So recently, we had a doe, rabbit that is, that gave birth, last Friday or so, and didn't do enough to keep her bunnies alive. I am not sure what the deal is. Perhaps the girl doesn't know enough about how to handle them? It is her second or third litter, and all of them have died. I am going to give her two weeks to recuperate, then breed her again. Hopefully she'll snap out of it.
Right now, we have five bunnies, via the sister of the one above. The bunnies are growing like mad, and at five weeks old, are about half the size of the mother. They should reach marketable size at eight to ten weeks.
I have yet to check them to determine which are does, and which are bucks. I will do that this week, time allowing. The does will be kept, the bucks... not so much.
I am still debating what to do with the other two bucks that are siblings of my two does. It almost seems like I should pop them, and pick up another buck or two, who are unrelated to any of my present ones??? That would ensure a good mix of genetics in the herd. We'll see.
It is estimated that a herd with 15 does and 3 bucks can produce 540 offspring in a years time. That is an amazing amount of bunnies! If you have an average weight of 5 pounds per individual that is 2000 pounds of meat! Astounding, and all in a super-small living space. So, with 100 does, you could produce 3600 bunnies in a year, more or less, assuming that each doe produces at least six bunnies per litter, four times per year. Some breeders actually breed their does a lot more often than four times per year, but the danger is that they will wear them out prematurely.
Since we're just getting started, all these things are yet to be seen. It's really pretty interesting. There is real potential profit in this gambit. I think I mentioned earlier that two friends of mine, chefs, said that non-organically raised rabbits go for $40 each, while certified organic rabbits go for $60 each! So, on the low side, at $40 each, our 2 does are worth approximately $2,880! Pretty good for a couple of rabbits, eh?
Of course, we are going to keep the female bunnies, and use them for breeding stock, till we don't have room for more. In six months, they will be ready to breed, and things will really get underway.