Are you looking for an ethical, affordable, efficient way of providing your family with meat? Meat rabbits might be your answer. Read on to find our why…
5 Reasons to Raise Meat Rabbits
They are Efficient
Rabbits are four times as efficient at converting feed to protein than beef cattle (1).
They are Easy
They are small, quiet, easy to keep and easier than chickens to process (NO PLUCKING!!).
Want to know all about raising rabbits in a colony?
Check out our very own book here:
They are Healthy
They make super lean meat that is very high in protein, and it tastes so much like chicken that most people won’t know the difference. To be fair we haven’t eaten any domestic bunny, but apparently it is a far cry from the gamey, tough/stringy wild bunny you may have tried.
They Grow Fast
Meat rabbits reach about 2-2.5kg (4.5-5.5lb) at 8-10 weeks, processing out to about 60-65% actual meat – about 1.5-1.8kg (3-4lb) per rabbit.
They are Reproductive Miracles
A mama rabbit can have comfortably 5 litters per year and up to 8 if you keep the does and bucks in together! They don’t call it breeding like rabbits for no reason! With an average of 7 kittens per litter you are looking at 35 – 56 kits per doe per year, that could be 52.5- 100.8 Kg (116-222lb) of meat per mama rabbit per year.
Young meat rabbits called ‘fryers’ are processed at 8-14 weeks of age, so their meat is white and tender. And before you go getting all judgy on us eating baby animals, all that delicious chicken you get at the supermarket is usually only 35-49 days old!
These two chickens are the same age, the brown one is my 8 week old laying chicken, the white franken-monster at the bottom is a “meat breed” chicken, they literally eat all day, and left to grow to 4-6 months will break their own legs by walking as they get so big so fast their bones can’t keep up.
Aren’t humans lovely, to breed a chicken like that all so we have have cheap meat… Also the commercial chicken you buy spends its 5-8 weeks in a shed like this, yes even in clean green NZ:
To avoid the cages and cramped growing conditions, we choose to raise our meat rabbits in colonies. In a colony rabbits are free to run and prance and snuggle and do all the things bunnies love to do.
Have I convinced you to keep meat rabbits on your homestead? If so, read on to see why we recommend raising them in a colony.
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Dana is a homesteading, homeschooling mama to 3, based in the south of New Zealand.
Dana is a Certified Ketogenic Living Coach, and natural wellness expert, as well as a Registered Nurse, with post grad training in mothers and babies.
She enjoys getting out in the garden, or just sitting at the beach in the sun.