I loved them, I wanted something to hold and snuggle) at the age of 8, these two “Netherland dwarfs”(mixes from a farmer), Shiny and Millie. I loved those buns buns so much. The farmer we bought them from also tried to sell my dad this large pot bellied pig, and I was all for it! Needless to say, the pig did not come home in our mini van with us that night.

    Shiny and Millie started my love for these rabbits, and when we moved (about 3 years later, we had to give up poor Shiny and Millie) for my birthday present, I had two requests. Either a bow and arrow, or I wanted to breed rabbits. Well, earlier in the month, there was an incident with a homemade bow and arrow, involving a near-eye loss (I only hit the side of her nose!) so the only sensible option was to let me breed rabbits. Little 11 year old me was so excited, and I got a breeding rabbits book for my birthday, and did as much research as I could. I started with my Mini Rex breeding pair, Penny and Prince. Penny was an amazing mother, and Prince was the sweetest bun! My passion for them developed, and I learned about this whole world of rabbits, and ARBA, 4-H, showing, and I loved it! Sadly, I never got into showing, as I never had a mentor, and there weren’t any rabbit 4-H close to me. The one thing I regret the most when starting out, is not finding a mentor, who’s serious about breeding, and showing.

    Now 16, I’m working with the Velveteen Lops, Netherland Dwarfs, and Mini Rex’s again!

    It’s more of a hobby, and as I don’t breed meat rabbits, theres not much of a profit in it, but it’s very rewarding to be able to raise beautiful rabbits.
     
  10. Apr 27, 2019 #10

    woahlookitsme

    woahlookitsme

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    I was in FFA showing mainly goats and lambs when my mom mentioned a coworker of hers talked to her about getting me to show rabbits. Well we visited her farm and I never imagined I would see so many rabbits in one place. She bred rabbits for show pet and meat but her biggest pride was in the rabbits she sold to youth. She had so many trophies and banners all around her house from the kids who won with her rabbits. I set up a schedule and got a trio of Californians from her later that year. My school show only allowed students to breed a trio and show three babies from those two breedings unlike other schools that had their students raise young rabbits to market weight after weaning. We got so lucky with breeding and ended up with 12 babies to pick from for show. Mrs. Kathy came over the night before my show and helped me pick out my three rabbits for the meat pen and two alternates. I ended up winning Reserve Champion Rabbit that year and with the money I was able to pay for my first semester at university. I started showing Californians at other rabbit shows with ARBA and ended up finding Tans. I loved them and bought my first pair in Kansas. It was a big learning curve starting out but soon enough we sold the Californians back to Kathy and I continued on focusing on my Tans. I had great success with them and showed/bred them for 9 years with my mom. We also bred various other breeds but Tans were always my passion. Sadly I had to sell out in 2017 so I could go to vet school but I know sometime in the future I’ll be getting a pet tan for sure. I remember finding them at a show and their gorgeous color and odd show style was the thing that caught my eye. They aren’t a posed rabbit like the other breeds and are known for their gorgeous red tan markings and spunky spirit. I always loved quirky animals that weren’t like everyone else so I was drawn to them right away. I got my really good tans when attending conventions around the country and ended up winning a lot of trophies with them. I miss my tans especially the ones I raised from birth that ended up retiring after sons and daughters took over their legacy. It was such a great experience for me
     
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