Crystal Creek Rabbits
"a.k.a.  Nana's Bunnies"

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Livingston, Texas

Texas 4 H

TAMU Rabbit project

Texas Youth Live stock show

Rabbit project

Texas Rabbit Breeders


Permission granted by 
LB RABBITRY in Ct. to use her photo. 
Isn't this an awesome sight! Check out her FACEBOOK

Mike with  Queeny- 
Please check our facebook page for updates. Thanks!
Mary, Mike and Davis 

EXAMPLE- California Doe "Patches" 

#Must Read for beginners

Raising Rabbits 101


Proud Owners of Mini Rex and Flemish Giants!


Buffy and Tim
Grace and Matt

William Stacy
 Niysaan, Todd, Lindsey and Sophie
Doc and Thumper


I Thank God for Jesus Christ


Welcome to Crystal Creek Rabbitry, Livingston, Texas.

We raise Pure California and  Flemish for meat production and pets.
And we raise Giant Flemish (A.K.A- Continental.

If you are interested in purchasing a rabbit or several from our rabbitry, please contact me for available stock.

Our California doe are good mothers and usually kindle between 9 and 13 kits in a litter.  
You must pick up your rabbits from our rabbitry in Livingston, Texas. We do not ship rabbits. 

  • Calif. meat pen rabbits for 4H or your own stock are $25.00 each- straight run (I do not sex them- but you can)

  • Flemish  Giant  when avail. -

  • (Runts are bunnies that haven't achieved the same weight as their siblings..those are sold $65.00 – they are not show quality.)

  • Flemish Giants   doe $100.00  buck  $100.00 -

Contact me at  for available stock.
(Please Note:  Prices are subject to change WITHOUT NOTICE!)


What you Need to Know to Raise Rabbits

What you Need to Know to Raise Rabbits

Why raise rabbits

More on raising Rabbits

Hutch Cards

How to raise rabbits-4 H Instructions  

How to tan hides

Photos of some kits here

What to do with all those Bunny Berries  

ARBA rabbits breeders- all varieties of rabbits 

Flemish Giant


Wikipedia with types of rabbits

More info on Giant rabbits


This  Flemish Giant  Buck (Hercules)-Was a  New addition to my Rabbitry. 

Hercules passed away in July, 2011. The heat has been hard on 
East Texas rabbitries. 



This is Thumper... Hercules son.... 6 months old. 
SOLD  to a lovely couple 4-2012

Thumpers new Owner

Boston Terrier- Otto with his Friend..   
Flemish Giant. Buck- "the" Duke JW

Two Flemish Giant Kits...  5 weeks old.  Already weaned. These are examples of how the kits look. 
New litters year round. 




Flemish Giant Kits. Born 12-3-2011 Ariel (Hercules Daughter), Harley (pedigree Flemish) 

New born Flemish (Hercules and Frekles) 
Rabbits are born hairless, sightless, and deaf. However, they have an acute sense of smell!

At 2 weeks old
  Babies eyes are open and they are beginning to explore their cage.7-18-2011    

New litter of Cl/Nz cross... they are 12 days old and have their eyes open and some fur. 9-25-11

New rabbit compound July 2011

Month old and ready to wean

Our new compound... 
Happy Bunnies

When Mini Rex  kits are  available... they are 20$  

New Kits- Darla and Scoobie


Darla /mini rex litter: 


Mini Rex-black doe and black/white buck 2 yrs old next to 5 week old Flemish Giant kits. 

Scoobie - Mini Rex buck


Mini Rex on the left and Flemish Giant on the right
Both are 1 day old. 





Patches- my first rabbit

Patches w/ her 9
She passed away in heat 2011. 


Patches' with her litter 2-2011-I sure miss her-she was a GREAT mom


9 at four week olds asleep...  2/2011




 Sharing a carrot with mom




Many websites encourage you to use nest boxes with your litters. I have not had luck with the boxes as the doe have trampled their young to death. I found a website that encourage natural kindling.

We pile in hay and cloth squares (white shop rags) and the doe make very good nests. Be sure you have baby-wire around the sides of the cage to keep the youngins from falling or climbing out. 

