Caring For Your New Pet Rabbit

Courtesy of Pet Rabbit Ridge ...

Blog

Fall is Finally Here !!!

Posted by Steve Collier on October 26, 2011 at 7:55 PM Comments comments (0)

I was just checking on the site and noticed I haven't posted any Blogs since Easter... and next week is Halloween !!! Time sure flys when you are having fun... Or staying busy as the case may be...

I really got to thinking about my breeding schedule when I realized that November is almost here... One thing I have learned over the years is to always plan ahead, and since it is almost November, that means I only have about 3 breeding cycles to go before Easter !!!

If any of you Rabbit Breeders have followed my advice, this is a great time to break in those new breeders that were left over Pets from last Easter's sales... I currently have 11 Breeder Hutches to work from, which seems to meet the demands of my current Breeder License which allows me to sell up $5,000.00 in gross sales of Pet Rabbits every year.

As new Breeders are Bred, I have to make room by releasing some of the older, less productive Rabbits. The released rabbits stay close and expect to be fed every day at feeding times as they have all their lives. Even though they have freedom to eat any vegetation they want, I still provide Feed and Water twice a day to help keep them healthy in their old age... and they still love to come up and be petted as well.

People are facinated that my dogs don't bother the released rabbits... but for that matter, they don't bother the Free Roaming Chickens in my yard either... I have learned that most Domestic Animals will co-exist in the same environment as long as they are allowed the freedom to do as they please (excludeing hurting one another), but much of this comes from proper training of the more dominant animals.

I am expecting 4 new litters in the next couple of weeks from New Breeders which include : Lionheads, Smoked Pearl Dwarfs, Holland Lops and Blue Havanas... If all works out well, my third breeding cycle will be just in time for Easter when these young Breeders are in their Prime. I really hate to try a "New Breeder" at Easter time, because you never know what to expect until the second or third litter.

I have been trying to expand my variety of Pet Rabbits here at Pet Rabbit Ridge ever since I started Breeding Rabbits... I hope this next Easter Season will provide my customers with a wider variety than any other rabbitry in the area... A wider variety equals increased sales by capturing a larger market... but it all revolves around planning far in advance... So don't be afraid to start planning now for your Spring Sales.      

Holland Lops !!!

Posted by Steve Collier on February 19, 2011 at 6:38 AM Comments comments (0)

     Just wanted to let everyone know I have a new breed of Holland Lops that just arrived on 02-17-11...

     This was made possible by breeding a French Lop with a Dwarf Breed. Its still a little early to tell, but it looks like I will get some nice colors out of this litter... And it was a very large litter as well !!!

     The mother ( Clover ), is a Brennal colored French Lop and usually has 8 to 10 kits when I breed her with another standard sized Lop... And even though I haven't taken a count of this litter yet, I can tell just by feeling in the nest that it is a very large litter.

     The father ( 50 Cent ), is a Smoked Pearl Dwarf that weighs 2.5 lbs... I aquired him from anotrher member of this site ( Tanya Frady ) in a trade last year, and since, have been using him to breed with larger rabbits to develop Mini Breeds. 

     Mini Rabbits are a very popular breed when it comes to indoor pets as well as Dwarfs, but when you breed down the size, the litters tend to get smaller so I have had to increase the price to make up the difference in litter size.

     In order for the Female Breeders to become profitable, I have discovered that I need to make $30.00 minimum a month from each breeder. This is enough to pay for the feed for the entire warren of rabbits, but that is about it... By increasing the prices slightly, I may start to see a small profit in this coming year.  

Partial Disappointments...

Posted by Steve Collier on July 13, 2010 at 6:48 AM Comments comments (0)

I have mixed emotions over my latest breeding efforts... Buddy and one of my Standard Brennals had their litter as scheduled, but I'm afraid the breedings with the new Dwarf Buck didn't take this time...

I got a Mini and two Dwarf rabbits near the end of May... The Mini did fine when I bred her with Buddy and has 5 beautiful kits to show for it, while the breeding with the new dwarf buck didn't go so well.

I tried breeding the Dwarf Buck (50 Cent) with my Blue Eyed Chocolate Dutch / Rex at the same time I bred Buddy and the Standard, but it appears the breeding didn't take... Two days later I put him with the Dwarf Doe, but I wasn't sure of her age and it appears she didn't take either.

I have decided to rebreed both females with the same buck this week in hopes of getting some new breeds started at the farm, but anytime you are introducing new stock and new breeds, there always seems to be a glitch. I believe the problem was the age of the Dwarfs and they just weren't old enough to breed.

