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Thread: Is anyone raising rabbits for meat? page

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    JoanieL's Avatar
    JoanieL is offline Senior Member
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    Is anyone raising rabbits for meat?

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    If so, could you share some of your experiences? Is it harder/easier than you thought it would be? Do you sell your rabbits or butcher for your own use? Is anyone doing this in an urban setting? What breed of rabbit do you raise?

    Thanks in advance for any information, insights, cool stories, etc.
    "Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine

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    TheyCallMeLazarus's Avatar
    TheyCallMeLazarus is online now Senior Member
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    I raise them currently, so I will give you some of my tips

    1) Breed -- the usual are NZW, champagne, Californians, and Flemish Giants....the upside to the Flemish is that they can grow to be VERY large, up to 12 to 14 pounds mature. At about 8 weeks they are 6 pounds or so. The downside is they take a TON of food, and the real feed to bone ratio is not all that good because of this. In contrast the NZW are smaller, grow about the same speed, and have likely the best feed to meat ratio.

    2) Climate -- I am currently raising Silver Foxes, a breed that are known for their extreme cold tolerance. I live in a cold climate, and I have found that a few of the other varieties hardly grow at all over the winter due to the cold. They are using all their nutrients to stay warm, instead of meat for me Consider Californians if you live somewhere warm, as on the whole rabbits are better in cold that heat.

    3) Feed -- Buying rabbit food isn't expensive per pound, but it will add up if you have a large brood, and esp if you raise Giants. I recommend, if you want big rabbits or to save money, that you make a little enclosure for them to stay in to forage pasture. The meat will taste better, be healthier, and save cash....build it similar to a movable chicken coup. be sure to keep it really clean though, or predators will be setting up camp on your yard from the smell....if you live in a rural area as I do, in some parts, predators like foxes or bobcats will make your rabbits big targets. I suggest creating a covered coop.... a fox will likely still get in, but at least it will take some time.

    4) Dressing -- I use a lever rabbit box that is very fast and very humane. It is a small lever that looks like a coat hook. It is painless and allows for fast skinning. Keep a few for breed stock, especially the big docile females. I tend to keep many of them as stock, then use the males for meat. The males will taste worse as they get older, whereas for females it won't matter.

    Hope this helps. Good luck!

    P.S. If you are intending to raise them and sell them to a processor for profit, throw out everything I just said. That is a whole other can of worms, and they want very specific things if you intend to sell. I can help there too if need be, but disregard the above. I am assuming they would be for personal use.
    Last edited by TheyCallMeLazarus; 07-02-2013 at 07:24 PM.

  3. #3
    rcav8r's Avatar
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    nooo....but I have considered trapping them. We have an unusually large number of cottontails rabbits in town this year...I'm seeing them all over the place, day and night.
    They are also open season all year.

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    Jennifla's Avatar
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    I have an image in my mind of the woman in the Michael Moore movie Roger and Me saying, "Pets or meat?"

    Still, I would so do this if I had more space.
    As God is my witness, I'll never be hungry again.

  5. #5
    JoanieL's Avatar
    JoanieL is offline Senior Member
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    Wow, TheyCallMeLazarus, thank you for that information! I very much appreciate it. It would be for personal use.
    Last edited by JoanieL; 07-02-2013 at 08:56 PM.
    "Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine

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    I've hunted them. The Jackrabbits have a red meat. Cook it like a braised lamb shank, its delicious.
    TheyCallMeLazarus, can you buy bales of alfalfa hay to supplement the rabbit feed? Or is that what you are already using? I've never raised anything for food, its always been grocery, fishing, hunting, or gardening. So I can't really offer much advice in this area, but am interested to learn.

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    I've been considering it for a little while, much thanks to Laz for the information

    I've googled but can't seem to find anything about a 'rabbit lever box'

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greenbeast View Post
    I've been considering it for a little while, much thanks to Laz for the information

    I've googled but can't seem to find anything about a 'rabbit lever box'
    How about this?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OuSY...e_gdata_player

    Don't know if it's similar to what Lazarus uses, but looks quick and easy.
    If you're interested in my (very) occasional updates on how I'm working out and what I'm eating click here.

    Quote Originally Posted by tfarny View Post
    If you are new to the PB - please ignore ALL of this stuff, until you've read the book, or at least http://www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-blueprint-101/ and this (personal fave): http://www.archevore.com/get-started/

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    Greenbeast's Avatar
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    wow that's great, thanks

  10. #10
    Misabi's Avatar
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    Have a look at their rabbit zinger too. They've got a bunch of videos on their site shoeing how to slaughter, skin and butcher bugs bunny :-)
    If you're interested in my (very) occasional updates on how I'm working out and what I'm eating click here.

    Quote Originally Posted by tfarny View Post
    If you are new to the PB - please ignore ALL of this stuff, until you've read the book, or at least http://www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-blueprint-101/ and this (personal fave): http://www.archevore.com/get-started/

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