I have had many successful litters this way where before my litters would escape and die on the ground or be stomped to death. I also do reach in and check on the kits as the doe are very familiar with me and do not mind my looking into the nest. My rabbits are spoiled and expect carrots, bananas or the peelings, or a cracker when I come to check.  

Rabbits are fun to raise, therapeutic and sweet live stock. If you have any questions, please just email us. 

There is a lot of information below. Links will take you to things you need to know. 

God Bless!

Mary and Davis 


  • Feeding
    A rabbit's diet should be made up of good quality pellets, fresh hay (alfalfa, timothy or oat), water and fresh vegetables. Anything beyond that is a "treat" and should be given in limited quantities. 

  • Pellets
    Pellets should be fresh, and should be relatively high in fiber (18% minimum fiber).
    (We have switched to Petrus feed pellets from Purina. Lots of advise from lots of successful breeder and show stock  said to step up the fiber, etc.- Petrus is green like it was freshly made, where others are brown, smaller pieces and lots of dust (fines)

  • Hay
    Hay is essential to a rabbit's good health, providing roughage which reduces the danger of hairballs and other blockages. Apple tree twigs also provide good roughage.

    Timothy, Orchard, Oat and Wheat hay is best. Alfalfa and Bermuda is a little lower in crude fiber. Alfalfa has a high calcium %. A 50/50 mixture of alfalfa and other will work well too. If breeding, Alfalfa is not recommended. 

  • Fresh Vegetables
    Give vegetables sparingly, their pellets are more important for fiber in their diet. 

    A variety is necessary in order to obtain the necessary nutrients, that contains Vitamin A, 
    indicated by an *. Add one vegetable to the diet at a time. 
    Eliminate if it causes soft stools or diarrhea. 

    Alfalfa, radish & clover sprouts
    Beet greens (tops)*
    Bok choy
    Broccoli (mostly leaves/stems)*
    Brussels sprouts
    Carrot & carrot tops*

    Kale (!)*
    Mustard greens*
    Pea pods (the flat edible kind)*
    Peppermint leaves
    Radish tops

    Collard greens*
    Dandelion greens and flowers (no pesticides)*
    Green peppers

    Raspberry leaves
    Romaine lettuce (no iceberg or light colored leaf)*
    Spinach (!)*
    Wheat grass

    (!)=Use sparingly. High in either oxalates or goitrogens and may be toxic in accumulated quantities over a period of time



The meat pen and fryer competition is a demonstration of the breeders' ability to produce a market animal of consistent size and quality.

Meat rabbits are judged for body type, condition, and uniformity by the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) Standard of Perfection. Their type must be meaty, with prime muscle condition. The meat pen should be uniform in size, all the same color, and all the same breed. The judges will balance the characteristics of type, condition, and uniformity in deciding which is the best entry. Some judges will place emphasis on uniformity.

A meat pen is three rabbits, any gender, more than three pounds and less than five pounds. A single fryer is a rabbit, any gender, more than three pounds and less than five pounds. They must not be older than 70 days.

White fur is preferred by processors, but is not required in meat pens. New Zealand Whites and Californians are the most common meat breed of rabbits. I thumbed through the Standard of Perfection and picked out some rabbit breeds that could be suitable for meat rabbits. I included Californians and New Zealands for comparison.

Meat Sized Rabbit Breeds With Senior Buck and Senior Doe Weight Ranges In Pounds



Senior Buck

Senior Doe

Semi-Arch / Mandolin Body Type

Weight Range

Weight Range

American* (Blue & White)



Beveren* (Black, Blue, White)



Commercial / Medium Length Body



American Sable*





8.5 - 10.5

Champagne d'Argent


9.5 - 11.5

American Chinchilla*




8.5 - 10.5


Creme d'Argent*

8 - 10.5

8.5 - 11

Hotots* (blanc de hotot)



New Zealand







7.5 - 9.5

8 - 10.5


8.5 - 10


Silver Fox*



* On Rare Breed Rabbits List



Maybe you can find something interesting in this bunch. By the way, Hotots are mostly white, but do not have red eyes.

