New Zealand Rabbit Breeders
Frequently Asked Questions.
by Paul & Sue Borden
Where do I get the best stock?
Ask around in your area, who sells quality animals? Are
they available to answer questions for you .Cheaper is
not always better. Be willing to pay a fair price. Look for
What kind of barn and equipment?
Visit area rabbit breeders, if possible. A barn or cages
that work great in the north may not work in the south .
Buy the best you can afford and it will pay in your rabbit
raising experience in the long run.
What is the best feed?
The freshest feed you can buy in your area that meets
the basic needs of your rabbits. Feed the formula of
rabbit feed that is made for what you are raising your
rabbits for. If you are planning to show-feed a show
formula If you plan to raise for meat- feed a fast growing
formula. Today most rabbit pellets are formulated for your
rabbitís individual needs.
Do I add any supplements?
You will find as many answers to this as breeders you ask.
The best advice we ever received is; listen to all advice
and then decide what works best for you.
Automatic Watering system or Crocks?
This is an individual decision and may depend on the
area of the country you live in. Automatic watering
systems work better in the warmer parts of the country
since they donít freeze in the winter. They also cut the
chores in half and if you have a large rabbitry are well
worth the extra expense. Crocks are less costly but time
consuming. Some breeders like that they can see just
what the rabbit is drinking in a day.
What are the best Nest Boxes?
Again an individual decision. Follow the manufacturerís
recommendation for the size rabbit you raise. We have
started using subterranean nest boxes and find them to
be the most natural nest box for the does to raise a litter.
How do I decide which bunnies to keep from the
Culling is one of the hardest things to learn. This is
experience and knowing your line of New Zealands comes
into play. Keep the litter as long as possible and watch
them grow. Find a New Zealand
breeder that is willing to help you make these first
decisions. Do not take your rabbits to a show
and have a judge cull for you. Even a good New Zealand
judge may not know this particular line of
What age do we start to show our rabbits?
There are 3 classes for New Zealands. These are all
listed in our guidebook under our standard. These
classes go by age and weight. Be sure to look at both.
Usually very young juniors cannot compete
in a large class with those near 6 months of age and
close to the 9 lb. maximum. All classes usually
show the best nearer the top of their age and weight
Why does fur , worth just 15 points , in our standard
count so much on the show table?
The New Zealand rabbit is bred so closely to itís
of perfection that a good quality class will come down to
that 15 points on fur. We want to see the rabbit that wins
the class represent the rabbit we all aspire to. We have a
lot of great bodied New Zealands that meet the standard
in every way ,so sometimes it must come down to the
condition of the rabbit that day.