I guess it's a good thing I have plenty of other rabbits to offer and wasn't depending on these breedings for my production schedule... I have found that unless you have used both breeders (Buck & Doe) previously, it's better to treat the pairing as unproven until you have actual results.

The results of this breeding will throw off my scheduled introduction of Mini Rex and Dwarfs to offer for sale here at Jones Road Farms by a month or so... But at least I have Mini Havanas to offer now... They are scheduled to ween in about 10 days. 

Huge Rabbits... Huge Litters !!!

Posted by Steve Collier on June 1, 2010 at 11:07 AM Comments comments (0)

My first American Doe that I raised from a baby just had her 2nd litter on the 28th of May... The litter was rather large with 9 kits...Since she comes from a mixed breed of larger rabbits, I never know what to expect before the litters are born.

Her first litter had 2 American Chinchilla colored, 2 American, and 2 San Juan, with one American colored that turned out to be Angoran mixed because of the long pelt it developed. All these came from another American Mixed Buck, so I thought I would try my White New Zealand Mixed Breed for this breeding.

I was expecting to get a few White New Zealand colored, and after counting, I can see there are 4 White New Zealand colored kits, and 5 American colored kits. This entire litter will make excellent breeders from the doe population that I can mix with my original American Buck.

I saved back one American Chinchilla colored Doe from the first litter that I plan to breed to the White New Zealand when she reaches maturity. This will help to insure the bloodlines are mixed... Even though the kits from all these litters will share the same Grand-Doe, the sires will be different and any later breedings from these two seperate litters should carry on the same traits. 

All my large breeds come from the same linage, American, American Chinchilla, San Juan, and White New Zealand. All these different Breeds reach 12 to 14 lbs. when fully grown depending on the sex, so mixing them helps to insure I retain the overall size.

I traded for 2 Dwarfs and a Mini Standard last week to help me create some mini breeds of the rabbits I already own... Dutch, Havana, Rex, and Golden Palomino will be the ones I concentrate on size reduction through cross breeding with the Dwarf Breed.

I also plan to trade for some Lop rabbits in the next couple of weeks so I will have Holland and Mini Lops to offer for next spring. This is the perfect time of year to decide which breeds you plan to offer for the next Easter Season which typically starts in January. The more Breeds you have to offer, the larger portion of the "Pet" market you will be able to please... Which in turn results in more sales !

Later this year I hope to aquire some Giant Breeds as well to help give my farm one of the largest selections of different breeds of rabbits to choose from in the area. I don't like the price people are asking for these "Gentle Giants", but if I can get some through trading I will try to at least cut the price in half of what breeders in the area are asking for their stock. 

The only way to sell a huge volume of rabbits any time of the year is to offer your customers affordable prices, and a wide variety of breeds to choose from. My prices are the least expensive of any Rabbitry around, and the volume of my yearly sales reflects how strongly my prices draw customers to my farm. Now it's time to concentrate on offering a wide variety of breeds to choose from to help make my business even more successful !   

Two Litters Weened Today...

Posted by Steve Collier on April 30, 2010 at 5:36 PM Comments comments (0)

I just weened two litters today... Both sired by my First Mixed American Buck. He has American, American Chinchilla, San Juan, & New Zealand in his bloodline, but looks more like an American... All of which are large rabbits that weigh between 12 and 14 lbs. when fully grown.

The first breeding was to a similar cross bred American, and the bloodline of both really shows in the litter. Two are American colored... Two are American Chinchilla colored... Two are the color of San Juans, and one was a very dark color almost resembling black.

The second breeding took place the day after with one of my 6 lb. Tippies, which is a scaled down version of the San Juan... She has San Juan, Dutch, Havana, Rex & Golden Palomino in her bloodline, so I didn't know what to really expect... Three are Black Havana colored, one San Juan, and two are American colored. All have the thick blocked front shoulders, much like the sire.

Weening larger litters at an early age seems to be better for the whole family because the mother has trouble producing enough milk, leaving the kits wanting more every time they go to feed after about three weeks anyway. Fresh apples, celery, and clover spread on top of the pellet feed is ideal to get the young ones started eating at about 18 days. Placing a bowl drinker in the pen with the mother allows her the opportunity to teach them to drink water... I also do this when they are 18 days old. Three days of feeding in this manner gets the kits started eating and drinking so they can be successfully removed from the mother.