While you can enter colored rabbits in meat pen competition, realize that commercial whites, as in New Zealand White and Californian, are often well developed specimens due to intense breeding and selection.

Do your best to present the best specimens of colored rabbit breeds for your meat pens.

Meat rabbits are big rabbits. The adults commonly weigh 9 to 12 pounds. The kits will get up to 5 lbs each in 10 weeks, so 8 rabbits in a growing out cage will weigh 40 lbs by processing time. You need at least one BIG cage. 30 inch wide by 24 inch deep by 18 or 24 inch high is good.

You will need feeders or feed crocks, and two water bottles or watering system nipples for the cage, so two rabbits can drink at once.

If you breed your own rabbits, you will need a nest box. A nest box that is 10 inch wide by 14 inch long by 10 inch high will be adequate. A top on the nest box is not required, but it is a good place for the doe to get up away from the litter. Be sure there is a bottom/floor in the box also. Metal nest boxes have removable floors usually made of wood or pressed fiberboard.

Check to be sure that the door of your cage is big enough for the nest box to go in and out easily. I recommend using hay instead of straw for nest material, so the kits can start nibbling hay as early as possible.

Your meat rabbits may not be more than 70 days old at the time of judging. You need to calculate back from the judging date. If judging will occur on Sat August 13, count back 10 Saturdays (70 days) to Saturday June 4. This is the day you want your litter to be born. Rabbits have a 31 to 33 day gestation period. Typically they are born on day 31.

So we will count back 31 days from June 4 which happens to be Wednesday May 4. That is your breeding day for meat rabbits for fair judging on Saturday August 13. But adjust as needed for the actual judging date.

Take the doe to the buck. Check the doe's vulva and look at the color, it should be reddish or purple. Whitish color is not very good potential. Watch them to be sure they breed. Let them breed twice. If the doe does not accept the buck, try putting the doe in the buck's cage and move the buck to the doe's cage for the night. Put them back together in the bucks cage in the morning to see if they will breed.

Do this morning and night until the buck breeds the doe and you SEE it. Start counting days from the day of breeding.

If there is time to test the buck and doe, I would recommend a test litter before the fair if you have another big cage. Breed the doe 8 or 9 weeks before your fair breeding date. Then breed on your fair breeding date. The test litter will be about 3 or 4 weeks old. While she still has a litter in the cage, she will be more likely to accept the buck. 

The nest box goes in on day 28 with hay in it. If she eats the hay, put more in. If there is no litter by day 35, take the box out, she missed. Try not to put the box in the corner where she normally poops or she may decide to poop in the box.

You must put nesting material in the box. You can put straw in the nest box. Fill the box loosely with straw. The doe probably remove some straw or will pack the straw so a little burrow is formed. You can use straw or hay if  you want to. Many people will use hay so the baby rabbits will nibble on the hay as they grow. I also like to put a half inch of wood shavings on the bottom of the nest box to help absorb wetness.

The doe will have her litter in the nest box, but not always. Sometimes the does will have the litter on the wire floor outside the box. Do not panic. This is especially common with first time rabbit moms. Pick up the kits and put them in the box.

When the doe is finished having the litter, remove the box from the cage with the litter inside the box. You can give the doe a piece of apple or some hay to distract her.

Count the kits and remove any dead kits or afterbirth. Check the corners of the box so you do not miss any. Get an accurate count now. This is how many kits you will look for on your daily litter check. This is good time to put fresh hay in the box. Try to save some fur from the nest box to put back in with the kits.

You will remove the box everyday to check the kits. Remove any dead kits you find, and any yucky stuff you find in there. Put in fresh hay if needed. If it gets very cold at night you may want to bring the nest box into the house during the night and take it back to the cage in morning. The doe will hop in to nurse the kits. Leave the box in for the day and bring it back to the house at night if it will be cold.

Weaning is when you separate the kits from milk supply and leave them with pellets and hay to eat. This is usually done by removing the doe or some of the kits.

Leave the doe in the cage 6 weeks or longer if she will put up with the kits. Leave the litter in the same cage. Moving the litter stresses them and they stop eating. Always have pellets and water all the time. Leave the litter together as long as you can since they eat more when they are competing for food.

