Weigh In at Three Weeks Old–New Zealand White Meat Rabbits

Yesterday the rabbit kits were three weeks old so I weighed them all, after a mad search for my kitchen scale. It’s a good little scale and allows you to weigh up to 1/8 of an ounce. There was quite a variation in their weights with the highest being 14 3/8 ounces and the smallest being 10 3/8 ounces.

Kit 1: 10 3/8 oz
Kit 2: 10 1/2 oz
Kit 3: 12 1/4 oz
Kit 4: 14 3/8 oz
Kit 5: 12 oz
Kit 6: 10 1/2 oz
Kit 7: 12 1/8 oz

Of course I won’t be able to identify which kit is which at the next weigh in at week 4, so this is just for general knowledge. And to compare against future litters from this doe and buck. Total litter weight is 5.24 pounds.

Five of the seven kits are very friendly and don’t mind being picked up. 2 don’t like to be picked up, but will snuggle once they are securely against me. They all like to be pet without running away.

I had a talk with my son and we decided not to keep any of the older kits from the litter that came with Piper when we bought her. The three does are resisting handling and only one of the bucks is really friendly. These juniors were not held from early on and though I tried to handle them frequently, I think they really need handling much earlier on. I don’t want a doe who hides in the back of her cage. I want one that is happy to see me and comes right up to greet me and get a few pets. Piper does this, so does Leo, and Phoebe will when I am alone. And I want to be able to easily take them out of their cages without it being a fight. It makes cleaning the cages easier and it will make putting them in rabbit tractors in the future a lot easier, too.

Also, I would prefer to keep one of the kits that I bred myself so I know her entire history from the day she was born. The juniors are all good looking and healthy, but I had nothing to do with their creation. I would like to keep one of Piper’s new does instead. I know that will be a longer wait for her to grow up, but I think I’ll see a difference in the personalities of ones that are handled every day and I’ll pick the best of them to keep. If none of these turn out with what I am looking for, (i.e. good ears, meaty haunches, and fast weight gainers) then I’ll look to a future litter for it, either Piper’s or Phoebe’s.

Seven of the chickens got out today. It was a major round-up. They have managed to dig a hole under the fence, so they could crawl under and go next door. Needless to say that the hole got filled back in and a large river rock placed on top of it to discourage digging in that area again. They laid well today despite their adventures. I got eight eggs.

When I took the chard out to the rabbits today, Eggshell jumped up and took a big bite out of one of the leaves. Took me completely by surprise. She didn’t seem to like it though. Of course they were spoiled today with melon rinds and seeds, so what is a bit of greens in comparison to that sweetness? Still, I’ll make sure I don’t carry it down low again. I don’t need them eating half of the rabbit greens by the time I get to the rabbit shed.

The weather is supposed to be nice all week. The garden dirt has dried out finally so hopefully this is true. I wish I didn’t have to buy so many starts but the rain has just made it impossible to plant from seed this year. I know I’ll more than make it back. I did last year when the same circumstances occurred. I will still plant bean seeds, but everything else will be starts. Joe’s Gardens has plugs, which are cheaper than starts, so I will buy plugs for some stuff, but tomatoes, peppers, and anything else that is longer growing will be starts.

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6 thoughts on “Weigh In at Three Weeks Old–New Zealand White Meat Rabbits

  1. It’s good to see your 3-week weigh in. I like to know how my rabbits compare to other rabbits because I can’t seem to find an average size for 3 week old NZW’s. (Mine were just a smidge heavier at a day or two older, going from 14oz to 18oz. The rex crosses are massive, though.) What I do to tell them apart is scribble in their ears with different colored sharpies. I do this every time I weigh them, gender them or do other things, and that way I can note who weighs what, especially important during weaning when the biggest babies come out first.

    • LuckyRobin says:

      Yeah, I looked for weights and all I saw was “it varies” or “no two litters are the same.” It would be nice to have the info out there of what we can expect. Ah, well, I’ll do it with each litter so that maybe someone else out there who is raising the NZW rabbits can have an idea of what to expect. Knowing what yours are gives me a nice basis of comparison to figure that they are on the right track. I think the bigger ones have been eating pellets a few days longer than the smaller ones. First out of the nesting box and all that.

      • My last litter of NZWs was similarly sized to my current litter at 3 weeks, just FYI. :3 I checked the numbers they were very similar, 13oz-17oz. That was also at 3 weeks 2 days.

  2. LuckyRobin says:

    Oh, thanks for letting me know that. I figured they were good because they all look healthy, but the first timer in me likes the numbers. Graphs and charts would be nice, too, but I can’t have everything! LOL I’m just happy to get anything at this point in the game.

  3. Where is Paige and Pru?? 😉

    • LuckyRobin says:

      My daughter’s best friend is named Paige. We decided it would be too weird to name one of the rabbits that. And as much as I liked the character of Prudence, I don’t care for the name.

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