Cottontail Rabbits

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     Featured Cottontail Rabbits Article

Choosing Rabbit Breeding Stock

The beginning, in many cases, can very well mean the difference between success and failure. To those who are planning to raise rabbits, but have had no previous experience, the accompanying suggestions will be of great help if followed. It will be the means of assuring the right kind of start, with the right kind of rabbits from a reliable source. Everyone who enters any line of business, hopes to succeed. Success in the rabbit business depends on three essential factors, which may well be considered at the outset. First, a good grade of high quality stock. Second, the proper care and attention. Third, the determination to succeed.

AGE OF STOCK – Young stock as a rule, the ultimate of the development of any rabbit cannot be told when under four months of age, because it is not yet sufficiently developed in many breeds – fur quality cannot be accurately seen or determined, or its true type and make-up established. There is but one advantage in purchasing stock under four months and that is the price to be paid. Many breeders today offer stock two to three months old, which includes some of the oldest established breeders. There is an advantage in this for both the purchaser and the seller. From the seller’s viewpoint, it means that he disposes of his rabbits without holding them too long – without separating the sex – and the bucks – he saves hutch space – feed costs – and of considerable importance offers stock at a reasonable price. From the standpoint of the purchaser, while such rabbits may not develop into well developed breeding stock, if purchased from reliable breeders the chances are they will. However, there is some advantage in purchasing stock in the two to three month age group. One, that one raises the rabbits to breeding age which is a worth-while experience, and one can purchase in many cases as many as 6, 8, to 10 does and 2 to 4 bucks at a price that a trio, consisting of two does and one buck of the matured stock would cost. We do realize that it will take longer to get does into production this way then when stock of breeding age is purchased, still, once you get into production from 4, 6 to 10 does instead of 2, the advantage seems to be in purchasing younger stock. There is one thing we call attention to, do not buy stock under 4 months of age if they are to be shipped any distance.

BREEDING STOCK – While breeding stock costs more especially if they are registered, there are advantages in starting with them. While 8 months old is considered to be desirable breeding age, does that develop to the Mature weights (which will be noted in this book under BREEDS OF RABBITS) at 6 months of age, can be safely bred. At times it is advisable to purchase bred does, especially if the breeders from whom you wish to purchase has bucks with a show record from which you can get a breeding. Here again we will mention something about registered stock. To all those who are interested in going into the rabbit business for the purpose of selling breeding stock, by all means purchase registered stock, and, if the stock you start with is of the red, white and blue registration quality, those you have to offer raised from them will command the highest prices and you will be able to supply stock of the best quality possible.

SPECIALIZE – Learn to be a specialist in the breed or breeds you are interested in – stick with them – improve them – show them at local, state, and national shows, also at special breed shows sponsored by the Specialty Clubs of their particular breed. Go out for and get the reputation for having the best in breed or breeds you are specializing in. Once you are so established and it becomes known that you are in a position to offer only the best stock backed by a show record, sales at good prices will be the result of your efforts at specializing. It is best to select and specialize in one breed at the beginning, then adding another breed or two later, if you wish. Always strive to produce the very best, for, with this aim constantly in mind, your success will be assured as a specialty breeder.

by Edward Stahl
From Rabbits For Profit and Pleasure

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