When you separate the doe from all the kits, give her hay and water only for one day, no pellets, to dry up her milk and avoid any mammary gland infections.

You can enter two meat pens and two single fryers in the fair. But for practical purposes, from a litter of eight or ten you should be able to
select five rabbits; three for a meat pen and two for single fryers. If you have any runts you can cull those so there is more milk for the rest
of the litter.

Choose your tattoo numbers but do not tattoo the rabbits yet. You can send in your entry form before you tattoo the rabbits. A week before the fair, you can tattoo the rabbits with the numbers you selected.

You will need own the rabbits 30 days before the fair. This means you have to buy them and pick them up at 5 weeks old (35 - 40 days). Put your rabbits in a cage and leave them in that cage until the fair, unless they start fighting, then you separate the fighters.

Or if you need to own the rabbit 60 days before the fair, try to borrow a doe for a litter or buy a doe with the litter.

The 30 day and 60 day rule will be different depending on the rules for your fair competition. Check the rules of your fair or show to learn which rule applies to your situation.

Plan now for your meat pen breeding. Even if it is September and your fair is not until May. You need to locate a buck and a doe. If you do not have room for a buck and a doe, try sharing with another member in your project. One of you can keep the buck and one can keep the doe and you can split the litter for a meat pen.

Or talk to a breeder about borrowing a doe. You pay the breeder for breeding the doe. Then you take the doe and keep her and the litter for the meat pen competition. After you wean the litter, you return the doe to the breeder.

In the best case situation, you will have use of a "proven" doe and buck, which means these animals have had litters previously and can be expected to produce litters again.

If you buy rabbits, you can show a bill of sale as proof of ownership. If you raise your own, take a picture of you and the litter when it is born with the date written on a piece of paper in the picture to establish your ownership. A letter stating you are the owner and signed by you and your parent should sufficient. Check with your youth program advisor.

At auction, the buyer can usually take the rabbits home, donate the rabbits back to the exhibitor, or request they be processed (butchered or custom). It is the exhibitor's responsibility to process the rabbits for the buyer.

If you cannot find a butcher to do this for you, try to locate an  experienced hunter to help you or show you. Or you can do it yourself.

There are good descriptions for processing in many publications. "Raising Rabbits the Modern Way" a book by Bob Bennett
"Storey's Guide to Raising Rabbits" a book by Bob Bennett

Articles on butchering and euthanasia can found at m

You can view the Rare Breed Rabbits list and see an article describing how the Rare Breeds were identified at the website.

Another good website is American Rabbit Breeders Association

Learn about The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy

Join 4H Rabbit List on yahoogroups, an email discussion of topics related to 4H rabbit projects

This article is stored at

Have a good day!

Raising Rabbits

How to raise rabbits

How to build hutches

How to tan hides

Why raise rabbits

What to do with all that manure - etc

A short guide to raising rabbits for meat. 
Topics covered include rabbit reproduction, feeding instructions, and breed information. 
A must read for the beginner.

Rabbit meat is delicious and nutritious. There are several aspects of raising rabbits for meat. Here I only discuss a few, but it is enough to get the small farmer going.




Selecting your rabbit's breed is probably the most important decision you will make concerning your rabbits. My advice is to read as much as you can before deciding which breed you like the most. You will probably find that most producers raise only either New Zealands, Californians, or a combination of the two. Most producers have purebred stock of each of the two breeds, and crossbreed them to produce more vigorous young that grow more quickly. They can also breed the purebred adults, and sell the purebred offspring as breeders.

New Zealand


New Zealands come in different colours, such as black, red, and the most popular for meat purposes, white. These weigh from 10-13 pounds when mature. They are known for their ability to grow market-ready fryers (4-5 pounds) by 8 weeks of age. Their average litter size is 8-10 bunnies. The breed was developed in the USA and is well-proportioned and has a full, well-muscled body type, and prominently veined ears.




This is another good meat breed, also developed in the USA. It comes in only one colour-white with black ears, nose, feet and tail. At maturity, this breed weighs 9-10 pounds.The average litter size is 6-8. The body is rather plump, but fine-boned. Breeders often cross New Zealand and Californians for their vigorous hybrid offspring.


