Starting a Rabbitry

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Amelia1star

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Hey everyone! I breed my rabbits and sell them to kids at fair and at shows. I have only shown it like 3 or 4 shows. I just want to know the basics in having a rabbitry. What materials would be needed, is it a good idea to start a rabbitry, and If so how do I start one? I think it would be really fun to start one! I'm 15 and am willing to take care of my buns... I currently have 3 and they all live outdoors. If I did have a rabbitry it would probably only have 7 to 10 rabbits or less. I just want to know your thoughts on this. Thanks!
 

Beesandbuns

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Hey Amelia1star, three rabbits are enough to start a rabbitry. Of course depending on how competitive you want to be you should probably look at investing in more rabbits and keeping some of the better rabbits from your litters. You should have an idea as to what breeds you want to focus on and what type of environment they should be kept in, as well as research what food is avalible in your area in larger quantities.

Matierals needed differ between rabbitries, some breeders favor crocks over water bottles for water, and some prefer metal and plastic feeders over crocks for food. Also breeds seem to differ on the amount of space. Our Rhinelanders live in custom built cages, but our lilacs live in 24x24 cages or hutches that house that size. What breeds are you looking at?
 

Beesandbuns

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Then the first thing you need to do is decide how much cage space you want to dedicate to each breed, and figure out what system you will use to get rid of rabbits who are not show quality. Rabbit quality and health should come first when deciding what rabbits to keep. If you don't feel comfortable with terminal culling then make sure you have an outlet with either a not contract petstore (a petstore which will not require a certain number of rabbits from you each month but will instead contact you as they have need to see if you can fill) with which you feel comfortable with the staffs knowledge. Note: A rescue does not count as an outlet, unless the rescue fully discloses that they adopt out rescues and sell purebred rabbits

Next make sure you have the right nesting materials. I prefer metal nest boxes which I put a towel and straw in when it comes time for kits. I didn't use to keep straw on a permeant basis, so you don't always need it around.

I'd recommend having extra feeders/crocs/water bottles in case of breakage, so make sure you have a place to store extra rabbit materials.

Also make sure you use actual travel carriers, while cat carriers are great for a pet owner, once you're transporting several rabbits at once a carrier keeps the rabbits in better condition. Make sure you buy carriers that fit your biggest rabbits, or buy carriers small and large based on how many of each breed your planning on keeping.
 

squidpop

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Mainly mini lops and Hollands!
My advice is choose either mini-lops or holland lops, don't try to do two different breeds until you've mastered one. After you've mastered one breed if you are still coping with all the stress of taking care of all the bunnies and the cage cleaning, grooming, breeding, pet homing, culling, random unexpected vet bills, etc... and if you are still enjoying it, then start on a second breed.

I started a small rabbitry and my project was blue eyed white Jersey Woolies.
When I started I had read that a lot of people had 30 rabbits in their rabbitries, so I thought I could surely deal with having up to 18. But I was so wrong. I have 12 rabbits now and thats my limit, and I find it a bit stressful just having 12. One of them every week has some sort of issue I'm worried about, sometimes only small things, like what's that bald spot on Humphry? But some weeks its something big like Tulip is not pooing- oh no possible woodblock! So, with 12, every week there's something. I would be a lot happier I think if I had actually kept it down to around 6, but I am keeping my first breeding pairs- not culling, so I have 12.

... So really, my advice is try to keep it down to 6, breed less and enjoy it more without all the worries.
 

majorv

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I agree. Start with one breed first before expanding. Some breeds are higher maintenance than others. Holland's are more competitive and that tends to translate to quality rabbits that are more expensive to buy. We have two breeds, but both are pretty hardy and low maintenance. We started with Tans and added Polish. Because they stay pretty healthy we have been able to care for 20+.
 

Beesandbuns

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Depending on the op's situation two breeds may be better or more reasonable than one. I am far from mastering lilacs, but when I started I did lilacs and mini rex, and the things I learned raising both breeds have helped as my sister has added another breed to our rabbitry (even after I got it down to a one breed one).
 

woahlookitsme

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I think I might disagree but it could just be me. When I first started I got a pair of tans. I had to learn alot about the breed because in FFA I raised Californian which are complete opposites of tans. I had to change my eye and how I looked at body type. Sure commercial rabbits aren't hard to get a good eye for but tans are a whole nother ballgame. This is kind of the way it will be for Holland and mini lops. Hollands will be much harder to get an eye for than mini lops and trying to stretch your attention between two different breeds is not always the best for some people.

I see it as if you focus your individual attention on one breed rather than two at the same time the quality of the single breed is going to become better much faster than two breeds.

As far as starting most people have talked about materials. Something that needs to be created is a goal for the rabbitry and for each breed you would like to have. If you don't have something to look forward to whether it be quality health or both then the success of the rabbitry and the rabbits will be in jeopardy.

Rabbits are so much fun and it's great to look at what you and your bunnies accomplish! Good luck! Keep us posted and you can always ask for critiques on bunnies or advice!
 

BlazeBunnies

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I don't think you should start one, I have a rabbitry with 13 rabbits. I'm 13, with all my rabbits I am failing school... You have to learn about genetics, and the shaking system. In Australia you have to join the rfs, you also have the weather to consider. Do you have enough money for all of them? You would need to vaccinate them, buy hutches and there's the fact that you wouldn't have much time for every single one :/
 
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