Questions and Answers
I raise, show, and breed Lionheads, and have been for 2 years now. With in the next couple of years I'd like to start in on a secondary breed, but I can't decide which. I want something small, somewhat challenging, and fun to work with.
My top picks are:
I've already had my run with Netherland Dwarfs and I didn't enjoy them as much as some people do.
Tell me which breed I should raise and why. Personal experiences, web sites, etc are beneficial to your answer!
I have an American Fuzzy Lop. She drives my crazy because she matts too easily, but thanks!
Okay so Holland Lop or Dwarf Hotot?
Pedigrees, screening, and selling to reputable breeders is how you ensure that your rabbits will NOT be given away or end up in bad situations.
They don't die easily in labor and we're careful. Each rabbit gets alot of attention and care and alot of thought goes into breedings.
You shouldn't breed period. There are so many bunnies out there that most end up in testing labs, the pound or even dead. Yes, you hope they are all going to good homes but usually half the people that buy them give them away or breed them not knowing their blood line, or if its incest. It shouldn't be about 'having fun with it' Those bunnies are going to people who aren't responsible, don't care, abuse, or some even buy them for their meat. Why not give it a rest for awhile. There are already tons of bunnies out there that need homes, don't add to the problem.
It doesn't bother you that they could easily die through child birth, you can only breed them with the same or smaller type of rabbit? Don't add to the over-populated population of unwanted bunnies. It's one of the most over populated animals on the earth. Most people want cats or dogs, usually not bunnies.
'It might work..' Ha ha that's a good one. Something that happens everyday. "So if they die, we just won't do it again."
Selling to breeders. I rest my case.
FYI, you don't know how each individual rabbit handles birth. You don't know if its common in his family to die in birth.
A lot of thought? Your asking strangers over the internet. You don't know if they know what their talking about. Obviously you aren't putting much thought into how it will effect the rabbit. You're just looking for something new and exciting. You've never bred them, so you don't know yourself what it will be like. If your not going to stop then stick to one type of breed. Don't try new things. It's a living breathing thing. It's not to experiment with. You're playing with lives here.
To ensure they don't go into a bad situation? That makes no sense. I can put a smile on my face, tell you I come from a good place and that's it. I got my rabbit from a breeder who has been breeding Holland lop bunnies for 13 years. I know how easy it was and they have never tried to breed other breeds. At least they haven't experimented. Stick to one breed and get smarter in that breed. Don't go all over the place, that's just messy and you'll never learn. Stick to one bloodline.
I am in 4-h and for my upcoming test we have to know what breeds of rabbits are used for fur or meat. In my manual it says most of the commerical breeds are used for meat and fur, but are the commerical breeds used primarily for meat and the fancy breeds for fur? Here are the breeds in my manual:
These are the breed of rabbits that are considered good "fryers" (12 weeks old) which put on meat at a young age, therefore make better meat.
*Orylag (bred only in France)
These are the primary rabbit breeds in the fur farming industry:
*Rex, Castor and Chinchilla
*Orylag (bred only in France)
If you notice, there is one particular breed that fits in both meat and fur categories. The Orylag has been developed by the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) This breed is considered to be the future of rabbit farming.
They are not really a"meat breed" as meat breed rabbits are ones that grow quickly and do not require as much feed to get them to butchering weight. New Zealands and Californians grow to butchering weight in 10 weeks. Thrianta grow slower. Takes them longer to get to butchering weight so their meat will have a gamier taster than the young fryers will. Most meat breeds have amature weight of 8 or more pounds with most being closer to 10-12.
That being said every rabbit is made of meat so they all can be eaten.
It's just that the small ones are harder to butcher and clean than a one that weighs 5 or more pounds.
They have only been recognized as a breed in the last 2 years so I do not have a Standard of Perfection on them to know what their weight ranges are. Just found their mature weight is 6 pounds, so they would not be ready to butcher until they are close to 6 months old. That would be considered a roaster and will need alonger cooking time so the meat will not be tough.