Rabbits for Meat
Raising rabbits for meat isn't a new idea, although it hasn't achieved the popularity of other forms of animal protein. Maybe part of this is due to the fact that bunnies are cute. Yet, if you can get past the looks of the animal, there are some very good reasons to consider rabbits for meat.
Six Good Reasons to Raise Rabbits for Meat
One reason to raise rabbits for meat is that it requires a way less food and water to produce than other meat animals. For example, if you fed a cow and a rabbit the same amount of food and water, a rabbit will produce 6 pounds of meat and a cow will only produce one pound.
Another great thing about rabbits is that their meat is lower in cholesterol than most other meats--even lower than chicken. And it also has the highest protein ratio. It's just better for you!
And 100% of domestic raised rabbits are white meat! No more fighing over who gets the 'breast'!
Because rabbits breed and grow so quickly, one doe can produce 320 pounds of meat per year. It often only takes 2 months from birth to butcher.
Rabbit meat is not only lean and nutritious, but it's also tasty. Some people liken it to chicken, others to veal.
They're also cheap to raise, so you get a great return on your investment.
Good Meat Breeds
Of the numerous breeds of rabbits, some are better than others if you're wanting to raise them for meat production. Of the 'commercial' stock rabbits (rabbits that are considered large bodied but with smaller bones so they have a good meat ratio), here's a list of some of the best meat rabbits. Many of them were bred with meat and/or fur production in mind.
New Zealand (8-12 pounds). These rabbits were bred for meat and fur production. They're the most popular rabbit for meat because of their size and the fact that they're ready to slaughter after only 2 months. They also average 8-10 bunnies per litter.
Californian (7-10 pounds). Another breed of rabbit bred specifically for meat and fur production. They have large bodies and fine bones. And average 6-8 bunnies per litter.
Florida White (4-6 pounds). Bred for meat production, even though they're smaller in size but considered a good fryer. Becoming more popular with backyard breeders.
Champagne D'Argent (10-15 pounds). Known for large hindquarters and high weight.
Palomino (8-11 pounds). They have smaller bones and higher meat ratio than other rabbits, although they also take longer to raise. They have 6-10 bunnies per litter.
Beveren (8-11 pounds). They grow fast and have large litters, so they're good for meat production.
More information about rabbits:
Basic Rabbit Needs
Diet for Rabbits
Bunnies for Pets