Champagne D'Argent


This is one of the oldest breeds of rabbits. It is completely black when born, but gradually turns silver as it matures. It is medium length, with well-developed hind-quarters. They weigh about 10-15 pounds at maturity.


Florida White


Although this rabbit weighs only 4-6 pounds at maturity, it is better suited to the fryer market. This breed is becoming more popular for home meat production, and crossbreeding. The fur is white with good density and texture, and they have a compact, meaty body, short neck, and small head. This breed was developed in the USA as well.




Providing good feed is an integral part of rabbit raising. Rabbits can consume many different types of feedstuff, but the best way to go is to feed commercial pellets and good quality timothy/alfalfa hay. Refrain from feeding your rabbit cabbage and lettuce, as this will upset the balance of good bacteria in their stomach and cause them to get diarrhea. If you can't resist and your rabbit gets a good dose of diarrhea, give him/her wild rasberry canes. The diarrhea should clear up within 24 hours. Rabbits should get pellets that contain at least 16% fibre.


How much to feed is an important thing to know. If you give your rabbit too much, it will become fat, and may have problems breeding, and if a doe becomes too fat, it is likely that she will have troubles when kindling. If you give them too little feed, then they will, obviously, become too skinny and be more prone to other diseases. Here is a list of the amount of feed you should give your rabbit. Remember though, each rabbit is an individual, and these are guidelines only. You should learn your rabbit's needs, and adjust its feed accordingly. These are daily amounts. The first amount is for medium breeds, and the third for large breeds.

Bucks 3-6 oz. 4-9 oz.

Does 6 oz. 9 oz.

Does,Bred 1-15 days 6 oz. 9 oz

Does,Bred 16-30 days 7-8oz. 10-11 oz.

Doe,+ litter 10 oz. 12 oz. (Litter size-6-8 young, one week old)

Doe,+ litter 18 oz. 24 oz. (Litter size-6-8 young, one month old)

Doe,+ litter 28 oz. 36 oz. (Litter size-6-8 young,6-8 weeks old)

Young, weaned rabbit 3-6 oz. 6-9 oz.


The best way to tell if your rabbit is getting enough feed is to stroke its backbone regularly. If the bumps of your rabbit's backbone feel sharp and pointed, increase its feed; if you can feel the bumps, but they feel rounded, you are giving the right amount; if you feel no bumps at all, then decrease your rabbit's intake. I recommend a weekly check, just to make sure.



The first thing you need to decide when you want bunnies is when to breed the parents. Medium breeds should be about 5-6 months before they're bred, and large breeds should not be bred until at least 8 months of age. The rabbits you choose should be in excellent health. Make sure that the rabbits you are breeding are not closely related. When you put the buck and doe together, take the doe to the buck's cage or the doe will attack him to defend her territory, and the buck may be more interested in her cage than in her.


When the doe is in the buck's cage, the buck should try to breed her right away. If she is ready, she will allow him to mount, and raise her hindquarters for him. The buck will squeal and fall off sideways if a mating occurs. If the doe runs around the cage and won't stand for the buck, then you should remove her and try in a few days. After the first few times, he should be able to do it on his own. A doe is an induced ovulator. This means that she will produce eggs only after sexual stimulation. After the mating has taken place, the follicles in the ovary grow quickly. They break and release the eggs about ten hours later. During this time, the sperm are moving through the doe's reproductive system. Sometimes, the sperm doesn't live long enough for the eggs to be fertilized, so most breeders put them together again 8-12 hours later to ensure that the doe will have bunnies.


The gestation period of a rabbit is 31 days. The young should be born within a few days of this date. Sometimes a doe will go through 'pseudopregnancy'. This happens when a young doe is sexually stimulated or has an infertile mating. She may appear to be bred, even to the point of producing milk and pulling fur to line her nest. Following stimulation, the doe releases egg cells, which cause the uterus to swell, which, in turn, activates the mammary glands. Ovulation cannot take place until seventeen days after the initial stimulation which caused the pseudopregnancy. After the seventeen days are up, put the doe (if she's to be bred) in with the buck, as this will be the point at which her fertility is highest. To prevent pseudopregnancy, separate young does that are to be bred three weeks before mating. Once a doe has had her first litter, she is less likely to undergo another pseudopregnancy.


