Raising Meat Rabbits

Rabbits are fun to raise when you are properly prepared. However, ways of making sure rabbits remain comfortable and safe can be a challenge during the winter given the cold temperatures and predators.  There are different reasons why rabbits are raised, fun, education, for showing, meat, fur, and even for laboratory use. As a commercial enterprise, many have found it that it is not very profitable. The market for human consumption in the US is low, but many have found raising rabbits can be very meaningful for reducing personal meat consumption and when your business is dog breeding. 

I don’t currently nor do I plan on breeding dogs, but I do have an interest in having rabbits for meat. I know many people don’t look at rabbits as a food. And after all they are extremely cute, but who decided that only ugly animals should be eaten? I personally have eaten rabbit before and find it very tasty. As a matter of fact, rabbit meat is more healthy on a number of levels when compared to other meat. Rabbit is lower in cholesterol and higher in protein. If your objective in a more sustainable lifestyle, then rabbits are probably the best animal to choose. For example; a rabbit can produce 6 pounds of meat on the same amount of food and water it would take for a cow to produce one. This number is staggering. I might not suggest going at it today if you have never eaten rabbit before or are very skittish about slaughtering animals.  Though if your desire might be to preserve some semblance of food control, I would suggest finding a restaurant that serves rabbit and at least trying it out. That would be a good way to determine if it might even make sense for you to start.

A few items to consider if you go down that road; choosing the right rabbit breed, having the right facilities for them to live in (called a hutch), and knowing what to feed them. The first item is really pretty easy, there are numerous meat rabbit breeds. So named because they grow larger and are efficient at putting on weight with less feed. Most people do not realize that rabbits eat grass, and lots of it. Here in Florida you can grow alfalfa in the summer and rye grass in the winter to feed them. The rabbit hutch is very easy to construct and can be made of either metal, wood or a combination of both.  The cost for a few rabbits will run about $120 in material or $300 if you buy it. I believe a world with a growing population and grazing land that is ever scarcer, meat rabbits make for an excellent solution for providing a cheaper alternative as a healthy protein source.