The first thing you must do after mating has taken place is to write down when the doe was bred and when she is due. You can write it down on a calendar, or on hutch cards which are placed on the doe's cage and the bucks cage. Also, it is a good idea to have a rabbit record book to keep track of the pedigrees and who's who and what's what. Your records should include:


*rabbit's name or number

*name or number of rabbit to which this rabbit was bred

*date bred

*date kindled

*number of bunnies born

*number of bunnies weaned

*weight of bunnies at weaning time (optional)

*other pertinent information


As time for your doe to kindle (give birth) gets closer, you will need a nest box for her to give birth in. There are several choices you can make. The most common one is to make a nest box from 3/8" plywood. One thing is that you have to disinfect it between litters with a solution of 1 part household bleach to 5 parts water. Let it dry in the sunlight.


Other choices are wire nest boxes, which are made from 1/2x1" wire, and you use cardboard liners that you can throw away; and metal nest boxes which you can buy in stores and put cardboard liners in them. Next you need nesting materials. I use hay and straw, but you can also use wood shavings, shredded newspaper, or cardboard. Put the nest box in three days prior to the kindling date of your doe.


As the due date of your doe approaches, you may notice that she is more nervous than usual. Keep other animals away, as well as anything that may cause noise or undue stress. When you put the nest box in, some does will jump in and build their nest right away, whereas others will wait to the last minute before building their nest. Your doe may go around the pen, looking for straw or bedding and gather it up in her mouth. When she is finished arranging the bedding, she will pull fur from her belly and dewlap. This serves two purposes. The first is to provide a warm bed for her youngsters, the second is to expose her nipples so the bunnies can nurse better. The doe may eat less a day or two before she gives birth. After she has kindled, gently pull aside the fur and take a quick count. If there are dead or deformed bunnies, remove them, and cover the bunnies back up.


Sometimes things don't go as they should, and your doe may die. You may have to foster your bunnies if you have another doe which has kindled on the same day. To do this, rub the doe's nose in vanilla extract and put the bunnies in the nest. Usually, the doe will not notice anything amiss, but if she does, she may try to kill the bunnies or just refuse to feed them. If this happens, remove the bunnies immediately, and feed them by hand. Here is a recipe for the "˜milk' that you should use.


1 pint skim milk

2 egg yolks

2 tbsp Karo syrup

one tbsp bone meal


Feed this to the bunnies with an eyedropper until they are full (usually they eat 5-7 ccs). Your bunnies should be healthy, and it is up to YOU to keep them that way. As soon as the doe is done kindling, make sure that there is fur pulled, and if not, you must pull some from the doe's belly. This will not hurt her. Make sure there are no babies on the wire, and if there are, slip them into your shirt up against your skin to warm them. Then return them to the nest. Be certain to watch for bunnies out of the nest box every day, because sometimes a doe will jump out of the box with a bunny still attached.


The young usually open their eyes about ten days after birth. Sometimes bunnies are unable to open their eyes, and have a hard crusty material holding them closed. You can use eyedrops made for people, such as Murine, with a cotton swab to clean the crusty stuff away. Then, gently separate the lids. Usually subsequent treatments are unnecessary. At about three weeks of age, the bunnies will start to come out of the nest box, and eat solid food. Take out the nest box. The young can be weaned anywhere between four-eight weeks, but the longer they stay with the mother, the better. I wean mine at eight weeks.


I usually rebreed my does when the bunnies are 6-7 weeks of age, so the doe can have two-three weeks after her litter is weaned to regroup and get ready for her new litter.


If you need any advice on any health problems, please contact your veterinarian. A clean rabbitry is a healthy rabbitry, and you shouldn't encounter too many problems. Rabbit raising is a very rewarding business, if practiced correctly.






Check out some of our favorite sites. 


Raising Rabbits
Aaron Webster's 4-H Californian Rabbit Project-  |
Has wonderful information on raising rabbits and everything rabbit.


10 tips for raising rabbits














































































































































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